'3D Studio Max'

'Fast Ambient Occlusion in 3ds Max'

by Tom Isaksen

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).

3d studio max, fast, ambient, occlusion, mapping, techniques, photoshop


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).

3d studio max, fast, ambient, occlusion, mapping, techniques, photoshop

The final result can be seen in Fig.11.

3d studio max, fast, ambient, occlusion, mapping, techniques, photoshop

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

Thanks for reading!

3d studio max, fast, ambient, occlusion, mapping, techniques, photoshop

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"Creating and texturing a football / soccer ball using 3dsmax" by Themis Benetatos
Several people have asked me how they could texture a football generated with my Football Ball Maker script.
The first, and ugly option, would be to flatten the UVs in an unwrap modifier and then texture it in a 3D painting
software like Mudbox/Bodypaint etc. The second option would be to create a low poly ball, unwrap it and then
generate a normal map for the patches from the high poly model.

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An in-depth tutorial about how to create the Weighted Companion cube featured in Valve’s game Portal using
Autodesk 3D Studio Max.

Your rating:  
  Rating: 3.76, Votes: 21 
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
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.
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.
Grant Salisbury on Mon, 28 January 2013 2:13am

A great way to do this quickly is to use this script.
Quick Passes
Great for quick mattes and lighting as well as ao passes.
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: [email protected]
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.


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.
Mick on Sun, 24 November 2013 8:41pm

Great...thanks for this.
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 ;)
Anoop Eapen on Tue, 28 October 2014 2:55pm

Dear, pls give the 3ds max system requirement pls send me
Ariespranata on Tue, 11 November 2014 3:16am

Hi, this is a very nice tutorial. Btw, I've spent a little time and creating a script that will do exactly the same as what you're doing in this tutorial. Take a look: http://www.ariespranata.com/2014/11/freebies-maxscript-rendering-ao-pass.html

Nice thing about this script is, when you run the script, it will render the AO pass and leave your scene as if nothing happened. :)

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