UK - 01926 333777
ROI - 01 297 4440
Search
01926 333777
SOLIDWORKS Elite Specialists

SOLIDWORKS 2014 Hidden Gem - Ambient Occlusion Render

Thursday January 30, 2014 at 1:12pm
 
PhotoView 360 2014 added many new enhancements, one that wasn’t mentioned in the What’s New guide was Ambient Occlusion output.
 
Ambient occlusion allows you to visualise areas of a design where light struggles to reach and can be used either on its own as a alternative output style or to bring added depth in terms of shadows to your render.
 
First you have to turn the output of ambient occlusion on, this is on the Render Tools tab > Options.
Then tick ambient occlusion output. 
 
 
Right away you won’t notice any difference. However an extra output type will be available from the pull down at the top of the screen after a final render. It is usually set to “Final Colour Output” but you can choose Ambient Occlusion from the drop down. 
 
You can then save this out as an image file to be used for post processing. However note saving as a PNG does not work so you will have to use an alternative format such as JPEG then remove the background manually, you can use the alpha output  option on the same drop down to assist this.
 
The resulting image can then be combined with your final render in post process. The easiest method I have found is using an image editor, apply it as a layer on top of the original image.  Selecting the layer and changing the blending mode for that layer to “Multiply” or “Soft Light” gives the desired effect. 
 
Below is a comparison of the final render  with and without the ambient occlusion layer added:
 
Without Ambient Occulsion (click to download larger full resolution images)
 
 
 
With Ambient Occlusion
Notice how much darker the shadows are, and how details are brought out.  I've tried to exaggerate the effect here but you can adjust the opacity of the layer in your image editor to increase or lessen the effect.
 
 
An alternative use of ambient occlusion is to combine it with photographic renders, outline renders etc using layers in an image editior. E.g. 
 
By Alan Sweetenham
Applications Engineer
 

Related Blog Posts

Modelling an Archimedes' Screw
Archimedean screws are often referred to as “water screws” since they are commonly used to transport water between different heights. We often see some of our customers do screw feeders and we thought it may be beneficial to create a blog documenting...
How to Export Graphics and Logos from Adobe Illust
Our customer, Raymont-Osman Product Design, have put a quick and easy tutorial together to show how you can export graphics and logos from Adobe Illustrator into SOLIDWORKS. To find out more about Raymont-Osman Product Design visit their website: htt...
How to Create 360VR Video using SOLIDWORKS Visuali
Virtual Reality(VR) videos provide one of the most immersive methods of viewing a design concept and can be used to bring your product showcases to the next level. Recently VR has become a valuable tool for many companies when it comes to design revi...
Top