Why are people using Ambient Occlusion

Like the title says, why are people using ambient occlusion in their renders… I’ve notice a lot of people doing that now… I must know why…

Put your hand on a table.
Look at the edge that is getting closer to the table’s surface.
You notice that it is getting darker and darker.

The same thing is doing Ambient Occlusion.
It fakes real lighting by utilizing the raytracer.
Wth more real ligthing you get more realistic pictures.
That’s it.

Compares this picture, whcih was made without AO:

to this one which was made with AO:

You will defenitly rate the second being more realistic

That’s like asking why people use raytracing or area lamps.

Because it improves light accuracy and realsim.

I think he means that he notices that more people are now trying out the AO feature, in Blender. Lately there has been a lot of posts with AO.

The answer is. “Because”. That’s it. That’s the answer. The current surge of AO users will fall soon, and shortly they will discover that YafRay is the next step to explore.

Seriously, my quick analysis is that Blender has more exposure and popularity than ever. People are cranking out some pretty good renderings. Other people see this and give Blender a try too, which explains the surge of so many new users. Now, like most people do, they try a computer program (like Blender) and experiment with it and get comfortable. All of those complicated buttons become less complicated and they become brave enough to try new features, such as AO.

My prediction is another surge of YafRay renderings will follow, from the the former AO users.

im new to blender so dont blow up on me for asking this… can u use AO w/ yafray? if not whats the yafray ‘equivelant’?

Using yafray with Global Illumination gives even better and slower results.

Yafray uses AO when using Skydome GI. It will include AO no matter what when using any kind of GI, just Full will also include a number of other lighting techniques. Now, It’s not as dark (shadow dirt shader) as what Blender seems to produce I’ve noticed.

Actually… I’ll second that query. Like all statements above: I can understand the theory behind using it, but all I see on these posts (forgive my ignorance) is pics rendered as if they’ve been given a heavy film grain.

Just because people wont ramp the samples up for the final pic, doesn’t mean AO produces grainy pics, it just means people are impatient. I tend to keep the samples low for speed when testing, then hit the samples right up when rendering the final piece.

AO is vital in some cases, eg areas with lots of dull lighting, overcast outdoor scenes, and many others. In these situations there are no direct shadows.

I agree, AO is used too often improperly, or in situations that don’t warrant it, but when used well it is not just effective, but essential.


I tried it!!!

Holy $h!t it’s awesome! I will put up renders when they’re complete. Have been working on a little project that has to look like a photoreal claymation. I decided to try out AO after I posted here, and…wow! I love how everything takes on a really soft quality. My characters and objects look like they were sculpted from latex. I can see how the closer object are to each other, the darker the shadows between them are. I must say, I have to crank the sampling up really high to get rid of most of the large grainy chunks, and leave it at a consistency that simply looks like film grain… but hey: I am now a fan of the AO.