Since you just met me you have never heard my speech on ambient abuse so here's a short version. This scene is a great example of the concept of ambient vs secondary light sources for realism.
First, the bryce default sun is not bright enough to really mimic sunlight. David discovered this years ago and he is absolutely right. I almost never use the default sun, I use a second sun placed far away at the position of the sky lab sun (disabled of course) at whatever intensity I need (usually 10-15) and the result is much better. Next is the ambient channel, my own observation.
Notice the dragon and how much more 3 dimensional he looks compared to the architecture around him. Notice the shadows and contours of his body. If you look directly at him he will look more photographic than the architecture around him. He looks less cartoon than the builiding. Why? The issue is with the ambient channel in the materials lab. I feel that the ambient channel provides lighting that is perfectly even in all directions, which is totally unrealistic because in nature lighting always has intensity biases. In real life there is no such thing as fairness. Things just "are." Same in imaging. No fairness. The result of the perfect fairness of the ambient channel light is a "flatness," a 2d flatness in the middle of a world that should be all about 3d depth. Creating the illusion of depth is by far the biggest challenge in any program. Ambient expression in bryce tends to take away from the "depth" of the scene. Unless an object is meant to appear hundreds of degrees in temperature like a hot coal, ambient is not necessary. Forget the ambient settings in the materials preset labs, as those are set to save brycers time. Don't let that mislead you. Those ambient settings don't make normal things like wood or stone look more realistic. In the real world there is no ambient button so you cannot rely on it for recreating realism in bryce. It's true that shadows don't usually turn completely black in nature, but the ambient channel is just plain too easy of a "fix" to look real.
Secondary light sources are 1000 times more realistic and reliable than the ambient channel or sky dome for that matter.
Just for fun on your own, experiment just once with the idea of using no ambient expression from the materials lab at all. No ambient for the dragon or the building. Just plain no ambient. It's a jolting notion, but it will change your way of rendering.
Next place a very weak dark gray colored secondary light source (spotlight) at intensity 2 to lighten the shadow on the building to the right of the scene. Keep it wide angle. It will have no fall off. Next, place two more weak lights (radials) just like the first one under the walkway at the back of the scene under the arches, but with a linear fall off this time. This will give your lighting a sense of dynamics, there will be a gradient of light, or a bias of sorts, as the light intensity falls off from it's source. Adding areas of lighter and darker where before there was perfect evenness. Bias in lighting and realism go hand in hand.
I notice that the dragon and the flowers/grass both have no ambient and honestly they both look better than the building which does have ambeint, even though it's only a little bit of ambient. Very little ambient is needed to ruin the impression of realism. There's the rub.
I am crazy generally, just so you know. But I do know what I'm talking about with realism. Let me know how the experiment turns out.
Join Date: 02.04.2007 Comments: 1
Thank you Rashadcarter. Any advice from master like you or other site member is welcome.
Yes, I have problem with light in picture I made with Bryce so sometimes I use Photoshop to fix this problem. When I read you comment I realize that my Bryce education is very bed so I will try to learn more. Also, you didn?t see but I have a big problem with material in my picture.
In my future work I?ll try to apply your advice
Join Date: 05.26.2004 Comments: 4464
This is a very realistic work. Once you get the hang of Rashads recommendations of using Ambience almost never, this will become another one of you good works. The material used on everything just fits: pavement, walls, socket, frame of flower bed and the dragon.
Join Date: 01.03.2004 Comments: 2227
I see a lot of wise advice has poured your way so I'll take that as a cue to add my own two pennorth on the subject of lighting.
The less shiny, speculative and transparent objects you place in your scene the more your additional light sources your render time will tollerate and the better your scene will look for the addition. Conversely if you wish to render shiny, speculative or trasnparent objects a few very bright light sources works better than many dim ones.
This is only a rule of thumb, but one which has been established over 1000's of renders.