For this post we have teamed up with Packt Publishing who is giving away copies of their best-selling Unity books to 6 lucky winners. Check out the details at the end of this post to find out how to enter. UPDATE: The book contest is now CLOSED and winners have been selected. Winners will be notified via email sometime in the next few days. Thanks for playing!
We’re currently working out the art style for our next iOS game and so I thought this would be a good chance to try out ambient occlusion as a way to bring some interesting lighting into the levels. Since I had never worked with AO before, my first step was to do a test render on a scene in Maya as a proof of concept and as a way to get a better understanding of how AO works. I ran across this tutorial on Youtube which does a good job of explaining AO and shows how to tune the options to get a nice render in Maya. Note that I didn’t place any lights in either of the test renders, all of the lighting is created entirely with ambient occlusion.
The next step was to try reproduce those results in Unity. Thanks to the Beast Lightmapping tools which include settings for ambient occlusion, the process was pretty simple and generated lighting that is pretty close to the Maya render. Here’s the same scene with AO lighting information baked out in Unity (click for a larger image):
One difference that you may have noticed between the 2 scenes is that I removed the foreground wall from the Unity scene because it was causing the background to be darker than the background in the Maya render – this probably has something to do with how AO is calculated on interior spaces in Unity, something I’ll need to investigate further.
This blog post is part of iDevBlogADay, a collection of indie developers writing about their development experiences.
How to Enter For Your Chance To Win A Free Unity Book:
Packt Publishing is giving away copies of their best-selling Unity books to 6 lucky winners! All you need to do is head on over to Packt Publishing and read the descriptions for both the Unity 3.x Game Development Essentials book and the Unity iOS Game Essentials book (you can also download a sample chapter). Then come back here and drop a line via the comments below to let us know what interests you the most about these books. It’s that simple!
The contest will close on February 15th 2012 PT. Winners will be contacted by email, so be sure to use your real email address when you comment! UPDATE: The book contest is now CLOSED and winners have been selected. Winners will be notified via email sometime in the next few days. Thanks for playing!