Saturday, July 26, 2008

Ambient Occlusion

I actually wanted to get started on the car, but got sidetracked because I got curious about ambient occlusion all of a sudden. So I decided to research on what exactly ambient occlusion is and played around in Maya by doing a simple logo animation of Digimator's Renders. Yes, it's pretty lame right now, but I guess it can do for a test render.

Render time was pretty expensive. I turned on final gather and global illumination. Approximately 5 minutes per frame. The animation is being rendered at the moment. I'll upload as soon as it's done.

Truthfully, my research on ambient occlusion seemed pretty complex to me. However, I did get one thing right out of it - photorealism. Ambient occlusion can be pretty useful when doing visual effects - CG compositing with live action. It plays a great part in photorealism in that it gives very soft, diffused shadows and very dark shading when corners meet. From what I understand through my experimentation, I think that ambient occlusion is another way of defining soft, diffused, realistic shadows. I may be wrong. I definitely plan to explore in depth on this matter, and how to use it through Pixar's RenderMan.

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