Monday, 20 February 2012

Precision Composite Lattices In Bryce Using Greyscale: Bleachers


Introduction
This tutorial creates bleachers from two carefully designed and grouped lattices with custom terrain canvases. While the example is simple, understanding the 10x10x10 grid and applicable greyscale values provides the freedom to create a variety of custom objects. First, the profile of the bleachers is designed, creating solid benches and walkways. Then a front view is designed to cut out under the benches and add decorative text. Finally, these terrain canvases are applied to lattices in Bryce, with the lattices rotated and grouped to create the 3D bleachers. You should already know how to use your graphics program to precisely color and paint and how to save files and find where you saved them.
Step 1 - The Temporary Guide Grid
 








Create a 10x10 temporary guide grid, with guidelines as shown. The black square needs to be 512x512 pixels. This temporary guide grid will not be part of the terrain canvas, but is used to measure the height of the side view as well as the depth of the cutout. The numbers are not necessary - just the lines, so it's ok to use a 512x512 pixel new document.











Tip: Use Layers or your graphic program's built-in guides to keep the guide grid separate from the terrain canvases.





 
Step 2 - The Solid Part
 
This graphic is a side view of the bleachers where white is the solid part (benches, walkways) and black is the air. Exactly match the measurements. These same measurements will be used for the cutout. Use only 100% black and 100% white for this image.





 
Step 3 - NO ANTI-ALIAS
 
Zoom in at 600% and make sure there is no fuzziness. It should be only black and white. Any other greys, used to soften and smooth transitions between edges will ruin the terrain canvas. Correct as necessary.





 
Step 4 - Save the Solid Terrain Canvas
 








Save the 512x512 black and white terrain canvas as a GIF, Palette Exact, Colors 2, Forced Black and White, No Transparency, No Matte, No Dither, named as bleachers_solid_side.gif.










 
Step 5 - The Cutout
 
This next graphic is a front view of the bleachers and will be used as the terrain canvas on a negative lattice to remove under the benches and to create text. Black will remain part of the bleachers, while anything else is removed. The lighter the shade of grey, the farther toward the back it will cut, with 100% white going all the way through the object.



The bottom rectangle, for example, is 30% Brightness in HSB (which may be translated by the software to 29%, but it's close enough). That rectangle will cut 30% of the way from the front to the back and make a hole under the first bench.











The second rectangle has a 50% Brightness in HSB, and cuts back 50% off the way into the solid bleachers, and thus under the second bench, and so on (70%, 90%). Use 92% for the text to engrave it in the bleachers' back panel. The text is backward because when the cutout is folded onto the front of the bleachers (the right edge of cutout comes to the left side of the bleachers), the text will reverse.



The width of the black on the sides and bottom is arbitrary and forms the bench legs.
 
Step 6 - NO ANTI-ALIAS
 
Zoom in at 600% and make sure there is no fuzziness. It should be only black and white, and the exact grey percents of Brightness. Any other greys, used to soften and smooth transitions between edges will ruin the terrain canvas. Correct as necessary. This includes around the text.





 
Step 7 - Save the Cutout Terrain Canvas
 
Save the 512x512 black and white terrain canvas as a GIF, Palette Exact, Colors 7, Forced Black and White, No Transparency, No Matte, No Dither, named as bleachers_cutout_front.gif.





 
Step 8 - Create a New Lattice in Bryce
 
Open Bryce. Create a new symmetrical lattice.











With the lattice selected, click on E for Edit.











Click New, then Picture.











Open bleachers_solid_side.gif.





 
Step 9 - Remove black area and make solid
 
Drag the bottom of the clipping bracket upward just until the black part of the terrain canvas changes color. In the example, it has turned maroon. This causes the black to be excluded from the lattice.











Click on the triangle at the upper right of the terrain canvas and check Solid. Click the check mark to accept the changes.













 
Step 10 - Solid Attributes
 
With the lattice selected, click on the A for Attributes.











Change the Object Attributes as shown, and click check to accept it.





 
Step 11 - Duplicate Lattice and Modify
 
With the lattice selected, press Ctrl+D to duplicate the lattice. Then repeat the steps to change the terrain canvas and edit attributes on the new lattice, using bleachers_cutout_front.gif and these attributes.











This rotates the two lattices correctly, in relation to each other. Because lattices are mirrored, we are only using half the cutout lattice, so it needs to be twice as deep. The cutout lattice's position is offset to center the cutout middle over the solid lattice's front edge.
 
Step 12 - Group and Render
 
Select both lattices and group them. Change the material and/or resize the group.











Render. The bleachers can now be converted to a boolean and then added as an object to the library.











Some Additional Exercises:



Make stairs for the bleachers by altering the Cutout terrain canvas.

Create raised arms for chairs on the benches.

Create text that is raised on the back board, not cut through.

Experiment with anti-aliased (softened) text.

Make bleachers connected at an angle.

Try making bookshelves and other 3D objects that would normally be made using 

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