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Fast Ambient Occlusion in 3ds Max

By Tom Isaksen
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(21 Votes)
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| 9 Comments
| Comments 9
Date Added: 16th November 2010
Software used:
3ds Max, Photoshop

Keep playing around with the values to get the quality you need. Add higher samples value to reduce grain, just keep in mind this increases render time. (Increase to 32, 64 or even 128). When you're happy with the result save the image and open it in Photoshop.

Step 3: Add AO Layer in Photoshop

To avoid the Ambient occlusion layer darkening your image in general, you might want to adjust the image levels (Ctrl + L) before you apply it to your picture. A quick auto adjust should do the trick (Fig.09).

185_tid_image_09.jpg
Fig. 09



Now all you have to do is to drag the Ambient Occlution Layer on top of your final render and choose Multiply. And voilà, you have Ambient Occlusion that was super quick to render with the added advantage of being easy to tweak and adjust (Fig.10).

185_tid_image_10.jpg
Fig. 10

The final result can be seen in Fig.11.

185_tid_image_11.jpg
Fig. 11

And for comparison, the render before Ambient Occlusion layer was applied (Fig.12).

Thanks for reading!

185_tid_image_12.jpg
Fig. 12




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Readers Comments (Newest on Top)
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(ID: 253998, pid: 0) Aily on Fri, 21 February 2014 7:06am
You can use mr AO shader on standart Omni light, but in it "advanced" rollout enable "ambient only" flag. And now any materials (not only mr) will be with AO. And you don't need photoshop anymore for this ;)
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(ID: 235779, pid: 0) Mick on Sun, 24 November 2013 8:41pm
Great...thanks for this.
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(ID: 235417, pid: 0) David on Fri, 22 November 2013 12:10pm
This is great to follow up for a quick 'render to texture', nothing wrong with it at all, even though it isn't 'physically accurate' and all that rubbish.
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(ID: 222498, pid: 0) Martin on Thu, 03 October 2013 12:15pm
Thank you for making this tutorial. I know it was not supposed to be a 100% accurate AO map, but it is absolutely perfect for a very quick way to get very nice results for quick proofing renders. Cheers Martin
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(ID: 203675, pid: 0) Merey on Sat, 22 June 2013 9:35pm
nice but how do you handle a;pha maps like leaves with this technique?pls if you know tell me: merey021@yahoo.com tanx
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(ID: 178697, pid: 0) Grant Salisbury on Mon, 28 January 2013 2:13am
A great way to do this quickly is to use this script. Quick Passes http://www.scriptspot.com/3ds-max/scripts/quick-passes Great for quick mattes and lighting as well as ao passes.
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(ID: 31457, pid: 0) Tim on Sun, 09 January 2011 11:00pm
also, you can disable final gather for your ambient occlusion pass, makes it at least slightly faster.
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(ID: 27523, pid: 0) Tom Isaksen on Wed, 17 November 2010 10:05am
Actually Vladimir, the point is to make it easy and quick, particular if you NOT just using Arch & Design shaders.. But you are right, it's not a physically correct Ambient Occlusion effect, and I suppose I could have stressed that more in the tutorial. So thanks for pointing it out.
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(ID: 27505, pid: 0) Vladimir Jankijevic on Tue, 16 November 2010 9:22pm
I'm sorry but if you've read that post by Master Zap, you'll see that your technique isn't quiet right and is missing the point of ambient occlusion. here is the link to the post: http://mentalraytips.blogspot.com/2008/11/joy-of-little-ambience.html
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