Stephanie Magleby, Fall 2010
Bryce is a three-dimensional computer modeling program that uses fractal
geometries to provide lush textural elements. It was named after the fantastic
geology of Bryce Canyon, and was first introduced in 1994 as a background
generator used primarily to create mountains and coastlines. Gradually the
program expanded to include skies, then better light and shadow effects, then
trees and finally people. Recent developments include ʻcamera-eyeʼ animation
Bryce has been bought and sold and housed under several different company
names. It sat dormant on the shelf for a few years after being purchased by
Corel in 2001. Since DAZ3D purchased it in 2005 it has seen a resurgence in
The Creators of Bryce3D are three extraordinary men: Dr. Forest
Kenton "Ken" Musgrave (aka Doc Mojo), Eric Wengel and Kai Krause. All three
men are innovators whose passions and careers have spanned multiple
Ken Musgrave studied fractal geometry under Benoit Mandelbrot at Yale
University. He brought his understanding and expertise about the fractal nature
of nature to the Bryce3D program. He has since gone on to work in several
varied professions. In the movie industry, he provided special effects for films
like Titanic and Apollo 13. He was a professor at George Washington University.
He continues his work with fractals as a fractal artist. Currently he is CEO/CTO
of Pandromeda, Inc which is a Bryce3D competitor and . . . he is a real estate
agent in West Virginia.
His website http://www.kenmusgrave.com/ must be seen to be believed. It is a
wild juxtapostion of acid colors and shapes and bucolic vistas of West Virginia.
Eric Wengerʼs career has been spent bending the boundaries between
computer, art and music. Besides cofounding the Bryce parent company
MetaCreations along with Doc Mojo and Kai Krause, Eric also founded The Bryce
Forum Gallery and U&I Software LLC.
Using U&I software called MetaSynth, Eric has generated two music CDs:
Spectrum Scapes and Metatech. The music is created by cybernetically
generating textures and forms with Bryce. These spatial algorithms are then are
fed into a sound mixer to turn the visual images into music.
Kai Krause was born in Dortmund, Germany, and has worked extensively in
both the computer programming and music recording industries. He began his
career working with early vocoders and synthesizers and went on to found
MetaCreations Corp along with Eric Wenger and Ken Musgrave. He was an
early pioneer of such applications as soft shadows, rounded corners and
translucency. Applications he has been directly responsible for include Live
Picture, KPT Bryce and KPT Convolver, Kaiʼs Power Show/Power Tools/Power
Goo/Photo Soap and Poser.
Kai currently lives in a 1000-year old castle new Bonn, which he calls Byteburg.
His personal website is banned by BYU.
An example of a Bryce application is the Advanced Product
Development Laboratory at Brigham Young University. This research lab,
headed by Jordan Cox and hosted by the mechanical engineering department,
uses Bryce as a repository and showcase for student solid modeling computer
projects of all levels. Upon ʻenteringʼ the website, one becomes an avatar,
strolling through a gallery complete with futuristic modern art sculptures, a shiny
spiral staircase and skylights. Framed ʻpicturesʼ hang on the walls, some of
which are themselves 3d models that can be manipulated. There are doorways
and alcoves leading off to areas devoted to different classes and semesters.
Here are examples of some of the images on the walls.