One of the very first thing is to understand the Bryce interface well.
Here is what it looks like when you first open it.
This looks extremely intimidating believe me. Each button seems to take you somewhere and as a beginner, you are not always sure 'how to get back'!
Thankfully there are written tutorials and video tutorials. I highly suggest watching the videos and following along as if learning Bryce or Daz were a school assignment.
Here are a couple of links. I found this one extremely helpful.
From WWWDAZ3COM, I found this which really helped in answering many questions about the 'Render Options'. I'll probably watch it several more times before it sinks all the way in.
[Note, you may not have all the Premium Effects, but it is very educational and simple to follow.]
Daz has a great series of video tutorials but you have to search for what suits your level:
I was also pointed to the following site by my 'mentor' and good Flickr friend.
This was written for Bryce 5, but has exercises to go through which also will improve your abilities to work with Bryce.
Okay, enough about tutorials!
I created my 'Dragon' in Daz Studio 4. [Perhaps more about Daz as I begin to understand it better myself!]
See the yellow~it says import to Bryce.
I did that and then began to create a scene. I wasn't sure what I wanted except that I wanted to learn more about lighting, shadows, and reflections.
I picked an odd sky to go with my dragon.
I picked simple spheres to put around him/her.
Then I read up on how to make a sphere reflective and that gave me an idea as I developed the scene.
I found something that looked like a 'cage' and put the dragon inside of it. This was a partial quick render that I stopped and saved.
So I began to experiment with a cone light and a radial light. Then I added spheres, changed their positions and kept hitting 'Preview Render' and selected areas to render.
The sample below is what it looks like during a Final Render or a Preview Render at first.
I said in part 1 of this 2 part write up that I had discovered a couple of ways to make a scene render a bit faster.
Things that will slow a render down.
Complex textures, like hair or fur.
Complex scenes or large scenes.
Computer processor [although I'm not a computer geek so I can't tell you much about that].
This is where your document set up and Render Options come largely into play. These are explained in the video tutorials.
I decided that since this was an experiment, I'd render a 900X422 size document. If the scene is astounding, I'd probably go higher. As I did in the scene with the green girl:
So I picked Render Options:
And selected how I wanted this scene rendered.
This may be the most important part of the rendering process, get familiar with it.
You should also experiment with this in Preview mode to see how the different options effect your scene.
I went for the final render in a small size and was mildly surprised.
My dragon scene only took 40 minutes.
This was large enough to look good on a computer screen, and since I wasn't planning on printing it as fine art, I was happy.
For more wonderful inspiration on Bryce and other powerful 3D programs I'd love for you to take a look at an artist that keeps me inspired to try new things.
And who nudged me back to Bryce after I'd abandoned it for good.
Thank you Sylvia!
One last note. I do this for fun ... and a learning challenge. Imagination is such a powerful and great thing to have!