In 1997, the software department of our local book store sold heavily discounted copies of the Raytracing program Bryce,
because they had accidentally ordered Mac versions and were selling only Windows software. I purchased a copy, not knowing what this
would get me into.
I had been making images of minimal surfaces the past year with Mathematica, and the 3D graphics of Mathematica could be first exported into Autocad DXF files, and then imported into Bryce.
Bryce is primarily a landscape renderer. The tools let you create terrains, and it comes with a sophisticated texture editor that lets you literally compose all kinds of textures for your objects.
Having abstract mathematical shapes in (somewhat) familiar landscapes seems to stretch our minds just right.
In 1997, computers were slow. Most images had to be rendered over night, to get screen filling sizes. And these were screens from 1997, too.
The user interface of Bryce (by Kai Krause and Eric Wenger) was revolutionary, and still leaves not much to be desired today. In 1999, Bryce reached its high point with a a vastly improved texture editor. Then the decline began. Fist, it was sold to Corel, and then to DAZ 3D.
The current version is Bryce 7, and does not work with recent Mac OS X versions. In runs under OS X.6, but is quite unstable, preventing me to rerender the old files to proper sizes.
This has been a lot of fun.