If you have come across a term called as Ambient Occlusion and wonder what it is, then let me tell you in brief about it. Ambient Occlusion is a term which is used in computer graphics. It is used to represent how much each point that is present in a scene is being exposed to ambient lighting. Hence, we can say that the inner side of a tube which is enclosed is darker i.e. it is more occluded than the other surface which is on the outer side. And when it comes to even deeper inner side of the tube, it becomes even more occluded.

 Ambient Occlusion

Ambient Occlusion

It is a highly sophisticated calculation that includes simulating the darkness on the corners, cracks, creases and intersections of objects. It is an effective method to approximately simulate the radiation and deflection of light in the real world, through the computer graphics. It tries to give a darkening effect to the areas of an object that would not receive enough light and thus makes the object appear more realistic. Ambient occlusion completely depends on the theory of illumination. So it needs a good understanding of light and its properties to give a real time effect to the objects in graphics. However, there is no ambient occlusion in the real world. It is a rendering technique in the world of graphics that can duplicate the shading of light on an object in the real world. This method is implemented in real-time games, animation fields etc.

The visual effect ambient occlusion was first developed by ILM i.e. Industrial Light and Magic and was used for the first time in the film Pearl Harbor in 2001. With NVIDIA’s GeForce FX, the hardware support for this effect is available since 2003. 

 Ambient Occlusion

Ambient Occlusion

When it comes to the games, it was first used in a game developed by Crytek called as Crysis which was out in 2007. And in 2009 ambient occlusion was added in the drivers of v185 as a control panel feature, by NVIDIA.  Use of this technique in games has become enormously popular for its 3D effect which gives a real time effect to the user. It is capable of creating a duplicate graphical model for any real world object which would seem as real as the actual object.

In case of all modern games, the ambient occlusion is present in the graphics menu as HBAO i.e. Horizon Based Ambient Occlusion and SSAO i.e. Screen Space Ambient Occlusion. Both of these refer to Ambient Occlusion only. If you want to know how to activate Ambient Occlusion in a game that by default doesn’t support it, then you can do it easily by following the steps mentioned here one by one.

 Ambient Occlusion

Ambient Occlusion

At first you have to right click on the desktop and right click on the NVIDIA control panel option. Then, right click on the “Manage 3D option” after which you have to highlight “Ambient Occlusion”. Then choose the other options as per your need and desire and enable the AO feature to experience better gaming experience.


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