It would be nice for cycles to have something similar to direct lighting/ambient occlusion module like in octane. Particulary great feature for simple animations, outdoor renders maybe? In the devs corner of wiki section there is something mentioned about ao implementation into cycles but I wonder if it’s to be expected in the near future or rather like a distant possibility.
if you follow the feature list link you can see it first on the list of big features:
There is a direct light preset which will give you essentially the occlusion caused by the geometry towards the light, I think that’s the same as in octane, isn’t it?
Then there’s ambient occlusion which is not affected by lights at all but rather you sample at every point for all possible directions whether there is any other geometry within a certain vicinity (which is controllable).
That sort of “classic” controllable occlusion is what is on TODO.
it struck me now that i can always combine ao from bi with cycles direct lighting preset in compositor - hope this will be a solution for the time being
Check last builds, they have added ambient occlusion for cycles (not BI) in the world panel.
I’ve been making some tests and I still think this new AO is not as fast as it should be, considering that a small “distance” should really speed up render because when you use a very small distance there’s a large area on the screen where there’s no need to calculate AO. That pixels should be marked on the fist pass as “heey! no need to calculate AO for this pixel on this frame! skip!”
Ooh! and… It still needs falloff option. And for now it just adds light. There’s no option to choose to “add” or “multiply”… That would be great! But it’s already great to have AO without having to go BI.
I believe there is no possible way currently to code in AO multiply into the image instead of adding… the only way to multiply is to use the node editor… Brecht made a mailing list post i believe about this…
TS1234 did some cycles optimizations that are yet to make it into the trunk, will probably come in 2.64… from memory…it gave options to allow more and less priority to certain objects / materials / layers…