Ambient Occlusion

Ambient occlusion is a global lighting method that adds realism to models by controlling the attenuation of ambient light due to occluded areas.

Objects appear as they would on an overcast day.

Ambient occlusion is available in all scenes when you use RealView graphics.

RealView Graphics is only available with graphics cards that support RealView Graphics display.
The effects of ambient occlusion depend on other factors such as the nature of the model itself, the appearances you apply to the model, the scene, and the lighting. You might need to adjust some of these other variables to get the desired result.
  • Ambient occlusion often looks best on solid color or non-reflective surfaces. Highly reflective surfaces, in contrast, can diminish the shadows in occluded areas. However, the methods used to render ambient occlusion can sometimes result in artifacts, and these can be more visible on solid color surfaces.
  • Too many lights, or lighting that is too bright, might reduce the impact of ambient occlusion by hiding the shadows it creates.

You can use two different quality levels for ambient occlusion: draft and default. Draft displays models faster but with less visual fidelity.

To change the display quality level for Ambient Occlusion, click Tools > Options. On the System Options tab, click Display, then select or clear Display draft quality ambient occlusion.

To use ambient occlusion:

  1. Click View Settings Tool_View_Settings_Headsup_View.gif (Heads-up View toolbar) or View > Display, then click RealView Graphics.
  2. Click View Settings Tool_View_Settings_Headsup_View.gif (Heads-up View toolbar) or View > Display, then click Ambient Occlusion.

Ambient Occlusion Examples

Model with solid color surfaces Model with appearances
aoexample_solid_before.png aoexample_appearances_before.png
Ambient Occlusion off
aoexample_solid_default.png aoexample_appearances_default.png
Ambient Occlusion on and using default quality
aoexample_solid_draft.png aoexample_appearances_draft.png
Ambient Occlusion on and using draft quality