Easy-to-follow video tutorials help you learn software, creative, and business skills.Become a member

Overview of ambient occlusion and specularity

From: Game Prop Creation in Maya

Video: Overview of ambient occlusion and specularity

In this chapter I'll look at Ambient Occlusion and Specularity as a way to add realism and detail to a model. We can model high-res objects and use the occlusion from them on low-res pieces to look like they have more detail. In previous videos, I have painted in things like rust and dirt and wear, such as on the gas pump and tools. In this video, I'm going to take things like my shutter here and my Toolbox that's missing its handle and use the Ambient Occlusion as a foundation for dirt and rust. I'll do this in two different ways.

Overview of ambient occlusion and specularity

In this chapter I'll look at Ambient Occlusion and Specularity as a way to add realism and detail to a model. We can model high-res objects and use the occlusion from them on low-res pieces to look like they have more detail. In previous videos, I have painted in things like rust and dirt and wear, such as on the gas pump and tools. In this video, I'm going to take things like my shutter here and my Toolbox that's missing its handle and use the Ambient Occlusion as a foundation for dirt and rust. I'll do this in two different ways.

For the Toolbox I'm going to put a ground plane under it and render the occlusion into the UVs. What we will get there is black on the bottom, which is okay, but more importantly, occlusion that rises up the sides of this Toolbox in a place that we naturally see rust if this was left out. For the shutter I have modeled a high-res shutter, and while the poly count on this is ridiculous to use in a game, it provides a terrific high-res source to bake occlusion. I can then put that occlusion onto a low- res box, and it will look like that shutter.

When I combine that with a Specular and Normal Map, in addition to the color, it's really going to look like a very nicely detailed piece. I'll begin with the shutter and a quick discussion of what ambient occlusion is. I'll select the Toolbox and press Ctrl+H to Hide it. I'll pick my shutter and press F to zoom in. I'm going to put a new material on here, so I can show the occlusion looks like. We'll do this through the Batch Bake and mental ray usually, but I'd like to be able to show occlusion and the parameters before I get into that. I'm going to assign here a new material.

I'll put on a Surface Shader, and in that Surface Shader in the Out Color texture, I'll put in my occlusion, down under mental ray Textures is my mib_amb_occlusion. I'll pull up my IPR. I have turned on mental ray as a renderer and increased the antialiasing a bit, so it looks a little better. If you like to do this, you can go into the Render Settings into the Quality tab. Under Quality I have changed the Sampling mode from Adaptive to Custom, and put the samples from 0 to 1. This way every pixel gets at least one sample and at most four.

When I click and drag a region in IPR, it starts to render, and I get a pretty good look at my occlusion. What we are seeing here is that the Bright color, where there is no occlusion on an object is expressed as white. Dark colors, where bounced light is fully blocked by adjacent objects is black and between there is a gray. As on the slats here, we can see that there is some bounce light blocked, more importantly we can really tell that it makes the detail pop out. We get of very good idea of how this is going to look in shade. In occlusion, the main things to concern ourselves with are Samples.

The number of Samples is the quality setting. More samples means fewer dots in the occlusion. I'll put this up to 128, so it's really smooth. It will take a sec and refresh that IPR, and now my occlusion is smooth as it renders. I have also got a Max Distance and Spread. Max Distance is the distance apart at which objects stop occluding. A Max Distance of 0 is a special case, meaning that everybody participates. Objects no matter how far apart occlude each other.

This is good in some places, such as buildings against each other outside. But for things like the shutter, it may cast a gray in places I don't want. This is the reason to model things in real scale. In this way the Max Distance in seeing units lets me specify where the occlusion sits, either gently grounding objects, or adding a heavy gravity in the corners. I'll put my Max Distance up to 2 and see what the difference is. With the Max Distances at 2, my shutter looks clearer.

The edges, although they're aliasing somewhat, are brighter and whiter and the occlusion really just sits down in the corners of the slats here and up on the edges. This might be a better choice if I need a lighter looking render. I'm going to bring this back down to 1 and then get ready to bake this. As a quick experiment at 1, it feels like I'm losing too much of my occlusion, what I'm seeing here is that I'm losing so much of the detail where it goes all white. Now in a game, I'm going to bake this in a flat render, so I shouldn't lose too much, but I'd like to have a little more shading on the surface, as if this is set out and gotten dirty over time.

I'll bring this Max Distance back up and just kind of test out and see if it looks good. Now I'm ready to bake and here's how I'll make this work. I have demoed the occlusion using a Surface Shader, but really I'm going to take this and turn it back to lambert 1, I will render with ambient occlusion like that. That is what we use in movies. That's how we make things sit down in a scene and have characters ground. For a game we need to bake this occlusion. I'll right-click and assign my existing lambert 1 material.

