Interface's Ambient Occlusion


Is it just me, or does ambient occlusion seem to be a touch aggressive? It’s leading to very dark looking builds - far more so than I’m typically accustomed to seeing for AO effect.


Not just u , I thought it was suppose to be a post apocalyptic vision of the future where a man must survive on his wits in a dog eat dog everyone for them selves, gritty urban decay meets, oh lets say kittens kinda thing. would be nice to have a slider in the stack we could dial in the user oppression level?


Hi Omega, Judas,

We have been making changes to how the interface renderer handles lightmaps, in large part so we can bake ambient occlusion. Specifically, the render looks at the color channel and the ambient channel of the shader to evaluate the final illumination value.

Are you referring to a baked ambient occlusion or the realtime ambient occlusion feature? Also, what’s your current pipeline for generating textures.



I have been using Crazybump to spit out diffuse normal and spec maps and then tiling them across my models in Blender.
But as i’m sure @OmegaHeron can elaborate Blender and interface don’t play that nicely

I would prefer the game engine to handle shadows and ao ideally as next gen shouldn’t rely on baking in this stuff
oh would also love to be-able to make hdr maps and apply them to locations to customize the lighting…


Ok - without getting into specifics of a model being dark - lets look at this.

Ambient light = Global, AO = Off, Shadows = Off. My agent at 80M height.

Same starting conditions as above, but, Ambient Occlusion in Interface = On.

Notice everything is darker (and it’s much more apparent in world than in pictures.). Even the star field is attenuated with AO on. What is darkening the entire open to world scene area? I guess my point is… it’s not simply calculating an AO for occluded areas - it’s darkening the entire environment then further darkening actually occluded areas. This makes it a bit difficult to balance a texture bake setup to look decent with AO on and off.

Lets start from that point of the entire environment being darkened before getting into the insides of things.


Judas, Very cool. We’re targeting realtime AO and shadows. It’s IP.

Omega, Good example. I’ll share with our lighting guru, Sam.



Thanks @Ozan - just looking for a common sane starting point for least feature rich scene construction. I can create an environment for my specific build, but, I don’t think it would be wise to create custom lighting for say, a cabinet someone might buy for their home - thus need for a baseline to work from. Still unclear how that will work when someone has a combination of custom lightmap content and non, but that’s a discussion for another day.


That’s great. I would love to see support for baked AO.


Another point on this subject is quality of real time AO effect. It seems there’s a tradeoff in having a smooth/clean AO and hit to rendering time - I can burn GPU/CPU for an hour if I want to create my vision of a perfect/smooth/clean AO bake, and I prefer that method for building internal areas especially. Perhaps the real time AO will improve and exceed my expectations with yet to be seen updates, but, I can’t say I’m in love with the following look;

AO On - Lots of banding and general ugliness

AO Off

I have a very very light and smooth AO baked as can be seen about the stair steps.