FranOnTheEdge
 www.franontheedge.com
Richard Vanlippe's Waterfall Tutorial for Bryce
This tutorial is no longer available on the original creator's website,
so to ensure it is not lost I am hosting it here.  
It would be such a shame to loose it.
Creating a Waterfall Animation
By Richard Vanlippe
The first step for creating an animated waterfall is to create a still version of the scene.
To do that, a duplicate of the terrain was made and where the water was to flow over
it the areas were selected and lightened.
Animating the waterfall was done last using starting and ending keyframes in the Material
Editor for the waterfall and pool.
To create the basic terrains, PhotoShop was used but its possible to duplicate all of the
following using only Bryce.
Place the Terrain

  After creating the main terrain, launch Bryce and use it for a terrain in a scene file.
Spend all the time you like creating the perspective and layout desired. Resize the
terrain as needed - feel free to even stretch it and deform it if you want to. The
waterfall that flows over the terrain is simply a copy of whatever terrain you use.

Its a good idea to assign a family group and name each terrain for each step. That
will be useful later if you need to make changes.

Also notice that the scene to the right only has one terrain. A second terrain was
used for the upper portion of the waterfall later. Start with one and add as many as
you like - the technique is the same for all of them.
Wirefame terrain arranged
in scene file
Duplicate the Terrain

   After creating and placing the terrain in your scene file, the waterfall terrain can be
created. Select the terrain and use copy and paste to create an exact duplicate.

Assign a new family group to the copied terrain before continuing to avoid confusing
the two terrains.

Return to PhotoShop to edit the duplicated terrain. If you didn't save the original
terrain's grayscale image, you can copy the terrain from within the Terrain Editor and
paste the copy into a new document in PhotoShop.

If you don't have PhotoShop, or anything similar, you can use Bryce to edit the terrain.
The basic idea is to lighten areas in the duplicated terrain where the water is intended
to flow. The only "trick" is in applying the correct amount of brightness.

Scene file showing the
duplicated wireframe terrain
Edit the Copied Terrain

  The next step is to edit the copied terrain. The intention is to make the portions
which are supposed to have water flowing over them slightly lighter than the
original terrain.

Before you start, you should save a pict version of the original terrain. The edits
you make from now on need to be saved in PhotoShop format since the selections
made should be saved with the file.

At each step in the process you should save both PhotoShop and pict files. As long
as your PhotoShop file contains the original terrain idea, you can always reopen
the file later and make new selections or changes as needed.

Saving selections along with the primary terrain is the basic process for creating
all the remaining terrains. Be sure to save the file early on and not overwrite it later!
Open your previously saved
terrain in PhotoShop or copy
the terrain from within the
Terrain Editor
Define the Waterfall

  To the right is the original terrain with some selections drawn using the lasso tool
in PhotoShop. The selections represent where the water will flow over the terrain.

One word of caution for this technique - it doesn't prevent you from creating
waterfalls that run downhill - and then back uphill again! You'll have to use your own
judgement - and maybe some trial and error - to select the correct areas in your terrain.

After you've drawn your selections, you should save the file again - in PhotoShop
format - to retain the selections. Although two terrains can effectively create a
waterfall, I've actually used three - and its important to be able to restore the saved
selections later.

Next step is to feather the selection slightly - about 2-4 pixels should do - and then
lighten the selection - about +4 to +8. Then, select all and reduce the brightness of the
entire terrain by only about -2.
Duplicated terrain with selections
drawn with PhotoShop's lasso tool
to define the water areas
Check the Waterfall Terrain

    The reason for selecting the entire image and reducing the brightness by about -2 or
so, is to prevent the duplicted terrain from showing through in places where it isn't
intended to.

In addition, I always do a test render of the edited terrain combined with the original
to see how the edits came out. No fancy semi-transparent and reflective materials at
this stage though! I assign a bright red material to the edited terrain to see exactly
how the edits look.

If you aren't quite satisfied with your work - return to PhotoShop or the Terrain Editor
and start over. If you make new selections in PhotoShop be sure to save the file again!
This is only the first step and those selections become important later.

After you've made a test render that shows your edits are placed as you like, you can
try a render with a material that looks more like water.

A rendered view of the edited
terrain assigned a red material
Basic Water Layer

  At this stage its hard not to stop and assign a water material to the terrain you've
just created. I've done just that and rendered the preview at the right.

But wait - the results looks less like a waterfall and more like water runoff! Truth is,
although the terrain can be made more noticeable (increase the brightness of the
selected areas - and/or reduce the transparency of the assigned material), this is
really just the underlying layer for the waterfall that I made. You could probably skip
this step but the process involved so far is at the heart of the technique and this
terrain combined with one more additional copy is what creates the final affect.