What I'm going to do is to take a box of this exact size, unwrap it and then map half the shutter to get the occlusion bake correctly. I'll start out with a Poly Cube. I'm going to make a high poly and low poly shutter here. I'll draw my box in, and I remember the dimensions. This box started out at a Width of 18, Height of 36, and a Depth of 1.25. I'll hit Enter, and there's my new box.

I'm going to position this over the old one, selecting it and using my Align tool. I'll get it on the center by zooming in. With the occlusion low poly in place, I'm ready to bake. What I'll do in the next videos, then, is unwrap this low poly and set it up so the occlusion from the high bakes into the UV space of the low, adding more detail to what looks like a flat box.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for Game Prop Creation in Maya
Game Prop Creation in Maya

90 video lessons · 6384 viewers

Adam Crespi
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 7m 22s
    1. Welcome
      43s
    2. Using the exercise files
      1m 35s
    3. What you should know before watching this course
      23s
    4. Setting up the workflow
      4m 41s
  2. 46m 16s
    1. Overview of modeling a large prop and planning for modular textures and models
      6m 53s
    2. Blocking out the overall form
      6m 14s
    3. Adding curved panels
      3m 26s
    4. Rounding the corners
      6m 46s
    5. Unwrapping the face frame
      6m 39s
    6. Unwrapping the sides
      5m 8s
    7. Moving and sewing UVs
      5m 23s
    8. Laying out the UV coordinates
      5m 47s
  3. 1h 50m
    1. Overview of the texturing process and PSD networks
      4m 43s
    2. Creating a bump map for the sides
      10m 55s
    3. Adding details to the bump map
      8m 6s
    4. Drawing the bump map for the front
      7m 51s
    5. Adding details to the panels
      7m 45s
    6. Painting the diffuse texture and planning the layers
      3m 35s
    7. Painting the base coat and the logo
      5m 24s
    8. Adding labels and other markings
      10m 45s
    9. Adding soft rust
      8m 32s
    10. Adding rust bubbles
      8m 58s
    11. Setting up a library of gas pump textures
      6m 40s
    12. Painting dirt and rust variations
      5m 23s
    13. Weathering away the paint
      5m 1s
    14. Converting bump maps to normal maps
      5m 36s
    15. Testing the maps
      11m 8s
  4. 1h 28m
    1. Overview of modeling small props
      1m 59s
    2. Modeling a sledgehammer
      6m 11s
    3. Modeling a pry bar
      6m 26s
    4. Adding detail and hardening edges
      5m 28s
    5. Unwrapping as part of building a texture sheet for small tools
      8m 27s
    6. Modeling a metal ladder
      8m 51s
    7. Unwrapping and cloning
      8m 46s
    8. Placing the clean texture
      8m 39s
    9. Laying out a texture sheet for multiple tools
      8m 37s
    10. Painting rusty steel
      7m 46s
    11. Adding dirt and wear
      5m 42s
    12. Planning for optimal texture usage
      7m 37s
    13. Painting dirt and age variations
      3m 42s
  5. 1h 45m
    1. Modeling furniture using simple parts and reusable textures
      2m 53s
    2. Planning and analyzing the modeling of a chair
      4m 56s
    3. Blocking out the basic form
      8m 24s
    4. Adding detail and softening edges
      6m 42s
    5. Refining the silhouette
      12m 9s
    6. Blocking out the form of a round chair
      7m 39s
    7. Adding detail and softening the edges of a round chair
      5m 20s
    8. Unwrapping as part of building a texture sheet for furniture
      14m 36s
    9. Planning the modeling of a table
      3m 14s
    10. Blocking out the basic table form
      4m 41s
    11. Adding legs to the table
      7m 6s
    12. Breaking up the model for texturing
      7m 55s
    13. Laying out the wood texture
      9m 29s
    14. Reusing parts to make a round table
      10m 12s
  6. 39m 23s
    1. Understanding the importance of painting textures from scratch
      2m 9s
    2. Creating the initial grain lines
      4m 43s
    3. Adding value variation across the grain
      2m 22s
    4. Warping the grain
      2m 50s
    5. Adding knots
      4m 27s
    6. Colorizing the grain and planning for stains
      6m 53s
    7. Cutting out boards for a UV layout
      5m 26s
    8. Adding patina and wear to a final texture
      10m 33s
  7. 1h 2m
    1. Understanding the importance of a low poly count
      4m 46s
    2. Overview of normal maps
      9m 26s
    3. Overview of the high-poly projection pipeline
      3m 10s
    4. Planning the UV space for projection
      5m 29s
    5. Working with hard edges and subdividing
      7m 22s
    6. Adding details by beveling and extruding
      6m 50s
    7. Fixing geometry
      7m 39s
    8. Using the Sculpt Geometry tool and soft selection to add dents
      9m 32s
    9. Baking the high-poly model onto the low-poly model to produce a normal map
      8m 21s
  8. 51m 4s
    1. Overview of Mudbox
      4m 26s
    2. Preparing for a smooth export to Mudbox
      7m 43s
    3. Importing from Mudbox: Choosing the right resolution
      5m 9s
    4. Using the sculpt tools
      8m 30s
    5. Painting
      8m 58s
    6. Exporting paint layers from Mudbox
      1m 35s
    7. Extracting and exporting a normal map from Mudbox
      6m 2s
    8. Importing and assigning objects and maps in Unity
      8m 41s
  9. 41m 4s
    1. Overview of ambient occlusion and specularity
      5m 55s
    2. Setting up ambient occlusion as a texture
      7m 3s
    3. Using ambient occlusion as a foundation for dirt
      6m 44s
    4. Using ambient occlusion as a foundation for rust
      10m 5s
    5. Painting a specular map
      6m 48s
    6. Streamlining the import process: Placing maps in the right channels
      4m 29s
  10. 21m 46s
    1. Overview of importing into Unity
      3m 15s
    2. Preparing and exporting props to Unity
      7m 54s
    3. Cloning props in Unity with different looks
      5m 21s
    4. Adding lights to test smoothing and textures
      5m 16s
  11. 22s
    1. Next steps
      22s

