Matching Bryce Backgrounds in LightWave Scenes

This is Page 2 of a 2 page tutorial. If you missed Page 1, you can find it here.

LightWave render with Lens Flares.

Now that you are working with LightWave, there are lots of things you can do that aren't possible in Bryce. One of the simplest is Lens Flares, a "defect" seen in photographs when the sun is actually in the image. These can be very effective as long as you keep them subtle, as seen here.

Position the cloned light in front of the Sun in the image.

To get this effect, clone the light by tapping Control + C, and move it so it's directly in front of the sun in the Background image. (Its position along the Z axis doesn't matter, since it won't be casting any light.)

Disable everything except Lens Flare

While it's still selected, open the Light Properties panel by tapping p, and change the Light Type to Point Light. Disable everything except Lens Flare. Click on the Lens Flare Options button to open that panel.

Enable OpenGL Lens Flares in Display Options to preview the flares as you work.

If you have OpenGL Lens Flares enabled in the Camera View tab of the Display Options (d), then you'll be able to see what they are going to look like as you work. (If you don't, you might want to go enable that now.)

The Flare and Lens Reflections settings. Click to see the whole panel.

In the example, everything has been disabled except Lens Reflections. There, I've taken Element 1 (you can choose Elements from the Current Reflection Element drop down menu) and changed the Element Type from the Default Polygon - Even Center to Circle - Bright Center. Then I changed the Element Position to 1.0, which places it directly over the light, and Sized and Colored it to "fake" the glow of the Sun itself.

There are a number of ways to fake this; but I'm lazy, and this way is extremely easy, if you're using Lens Flares anyway. I find this more effective than the Lens Flare Central Glow for making large bright areas. (Mainly because you can size and color Lens Elements. The Central Glow is the color of the light, and becomes plain white at the high intensities necessary to get a big glow, like the Sun.)

All of the Elements can be individually tweaked, colored, etc. You can make individual elements brighter by decreasing their Saturation, which effectively adds more white to the color. (Drag on the middle number in the HSV fields (RMB, remember.)) You can make them darker by decreasing the Value, (Right field.) You can make them more colorful by increasing Saturation and/or Value. To turn them off, set the Value to 0, which makes them black.

They're fun to play with; but once more, don't overdo it. Subtle is better. Lens Flares that are too bright practically scream "CGI."

There are lots of other things that you can do, too; using Spherical Reflections from your Bryce scene, including Particle Effects to make realistic clouds or fire or showers or waterfalls, importing the terrain from Bryce and arranging it in LightWave (or just using the Grayscale terrain maps to Displace a subpatched square.) Way too many things to explore in a single tutorial. So those will just have to go into subsequent tuts!

But this should give you a leg up! Considering all the things you can do with LightWave (including really powerful Animation and Displacement tools,) it's really worth it to learn to render there, if you already have the program anyway!

If you would like to dissect the finished scenes (both in Bryce and LightWave,) I've got them for Mac or PC. Have fun!