Abuse of AO

Ok I have a question. Why does everyone get so pissed and stressed out when people use AO. Where does anyone have the right to say there is a right time and a wrong time to use it. I could see where you get a little aggrivated because their to lazy to work on lighting, but if so gripe them out for lazy, not for using AO. And how do you know if they didn’t add other light sources besides AO. I have seen work that was looked down up on just because they used AO, but they also had other light sources…I mean, people gripe about using it on a work in progress, but if its a work in progress and they don’t feel like working on the lighting yet, then its a short cut. I mean, correct me if im wrong please. I would just like to know when its alright to use AO, cause im stumped.

I don’t think it’s because they think they are lazy on the lighting…but more on a realistic purpose.

Sometimes, AO is simply not adequate for a scene.

Remember that AO is like global illumination that fake the bouncing light that hit the different objects of a scene and this, lighting dark area under and object…well it’s something like this.

So, let think of a scene in space…wouldn’t it be totally useless to have AO enabled? sure it would be since light have nothing to bounce against…except the spaceship itself…

I think what isn’t right, is using AO just because it’s new and it looks cool. I’m ok with people using it in wip progress because they don’t have much time to put on the lighting…but in a finished project, sometimes it’s just not adequate I think…

maybe I’m all wrong…

If you use just AO you’re going to get very flat lighting, you’re going to get nice ‘occlusion’ shadows, no directional shadows, no specular highlights, no hint of real lightsource, etc. etc. AO also kills a lot of texture work (by itself) depending on the kind of texture used.
Some of this is lessened/imporved by use of image map/angmaps, but without hdri support “just” doing this is not alone enough to light properly. And you still don’t get proper shadows.
AO is a massive cheat, but then again any three d graphics is.
Personally I love AO. but typically I set the distance low and use other lights in the scene. The result doesn’t have so much that AO look, but is still better than straight render.
For my next short I have in mind a lighting setup much, much more complicated, that involves compositing and spliting of foreground/background rendering. But you won’t see this for a while (the next short I post in august will be much simpler)

Combined with other light sources I can’t see why anyone would get angry.
Ambient Occlusion looks fine even in space scenes as long as there are other more powerful light sources.

I’d argue ambient occusion on space ships would do a better job of simulating dirt [it is a space ship, how does it collect dirt?] than proper lighting

[in addition, most space ships seen in movies are models lit by more than a single nearly-point light source. AO would make lighting like seen on those models more achiveable]

personally I think AO can make the fine details of a model clearly visible and is good for previews for that reason. I wouldn’t have to muck around with lighting making sure the details are visible…

[if only AO could be baked easily at the vertex level in blender. Then I could render the vertex colors of a high poly mesh to a texture of a low poly mesh [using [ur=“http://www.soclab.bth.se/practices/orb.html”]ORB[/orb] for example, which could make texture painting that much easier]

AO replaces everything, just press AO and you have an awsome image regardless of anything else.

i think its the best thing is slicded bread using the knife tool.


what are you talking about? I’ve never seen somone being judged in this forum for using only AO. Show me an example.

Ive seen other topics that comment about using AO, but here is what sparked this topic:

I was thinking about it, and then I read this so I though I would post about it.


Those are the comments that started this topic, because I read them today…and was in the mood to start a topic about it.

AO also takes too long.

Also, it’s pretty grainy :frowning: .


I was thinking about it, and then I read this so I though I would post about it.


Those are the comments that started this topic, because I read them today…and was in the mood to start a topic about it.[/quote]

Well, if you ask me and with all do respect, they are quit right.

isn’t the quote saying during modelling etc don’t use AO for pre-veiwing, only on final render, otherwise you’ll be sitting there wanking over the AO effect instead of working on your scene?
ie added another detail…“oooh nice” fap fap fap… instead of “item placement is correct, now to improve details etc” blend, blend, blend?

r2blend wrote
![Also, it’s pretty grainy ](Also, it’s pretty grainy )
just turn up the samples…which will take slightly longer :stuck_out_tongue:

I think that it’s okay to use AO … depending on the scene … When I use AO … I usually add multiple lights… cause anyone can notice (like stated earlier) AO lighting only is too flat… and in my opinion doesn’t cut it at all…

I think it really depends on what your rendering, I mean of course it does. But say you were doing an abstract piece where shading wasn’t important, then you could use AO only because you like the effect, and the atmosphere it creates. But if you were doing some realistic scene where shading and such was important then you would not want to use it…or you would use it with other light sources.

…or to a texture map directly… That would really rock. One could then easily edit the resulting texture, blur the AO artifacts and paint better textures :slight_smile:

I havent seen anyone ourtright angry, but I will admit that most ppl that use AO dont really seem to know how to use it in an effective way.

AO by itself is flat and moodless, fine for test renders that are meant to show models and their details. Otherwise, it just looks like an overcast day or like the person lighting the scene recently found the AO button.

AO can be ‘abused’ just like reflections or refractions. Its a matter of knowing when to use them and to what degree.

I would agree, but isn’t it up to the artist and what they are trying to achieve? I just don’t see why alot of people assume that just because someone uses AO they deserve to be bashed. Im not saying many people do that, but some do. I understand where you are coming from, I just think if people have a problem with it they could comment as if giving advice. There is no point in being rude about it. I mean I have seen some people only post about there being AO in the scene, and thats it. And the render was great with AO, I saw no problem with it. But once again, this is all my own opinion :stuck_out_tongue:


:smiley: :smiley: :smiley: :smiley: :smiley: :smiley:


When AO is used right you can barely tell it’s there. Just lower the intensity, use and lower the distence and raise the samples.

I dont nkow that it has so much to do with 'what the artist(I use the term losely) wants to acheive" so much as it has to do with a noob that doesnt know how to make the most of a neat feature.

Naturally, this abuse is justified by the ‘artist’ (loosely used again) by saying ‘Oh…yeah…tahts the look i was going for…’

I notice that the more respected and talented blender users (real artists) do not use AO so bloody blatently. They use it to ADD to the peice, instead of overwhelm the peice with noobular nonsense.

Like I said, I dont get mad or even terribly annoyed with this sort of thing. However, claiming that AO isnt being abused would be wrong to do.