Untitled Document
Not a member yet? Register for full benefits!

Virtual Dictionary

Ambient Occlusion Map

An Ambient Occlusion Map is a form of texturemap. It is a modification map, usually intended to work with ambient lighting hence the name. Applied over an area of the world from a single room to a corridor, to a large outdoor area, it a a grey scale map to tell the system how much of the ambient lighting to let through.

Typically a white pixel on the ambient occlusion map means 'do not modify the ambient', whereas a black pixel means 'allow no light here', and the various shades of grey in-between correlate to various percentages of the standard ambient lighting to let show.

They are essentially a computationally cheap way of varying the lighting within a scene apply the same lighting everywhere, then use the map as a filter to decide how much of that light actually gets seen.

Ambient Occlusion Maps are often dynamic, changing according to simple algorithms. For example, a simple vector transformation added to a map, causes the pixels to flow to one side, mimicking perhaps, the actions of a repeating cloud texture layer in the skybox above, so the light dims whenever a cloud passes overhead in response to the thickness of that cloud.

Ambient Occlusion Maps are not limited to lighting either. These grey scale maps are often repurposed several times in the same virtual environment. For example they make wonderful dirt maps, applied to a single surface, with the grey scale used to denote how grimy that portion of the surface is. The differences in scale mean a user is highly unlikely to draw any association between the pattern of dirt on a wheel rim, and the pattern of light from clouds moving across the sky.

Ambient Occlusion Maps are generally not used for light mapping in environments where raytracing or raycasting is used to calculate the intensity of light reaching any given point. There is no need for them, as these techniques provide far more accurate lighting at a cost of far higher computation cycles. However, even in these environments, Ambient Occlusion Maps may still be used for dirt maps and the like.

See Also: Texturemap, Light Map, Dirt Map, Multiple Textures, Photo Realism, Baking

Below, we offer a selection of links from our resource databases which may match this term.

Related Dictionary Entries for Ambient Occlusion Map:

Ambient Occlusion Map

Dirt Map

Grunge Map


Resources in our database matching the Term Ambient Occlusion Map:

Results by page [1]   

Linked resource
A Closer Look At Parallax Occlusion Mapping
An in-depth Gamedev article, containing step by step coding advice for implementing parallax occlusion mapping to textures, such that the simulated heights can even self-occlude.

Locally Hosted resource
iPhone Based Hearing Aids
A novel and very practical use for an iPhone as an auxiliary hearing aid has been developed. The soundAMP program takes control of the iPhone, and essentially uses the in-built microphone to boost ambient noise levels.

Locally Hosted resource
3D Printed Thermoelectric generators
Thermoelectric generators convert ambient heat into electrical power, providing a means to run sensor systems without relying on batteries, anywhere where there is a heat differential present. Unfortunately, until now it has never been possible to 3D print them, meaning their inclusion increased the cost of sensor systems, dictated design aspects, and prevented them from being manufactured in a single print run. None of these factors are entirely applicable any longer.


Industry News containing the Term Ambient Occlusion Map:

Results by page

Forty-five men you've probably never heard of were honored with an Academy Awards ceremony of their own that recognized scientific and technical achievements in moviemaking.

The engineers behind the latest in ambient occlusi...

(Press Release) LightWork Design, supplier of rendering solutions for developers of advanced 3D computer graphics software, is pleased to announce that the latest release of TurboCAD? Pro v16, from IMSI/Design, incorporates new updated Ligh...

Surgeons of University Hospitals Leuven have been the first to operate on a patient with retinal vein occlusion using a surgical robot. Operated by an eye surgeon, the robot uses a needle of barely 0.03 millimetre to inject a thrombolytic d...

December 2 - 3, 2010
Phoenix, Arizona USA

Ambient media and systems culminate from the emergence of mobile communication, sensor-actuator technology, virtual environments, and interactive computing. They represent the ...

Electronic paper that reflects light, instead of filtering it from a backlight, as most conventional displays do, is easy on the eyes and saves on battery life. But this reliance on ambient light becomes a handicap when trying to make a bri...