Ambient Occlusion Test In Unity3D Plus Win A Free Unity Book

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.

Here’s what my test scene looks like rendered in Maya (click to see a larger image):
Ambient Occlusion Maya test render

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):

Ambient Occlusion Unity test render

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!

Unity3.x Game Development Essentials Unity iOS Essentials

Contest Deadline:

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!

16 thoughts on “Ambient Occlusion Test In Unity3D Plus Win A Free Unity Book

  1. fattjake

    As a Cocos2D guy, all my game development has been 2D, I’m wondering what the constraints are in a 3D environment, especially the physics engine.

  2. Fawdda

    For me I like the ”
    Collection, Inventory, and HUD ” chapter from the ”
    Unity 3.x Game Development Essentials “, giving me a better understanding on how I should handle the data to create a better platformer game or an RTS or RPG game.

    But for the ” Unity iOS Game Essentials
    ” book I prefer the “Scalable Sliding GUIs” chapter it’s pretty handy to give a better idea on making a kinda dynamic GUI.

  3. Aaron

    I have some experience working with Cocos2d, but I want to branch out and try some other development tools to see what I might be able to create.

  4. James Whiteneck

    Unity iOS Essentials is a book I’ve wanted to read ever since I first tried Unity, particularly the chapter on Unity iOS performance. Unity probably wasn’t designed for the iOS specifically but it’s quickly coming an excellent alternative to Cocos2D, even for 2D applications. I’m also interested to read the Chapter on Menu’s in 
    Unity 3.x Game Development Essentials. This is another important and often overlooked component of game development, especially for mobile devices. Hoping he wins,James

  5. Justin

    Unity iOS Essentials – I’ve been working with Unity for awhile now but I am always interested to hear different optimization strategies. The description said that it has some shaders which I’d also be interested in seeing.

  6. Anonymous

    Unity 3.x Game Development Essentials interests me since it appears to cover a lot of topics that a budding game developer, like myself, needs to get started to learn Unity and hopefully develop my first game.

  7. xelfer

    iOS Essentials looks great. Mostly developing with Cocos2D, 3d projects have been out of scope for me, but the Unity engine does look fantastic and would be great to look into. I tend to learn by tutorial better than reading SDK’s and the ‘Develop a four wheeled vehicle with realistic physics’ sounds like a lot of fun. Chapter 4 on flyby backgrounds looks very interesting as well, and could give an excellent 3d-like upgrade to my existing 2d games.

  8. Ismet

    Im game developer on flash platform. But I want to port my game on iOS with Unity3D, so this book is a great chance to start my career!

  9. David Deacon

    Like most of your readers, I’m also a cocos2D user that has started working on a Unity3D based project. Both books look great for anyone starting out using Unity targeting the mobile platform.

  10. Matt Perrin

    I’m most interested in the Unity 3.x Game Development Essentials book because there aren’t enough C# books out there for Unity. JavaScript feels so inefficent to work with.

  11. Rob

    I’m interested in learning Unity3D because modeling and texturing is just so boring when you can’t do anything with them.

  12. Alberto

    I’m interested in the Unity iOS book because there aren’t that many books on Unity focused on mobile.

  13. Tim Miller

    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!

  14. Anonymous

    Have the winners all been notified yet? I haven’t heard anything yet so I guess I wasn’t a lucky one this time.

  15. alonso garrote

    Although you didnt explain how to get AO to work on Unity free, on Unity PRO is pretty straithforward. I thought it was going to be a sort of tutorial.

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