Passion is the singlemost word that best describes a Bryce enthusiast, and judging by the comments on this blog and the e-mails that I have received it on part 1 of my latest posting “Vue 8 – What Bryce 7 should have been…” it seems that that passion is still alive and living.

I have been with Bryce since the beginning, when it first was ported over to Windows back in 1997. It was as unstable as a Klingon female with PMS, slow as molasses, but it gave me access to the world of the 3D artist, and it was fun, and it still is fun!

So consider my previous posting as the lecherous fantasies of an old married pensioner: His wife is no longer the attractive, energetic girl he married, but is now a weathered old woman, wrinkled and somewhat slow and saggy in places, but she is a familiar comfort to him. It doesn’t disqualify him from looking at the young, flirtaceous models that pass him by in the streets. They look very pretty and remind him of a time long ago when he was attractive and active himself, but his thoughts always return to the familiar and faithful woman at his side!

Bryce is that faithful old woman – slow and saggy in places but still fun!

The program begs one to play and click and drag and use all manner of key-combos to discover “Easter Eggs” hidden in its musty old code. Take the “new” particle emitter for one. Pretty and exciting and hidden! From what I read up on various forums, the particle emitter has been there for a while but never “activated” – what a shame!

But be that as it may. Bryce still has a lot going for it. Price for one thing! The new version cost me less than $10 for the upgrade – complements of DAZ3D’s generousity, some forgotten vouchers and my Platinum Club.

Now look at Vue 8: Getting a good package like Esprit or Complete and you will get a fair amount of models included in the “Extras Disk”, some Atmospheres, Materials, and some Trees and Plants.  When you scroll through your oodles of Trees, for instance in Vue and choose one, the chances are you will be greeted by a message from Cornucopia3D (e-On ‘s store) saying that the tree you want has to be purchased from the Cornucopia Store.

When I encountered this for the first time (and being a faithful DAZ3D store frequenter) I proceeded to go to the store and see what the cost would be. Shock and horror. $14.95 for one tree!

OK, I thought, if a tree is expensive then perhaps I could create one from scratch using Vue’s tools. Sorry, you can tweak existing trees, but you cannot create one from scratch and what’s more you cannot export that “updated tree” into the SolidGrowth format. There are no tools for creating SolidGrowth pants from scratch inside Vue.

This is where Bryce (I should rather say DAZ3D) leaves Vue choking on its dust. Bryce and its library of extras is cheap enough to be accessible  to the hobbyist, the freelancer, the kid with the computer, the cashstrapped pensioner. The extra libraries are not expensive. I see whole forests (25 different trees) selling for under $7.00. Of course everybody has turn a profit, but e-On is way too expensive for me!

The other niggle I have with Vue is its poor support of OpenGL 2.1-capable video cards. If you have an NVidia graphics card you will have no problem, but if you dare to use a ATI graphics card (anything under a Radeon 4000 series) you are up the creek without a paddle! You will have to deactivate most of the OpenGL hardware settings like “background draw” and “antialiasing”  to prevent the program crashing and fall back to software OpenGL rendering. When I checked on the various Vue forums I see that this issue has been around since Vue 4 Esprit! That is an awfully long time to cut out 25% of the world’s desktop graphic cards.

So my flirting with Vue hasn’t been without its caveats. Vue 8 might be pretty and fast and oh-so-friendly, but she is a high maintenance model and can break your wallet with a wave of her expensively manicured hand!