I've come to enjoy using Bryce 4, but there are some pretty bad limitations to it. Specifically:

  • No object deformers in the modeller. This means that objects cannot be modified either topologically or volumetrically (including meshes). Therefore, the water, while realistic in stills, cannot move in animations the way real water does.
  • In other modellers, when you do a boolean transform, the negative object disappears after modifying the positive object. Not so in Bryce. The negative sticks around, and causes severe file bloat. I've got bryce files that are 90MB in size that would be significantly smaller if the damn negative objects would go bye bye.
  • No particle system. Therefore, no realistic rain or snow.

So why do I keep using it? The modeller interface is really easy to learn and use. Sometimes it is a bit simple and cannot jump through the hoops I want it to, but that is usually offset by its simplicity. As a result, it's a great tool to start with if you are new to raytracing. It is the first raytracer that I mastered. (That's probably why I still use it today!)