View Full Version : New SG_AMBOCC Node

01-05-2007, 08:48 PM
The brilliant Sebastian Goetsch has released a nodal version of his excellent occlusion shader:


have fun!


01-06-2007, 07:14 PM
Exellent! thanks for the tip.

01-08-2007, 11:19 AM
Have tried directionnal mode for softshadows,
Select Light in Item Info output world position as target,
decrease angle (very low) math power the output for
darker shadow:



01-08-2007, 11:56 PM
Ztreem, hope to see some of your cool experiments!

Denis, thanks for that tip! Other way to control the effect strength is with a gradient:


An example with a nice model from Aristomenis Stirbas:


The gradient can be useful to colored the effect as well:


Which looks like this:


If we want the effect interacting with shadows and other external shaders we can connect the node to Diffuse channel (Denis tip may be very useful here for adjusting the diffuse effect independently) and the gradient output color to Color channel:




01-09-2007, 10:28 PM
The link comes back as unavailable for me.

01-10-2007, 12:07 AM
The link didn't work the first 4 or 5 times for me, but it finally came through...Can't wait to try it out!:)

01-10-2007, 08:16 AM
Tried today and got it first time.

01-10-2007, 02:40 PM
Was for updating the node (fix transparency problem).
Download last version:


02-05-2007, 08:15 PM
A way to paint the occlusion effect is by using distance to object gradients:


I've exagerated the effect, but notice the radiance effect in this case is determined not only by gradient shape but also by the occlusion node, which gives us more realistic results.

A simple setup may be something like this:


We can get easily and very quickly a 'Pocoyo' style in this way :)


Though I'm sure the setup can be used for more realistic projects as well.


02-06-2007, 01:01 AM
That looks fantastic! Any idea if a Mac version is coming?

02-08-2007, 10:02 PM
Very nice...I will be trying this out tonight. Thank you.

02-09-2007, 03:39 PM
What's this?

I lodded up the node plugin. I also have the layer plugin. Do they conflict?

Sebastian G.
02-09-2007, 09:49 PM
Ram Sampath is working on the mac version.

Surrealist, this error message means that LW refused to provide the LWSCENEINFO_GLOBAL :)
Actually I have never seen this happening before, are you using a beta version?
If not please send me the scene and object file and I'll try to find out more
(skidbladnir at web.de )

02-09-2007, 10:16 PM
Well it only happens in Modeler. I added the plugin in Layout and surfaced the object with the shader in the nodes edit mode.

Then in modeler it gives this message whenever I click on the surface or try and open the node editor. (not that I need to do that in modeler I was trying to change something else and noticed it happening.)

I downloaded the plugin from the site above at the top of the page.

It happens even on a simple object I put the surface on to test it. Maybe my plugin in is currupt. Check it out.

Sebastian G.
02-09-2007, 10:42 PM
Ok, Modeler explains everything. I will take care of it in the next update.

02-09-2007, 10:50 PM
Alrighty then. Works great in Layout though. :)

02-12-2007, 05:21 PM
Excellent Work!

03-15-2007, 06:02 AM
The SG_AmbOcc node it's getting even better! Sebastian Goetsch has made a really Brilliant job with this new version:


The new Color output offer us several new possibilities: Do you remember my gradient setup? Well, we don't need it anymore (at least for occlusion effect, but you might to want experiment with different blending modes to fake indirect lighting too). We don't have to set up gradient by gradient now; seeing that the SGAmbOcc node do this automatically! It seems that it pick up the color or texture of our surfaces by taking into account its shading and it colors the occlusion effect (ambient or directional mode) with these tonalities. Thank you very much Sebastian!

Notice, it not only works as a faster and flexible option than BgRadiosity, it also simulate some kind of GI by coloring surfaces with the colors of surrounding objects. The tool works directly in color channel or diffuse shading (surface root), but you may want to experiment other configurations for extra control:


I didn't need to set up any gradient for any object in the previous pic, just a single nodal configuration that works for all objects on the floor (it may have several other configurations for this):


Other very useful feature is the new Reflection mode. The quality of the effect by default is far better than LW blurred reflections and render times are faster . We can design different types of softreflections by diminishing render times and improving the quality:


The node setup for the water in this pic was very simple:


without bump maps:


Notice the soft_reflection effect is working with textured environments and volumetric effects (fog and lights)

The other excellent feature is Refraction mode. We can simulate soft refractions in a faster and more controlable way. At this moment the only limitation is avoid doubled sided polygons or setups where we have polygons pointing toward inside and outside in the geometry at the same time (we can use the useful Celshader's tip to specify the polygon side by using the spot_info tool).


Btw, the effect works also with objects inside objects!


Hope to see more experiments and nodal configurations!


03-15-2007, 06:37 AM
Hot D.A.M.N. that looks sweet! Thanks for the heads-up Gerardo. :D

03-15-2007, 06:49 AM
WOW! You never stop to amaze me with all of your test and findings. Thanks for sharing! I wish I had more time to play around with things.

03-15-2007, 07:10 AM
great update, thank you sebastian and gerardo!!

now only a mac version (preferably UB) is missing ;)


03-15-2007, 11:04 AM
Thank you for your contribution to community, now I am off to test it out myself.

03-15-2007, 06:42 PM
How are the render times? :)

03-15-2007, 11:42 PM
Hey guys! I'm just getting what is supposed to get with it :) Thanks to Sebastian, he is the genius behind this tool.

