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AO not showing up

Hi, I’m having an issue of the AO not showing up properly, or at least from what I understand it should look like at least.

The image on the left is a barrel that has baked lighting using lightmass with AO on in post processing and world settings. The image on the right is the AO itself, which does not seem to be transferring to the final piece. (I intensified the AO and simplified the lighting on the object to make it easier to see). Is there a setting somewhere I need to check besides those two? I am trying to get the nice dark sections of the AO through to the final piece, like this:

(I multiplied the AO on top of the final lighting, like I usually do for AO)

If anyone has any idea of how to accomplish this please let me know. I’d really appreciate it. Thank you very much!

I’m having trouble understanding your issue–it looks like the AO transferred perfectly fine, even the smaller details on the barrel. Take a harder look, especially looking back and forth between your AO off and AO on (with full color shading) and I think you will see it’s transferring. Or maybe I’m missing something?

edit: ah ****, didn’t read your post well enough. well, what are your settings in the editor? both post processing AND effects can have an effect here. Sometimes they need the settings turned all the way up or at least to high.

I currently have AO set to 1.0 (I can’t set it higher, I have tried), and then all settings in the advanced section of AO cranked up to the highest, if not higher, that it can go. Turning on/off the AO shows clearly that it is not being affected at all like I would think it should. Most of the environment doesn’t change.

So, I did manage to get the effect desired by using the method bellow, but it does have its problems:

The issues, as shown bellow, are that if I have something like bright white “god rays”, or even somewhat white, then the AO gets multiplied on top of it, making it have a cool effect of being grayscale untextured whenever I’m looking through it, but unfortunately it’s an unwanted effect. The issue is also really noticeable on top of particles because the AO from behind them gets applied through the particles, messing up their look.

It is indeed a cool effect, and if anyone ever needs to have a AO or colored AO visual in parts of a level, it will work great for that, but unfortunately because of this it seems like it will not completely work for me. All that is left is to figure out how to recreate what I have done here, but in a different method, because this way I get the issue mentioned and shown above.

On a separate note about AO - it is very noisy it seems, I guess because it is always updating so there is a tremendous amount of noise that is constantly changing in those areas, so anyone knows how to keep it from jittering that would be great. Thanks!

There are two different kinds of AO right now - baked from Lightmass and SSAO. The Lightmass baked version requires that you have high enough lightmap resolution. It tends to get blurred out if you build on Preview, Production is needed. Reducing IndirectLightingSmoothness (to .6 or so) can help reduce the blurring. There are more AO settings in WorldSettings->Lightmass.

With SSAO, the available settings are all in the PP volume.

What about distance field AO?

Ha you are right. I didn’t think anybody knew about that yet. Distance Field AO is only in effect if you use a Movable SkyLight, it won’t affect the indirect lighting of other lights.

Well there’s a big announcement right in the engine source section :smiley:

…but no information what it actually is, or how to use it.

I will try to make sure the new info in the SkyLight doc gets published before 4.3 release, which has the feature.

Question about the AO, it seems it is very noisy and jitters a lot, really noticeable when previewing just the AO, and the sections that have really any amount of AO in regular lit mode. Is this a setting I can disable? Or is there a way to smooth it out? Thanks!