Start learning today

Get unlimited access to all courses for just $25/month.

Become a member
Sometimes @lynda teaches me how to use a program and sometimes Lynda.com changes my life forever. @JosefShutter
@lynda lynda.com is an absolute life saver when it comes to learning todays software. Definitely recommend it! #higherlearning @Michael_Caraway
@lynda The best thing online! Your database of courses is great! To the mark and very helpful. Thanks! @ru22more
Got to create something yesterday I never thought I could do. #thanks @lynda @Ngventurella
I really do love @lynda as a learning platform. Never stop learning and developing, it’s probably our greatest gift as a species! @soundslikedavid
@lynda just subscribed to lynda.com all I can say its brilliant join now trust me @ButchSamurai
@lynda is an awesome resource. The membership is priceless if you take advantage of it. @diabetic_techie
One of the best decision I made this year. Buy a 1yr subscription to @lynda @cybercaptive
guys lynda.com (@lynda) is the best. So far I’ve learned Java, principles of OO programming, and now learning about MS project @lucasmitchell
Signed back up to @lynda dot com. I’ve missed it!! Proper geeking out right now! #timetolearn #geek @JayGodbold
Share a link to this course

What are exercise files?

Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course. Save time by downloading the author's files instead of setting up your own files, and learn by following along with the instructor.

Can I take this course without the exercise files?

Yes! If you decide you would like the exercise files later, you can upgrade to a premium account any time.

Become a member Download sample files See plans and pricing

Please wait... please wait ...
Upgrade to get access to exercise files.

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Learn by watching, listening, and doing, Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along Premium memberships include access to all exercise files in the library.


Exercise files

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

For additional information on downloading and using exercise files, watch our instructional video or read the instructions in the FAQ .

This course includes free exercise files, so you can practice while you watch the course. To access all the exercise files in our library, become a Premium Member.

Join now Already a member? Log in

Are you sure you want to mark all the videos in this course as unwatched?

This will not affect your course history, your reports, or your certificates of completion for this course.


Mark all as unwatched Cancel

Congratulations

You have completed Game Prop Creation in Maya.

Return to your organization's learning portal to continue training, or close this page.


OK
Become a member to add this course to a playlist

Join today and get unlimited access to the entire library of video courses—and create as many playlists as you like.

Get started

Already a member ?

Become a member to like this course.

Join today and get unlimited access to the entire library of video courses.

Get started

Already a member?

Exercise files

Learn by watching, listening, and doing! Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along. Exercise files are available with all Premium memberships. Learn more

Get started

Already a Premium member?

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Ask a question

Thanks for contacting us.
You’ll hear from our Customer Service team within 24 hours.

Please enter the text shown below:

The classic layout automatically defaults to the latest Flash Player.

To choose a different player, hold the cursor over your name at the top right of any lynda.com page and choose Site preferences from the dropdown menu.

Continue to classic layout Stay on new layout
Exercise files

Access exercise files from a button right under the course name.

Mark videos as unwatched

Remove icons showing you already watched videos if you want to start over.

Control your viewing experience

Make the video wide, narrow, full-screen, or pop the player out of the page into its own window.

Interactive transcripts

Click on text in the transcript to jump to that spot in the video. As the video plays, the relevant spot in the transcript will be highlighted.

Are you sure you want to delete this note?

No

Your file was successfully uploaded.

Thanks for signing up.

We’ll send you a confirmation email shortly.


Sign up and receive emails about lynda.com and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

Keep up with news, tips, and latest courses with emails from lynda.com.

Sign up and receive emails about lynda.com and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

   
submit Lightbox submit clicked
Terms and conditions of use

We've updated our terms and conditions (now called terms of service).Go
Review and accept our updated terms of service.