Ambient Occlusion Effect – A Quick And Easy Solution
Ambient occlusion can add awesome realism to your renders, but it can also be bit tedious to set up in Max, especially if you are using say a mix of mental ray shaders and standard shaders. You can also create an ambient occlusion effect by using lights, although this can be slow to render and tricky to get right. If you just want a fast way to do this, just use a material override in your render options and voila – it’s super quick and will give you the added bonus of having the ambient occlusion in a separate pass. As such you will be able to adjust and manipulate as much as you like without affecting the rest of your render.
The following is a tutorial using 3ds Max 2011 and Photoshop CS5 on how to get the ambient occlusion effect easily. Although earlier versions should work, there might be slight differences in interface.
First: Create your Mental Ray Material. Make sure you have assigned mental ray in your Render Setup menu
Then open your Material Editor (press M) and select an empty material slot. Give it a new name, like “AO material” and click the Standard button to select the mental ray shader in the Material/Map Browser (see below image)
Now you will see the mental ray shader. Under Basic Shaders click the Surface parameter and select Ambient/Reflective Occlusion in the Material/Map Browser (as seen below)
Why use Ambient Occlusion?
The following video is another short clip on how to do ambient occlusion simply
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