Once upon a time, I was an enthusiast of a program called Bryce 3D, which was a computer graphics program for generating landscapes. I actually used it for a number of other things, since it was primitive (shape) based instead of spline (wire frame) based and much easier to use than the other CG programs on the market at the time. I spent countless hours pushing the program to its limits and making things like buildings, cities, starships and even characters in Bryce.
As you can see by the above, I wasn’t very good, but a) I’m no artist, and b) I was also working with a program designed to produce mountains and landscapes. You can also see my early attempts at compositing live models into shots (they’re not photoshopped in, they were cutouts rendered in-scene), which was necessary because the companion character generation software to Bryce, Poser, was still quite poor in quality at the time.
How times have changed.
Recently, after about a decade, I started to play with Daz Studio 4 (Poser’s descendant) as I’m looking at options for doing my future book covers. Why pay someone if you can do it yourself, right? I knew it had improved, but I didn’t realize it improved this much.
And the best part is that a) these three above were done in a single evening, and b) right now Daz is offering the professional versions of this software for free.