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Ambient Occlusion Tutorial.


bird rendering by solo2designLindsay Kerr of Solo2design has produced an example walk through of Ambient Occlusion rendering in Blender.

Available as a pdf from the Solo2design website it walks through the effect of various settings and is a great step towards understanding how to use Ambient Occlusion in blender.

Lindsay says this about the tutorial:

This is my first real attempt at writing a tutorial or something that resembles a tutorial. The subject is Ambient Occlusion, and its really aimed at the beginner while avoiding those big words. I havent actually got a link on my site yet because its due for a overhaul, so cgtalk has the first look."

Find the pdf here.

Lets hope Lindsay does a tutorial on the excellent bird render shown above.


  1. Very simple but cool tutorial :-D

    Maybe it's more a clarification of the AO possibilities for rendering than a Tut.
    I think it's very interesting and well done, because there in the wiki isn't a lot of pratical information to use and undestanding the AO.

    Anyway, IMHO, the Blender internal renderer must, one day, to be able to do some GI, it's very important for the internal possibilities and Blender itself.

    My 0,02

  2. Cool! Gonna tjeck it out... love ambient occlosien.. :D

    oh and please remove that Flash tutorial thing!!!!!! pleeaase

  3. Hi!

    Good tutorial !

    After 2 years using Blender, I have finally understood what the Amb slider was used for. Shame on me !o)

    Thank you Lindsay!


  4. To all you guys complaining that there is no GI in Blender:
    There is GI in Blender! What else do you call Radiosity? GI is just a general term for all techniques using indirect lighting. Maybe you guys mean OTHER GI techneques like path tracing, photon caching etc?

  5. Well... I don't know... The tut tells nothing really new (well it's almost the same information as on the blender website). And the screenshots can't be read because the resolution is too low.

    Perhaps for a beginner it's useful, but for people who already played around with AO, it's nothing new...

  6. Thanks for the great info - helps a lot! I'm wondering how he got the glowing edges where the light is really bright in that bird image (the brightness "spill-over"). Is that post-processing with photoshop or is that some kind of setting you can turn on in blender?

  7. @Toontje

    You are right about GI and Radiosity. I thought of it also.

    I must add something : There is also a built-in DOF feature since we have the node compositor.

    It is possible to set min and max distances for the blur filter, and get a good depth of field effect !

    It is not very progressive, but a better effect can be achieve using several blur filter nodes.

    I have no example file, because I have just played a bit with it, but it works well.


  8. I really dont like the way blender handles dof through the node editor, yafray has a loveley system why not code a similar one for blender?

  9. Toontje, You could probably call radiosity GI, but it doesn't have many of the features that people have come to expect from GI these days, like caustics. Blender's radiosity is also nearly useless apart from very specific tasks, and flickers terribly in animation :)

  10. This Pdf of Lindsay was greatly usefull to enlight some shadows I had in my head about some AO option. ( as Roubal for ambiant button, lol : me too ! ) Thanks !

    Roubal : ( about DOF discution )
    When I work on my " Little Fairy" I try a lot to have a good DOF with BlenderInternal, it's possible in still image, but after all my test the DOF couldn't be effective in animation ( camera mouvement ). Cause it's to hard with the Node editor to get a focal point during mouvement. (method based on selecting a part of the Z layer with a gradient gradient and apply a blur on it, this for hight Z value[simulate front of camera] and low Z value[simulate far object from camera] or inverse :-) )
    Only way I found, to glue a blured picture on the back/and some alpha *.PNG picture on the front to get the trick during a travelling from left to right... No camera rotation possible :-D

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