3DS Max 2012, 'best' lighting for AO?

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  01 January 2013
3DS Max 2012, 'best' lighting for AO?

Hey all,

Any suggestions for the best lighting / renderer for Ambient Occlusion maps? Mental Ray or Scanline?

I am finding that just one SkyLight in a scene with Scanline doesnt do the job, yet all of the tutorials on YouTube have just one SkyLight going on? Ive been experimenting with many lights, but thought I might ask here what the experts use for some cool shading of parts.

My main purpose is the AO rendering of maps for the interiors of aircraft, the shading that surrounds all the small parts, like arm rests, switches, gauge bazel rings on the instrument panels, the shading under the panel hood, etc, etc...

These are some planes I created and had to make the AO shading myself in Photoshop with airbrush. It just cannot compete with AO in 3DS. Just too well done...

  01 January 2013
Why is the single SkyLight not enough? Do you have issues with specific areas?
Personally, I would use MR with the SkyLight because it's faster to get decent results.
  01 January 2013
Your post is kind of hard to follow. Are you just asking how would you best bake static lighting to the interior of an aircraft cockpit?

If thats the case, I would put a mental ray arealight about 5'x5' disc directly above the cockpit. Turn on final gather, use the mia_material with ambient occlusion turned on, and bake that down.

If your just trying to bake a an ao map... just do it in mental ray, I didn't even think scanline could do that.
  01 January 2013
in this case i'd just go with AO shader.
Make a blank MentalRay shader and stick Ambient Occlusion in to it. Because it's a closed off cabin you should set a maximum trace distance to something less then the depth of the cabin.

No lights required.
[Invivo Animation Reel]
  01 January 2013
Thanks guys.

Yes, just making a AO Map that would be installed into a top layer in Photoshop over the mater texture(s), added as 'Multiply'.

For some reason, using a single SkyLight caused the shading to be assymetrical instead of universal.
  01 January 2013
AO has NOTHING to do with lighting.
  01 January 2013
Yea if you are just wanting an AO map to use in comp (multiply over the top) For e.g. in vray I simply turn all lights/shadows off etc so it renders quick and whack the dirt material in an extraTex render element. Gives me a quick to render AO pass... can also do it at time of rendering your final image (adds to render time obviously).

I'm sure Mental Ray will have something very similar
  01 January 2013
Mental Ray has an actual ambient occlusion pass for render to texture, the settings are at the bottom of the render to texture window. You don't even have to change anything, but I would probably turn off lighting and material settings to improve rendering speed.
The Z-Axis
  01 January 2013
Thanks guys.

Beautiful FireFly, Darth!
  01 January 2013
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