Select the original terrain once again and make another copy. Assign the copy to a
new family and return to PhotoShop and the terrain you saved with the selections so
far. If you are using the Terrain Editor, follow the instructions for the second terrain
copy.
A rendered view
of the edited terrain
assigned a water material
Edit the Second Copy

  Back in PhotoShop with the original terrain. Load the previously saved selections
(I told you they'd be needed again!) and feather the selection by about 8 pixels.

Use the "Brightness/Contrast" tool to increase the brightness of this feathered selection
by around +18.

This the terrain edit will be assigned a material for "water drops". The feathering
combined with the increased brightness makes the selected area both wider and
higher than the previous copy used for the water material. The feathering will also
ensure the selected areas are more rounded.

Save a copy of the edited terrain as a pict file or copy and paste the edited terrain
directly into the Terrain Editor in Bryce. Next its time for the fun stuff - making this
terrain look like rushing water!
Second terrain copy with
the previous selections feathered
and then brightened by +17
Make Terrain Solid

  After the second edited terrain copy has been applied to the third copy of your
terrain in the scene (I usually name this terrain "water drops"), there is one more
step before leaving the Terrain Editor and opening the Material Lab. The water
affect that is coming up uses a volume material.

While volume materials that are too complex can take forever to render, they really
don't have to be complicate to work.

While still in the Terrain Editor, locate the pull-down menu at the lower right corner
of the preview area and select "Solid". This will make sure the volume material that
is applied next actually has a "volume" to work with.
An important step before assigning a volume material to a terrain
is to set the terrain to "Solid" in the Terrain Editor. If you don't do
that, you'll just be wasting rendering cycles for an affect you won't
even see.

"Water Drops" Material

  The material used for the waterfall scene is provided and available in both zip
and binhex format.
The extracted file name is "drops.mat".

You can skip the following discussion and jump directly to the section about
animating the volume material but I've included some information about the
material if you are interested.
This is a quick discussion concerning the basic controls for volume materials and no more.
Water Drops
material preview
Water drops material
for Macintosh Bryce 3D
users
Water drops material
for Windows Bryce 3D
users
Volume Material Setup

  The screen shot below shows the basic setup for the volume material used.
This isn't particularly fancy. Normally I shy away from setting a full ambient value,
for instance, but in this case it ensures that the material appears bright white at
all times. If you intend on using this material on something that runs under some
shadows, you may have to adjust the ambient level.

The lower four sliders -
Base Density, Edge Softness, Fuzzy Factor and Quality/Speed - are the ones to play
with. It is the combination of all four that deterimines how the final material looks.

For this material, I reduced the quality to its lowest to help increase the render
time. The fuzzy factor was also set to zero to increase the "sharpness". Edge
softness, however, was increased to maximum which allowed each "drop" to be a
little softer without blurring the overall affect. The Base Density was adjusted until
the affect seemed full but not overwhelming.
Snapshot showing the basic setup
of the "water drops"
volume material.
3D Texture for Volume

  The 3D texture uses a single noise operator assigned to the alpha channel. With only
one noise operator , the rendering time is much faster.

Continuous noise was used to drive the density. Its good for a wide variety of effects
and doesn't require as much render time as some of the other noise selections.

The frequency and direction will depend greatly on both the terrain's size and orientation.
In the final material, I scaled the 3D texture by 200% and the direction was alterred over
time for the animation.

The octave amount was kept low to keep the alpha channel more distinct and the mode
was left as standard.
Noise operator used
for the volume value
Filter Settings for Noise

  One of the more important controls for noise is the filter. This simple little tool can make
all the difference when working with even the most basic of noise operators.

For the water drops material, the filter was set for "quantize". This changed what would
have been a rather "fuzzy" alpha channel into something much more coarse.

With only a few steps of grayscale being used (the "C" adjustment"), the gradual changes
from black to white in the original noise operator are changed into more distinct jumps.

The end result is a random "drop" look that works well for water spray.
Filter settings used to create a
more pronounced alpha channel
Final 3D Texture

  To the right is a snapshot of the final 3D texture assigned for the volume values.
The first and last "squares" are empty because those are used for "color" and "bump"
respectively - and neither of those values is being used for this material.

The next step was to repeat this entire process for the "upper waterfall" terrain in
the scene and merge in some trees. After that the materials were set up with keyframes
and rendered as a movie.

To complete the still waterfall, however, here is a quick look at the scene so far.
Snapshot of the 3D texture
used for the volume values
Water Drops Test Render

  Here is a test render with all three terrains rendered together. The second terrain with
the water assigned is almost invisible. You could probably leave it out in many cases. It
was included because it seemed to add a subtle affect that was noticeable when rendered
larger.

As stated above, from this point on the other elements in the scene were added. Actually,
the upper terrain had been added earlier but was left out of the screen shots. Its usually
easier to compose a scene with the basic terrains before starting the process of duplicating
and editing the copies for use as waterfalls. The trees, at any rate, were added at the very end.
A preview render of all three terrains
showing the final "water drops" material
This tutorial is courtsey of FranOnTheEdge, thank you for visiting...:)
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