About render times, I just want to clarify that all tests has been made in LW 9.0 and they depend a lot on each specific case. For color option with ambient and directional mode, results can be faster than bgRadiosity in simple scenes, but not always in more complex ones. However, occlusion output is always faster than bgRadiosity. Consider also the color output offers results equivalent to MCRadiosity with at least 3 bounces, and in that case, results with the SG_AmbOcc node are always faster (at least in LW 9.0). If we'd want even faster results, we can use something like my gradients configuration (like the one posted in the first page of this thread).


Here (http://www.geocities.com/gerardstrada/radvsocctest.zip) there's a simple scene, so you can check these differences and try other nodal configurations.

Let's consider features of reflection and refraction can be faster than LW in all cases providing better results as well.


03-16-2007, 01:01 AM
Dam this looks cool, i do hope there's a Mac UB version coming!

03-16-2007, 05:30 PM
Wow guys, thank you both huge heaps for the node. VERY useful!!

03-17-2007, 12:27 AM
Well, after lots of testing today, I can say this node woops some serious buttox.

It is really great for blurred reflections and refractions. Much faster then the native blurring.

03-23-2007, 12:15 PM
dear gerard

I am also playing with this amazing plugin and a thought came to my mind.

Is there any way to CACHE that ambient Occlusion Data File for re-use in the next frames...Is it possible such improvement?

I really like this plugin. When i want to use it, i m making two separate objects. One for AO one for texturing and shadow data. I m rendering both separately then combining them in After Effects ...

It is really great..But if you guys really come up with Caching solution that will be even more cool...


03-23-2007, 12:20 PM
Why don't you bake it Tyrot?


03-23-2007, 12:30 PM
dearest mike

think about a Room with Lots of lots objects and every of them is truly high poly and many of them have not any UVmapping.....

If Amb_occ calculates the data Once all the render power will go to AA or AS later. And it will cause reduce render times..what do you say?

And best thing combining them in After Effects is with some amazing Noise removal - or- degrain plugins you can easily blur as much as you want that noisy AmbOcc data (low Rays but fast render times) ... At the end you have amazing control over the look.


03-25-2007, 10:37 PM
That's a good idea, Tyrot. I don't know how difficult this could be, but I guess, in order to do that, we'd have to forget the option of adding envelopes to parameters like angle, range, etc... what I find a good addition to improve the shading and render time by taking advantage of motion blur; (and you don't have idea how I bothered to Sebastian so that he adds this feature!) ouch!!!

let's hope the SDK allows this and that not be very difficult of implementing...

Btw, I found a simple setup to add fresnel effect:


if we want to be more accurate, we can use the Fresnel node from the prolific Denis Pontonnier instead of the Gradient tool :)



03-25-2007, 10:48 PM
This is mad! thanks guys :)

03-26-2007, 08:15 AM
Would someone mind testing this with FPrime 3?

Seems to work great until I make a change, then lightwave crashes.

(Other than that, I love this plug in..)

03-26-2007, 09:40 AM
Avidly awaiting (along with many others I'm sure) Mac Universal version of this plugin!

03-26-2007, 10:57 AM
Would someone mind testing this with FPrime 3?

Seems to work great until I make a change, then lightwave crashes.

(Other than that, I love this plug in..)

TSpyrison, have you tried it with v9.0 or v9.2 beta?


03-26-2007, 11:09 AM
9.2 b19 and FPrime 3.
Seems to be something that either the node or FPrime doesn't like adjustments to be made while FPrime previewer is running.

If I close FPrime, then make the adjustments, then open FPrime things are fine (aside from defeating one of the points of FPrime)

This seems to be the only node I've tried to have a problem though

03-26-2007, 12:12 PM
Is interesting because someone in other forum has said FPrime simply doesn't work with the Node, however it works for you but is not possible to do adjustments with it. As far as I understand, it seems that the situation with FPrime is that there's no documentation about its SDK in order to find clearly, a solution for it. If beta version has something to do with this, we'll have to wait until its release, I guess.


03-26-2007, 04:41 PM
This is fantastic. Here's another vote for a Mac version.

03-31-2007, 02:00 AM
Same here. Works with fprime if i've connected the node previous to opening fprime, and it will crash if i change settings or disconnect the node or whatever.

03-31-2007, 08:12 PM
Hi Duke, this node has been designed to work with LW 9.0; using the 9.0 SDK.
If this node works with 9.2beta without problems but not with the last FPrime 3.01, it would mean FPrime works even different for LW beta. If is supposed FPrime should support nodes developed for v 9.0 and it doesn't it, it's an FPrime issue. Because even if any plugins developer's would be willing to find a solution for it, there's no documentation about FPrime SDK for them. So please, report this to Worley.
Although nobody has reported any issue with LW 9.2beta, if there would be problems with the 9.2 final release, Sebastian has said he will of course look into it. So at the moment, we can't expect any changes as long as there is no final 9.2

Btw, I tested SG_AmbOcc's soft reflections with an IBL rig based on spinning spotlights:


Advantage in this case is that we can use some few rays to solve the effect quickly and post process this pass in post.


03-31-2007, 09:37 PM
Wow that looks pretty awesome. I've sent a bug report off to Worley.

03-31-2007, 10:02 PM
Duke, please, consider carefully my post: if FPrime 3.01 has been designed to support nodes developed for v 9.0, it's indeed an FPrime bug. But if FPrime 3.01 only guaranties compatibility for 9.2, no one go to consider it a bug there since it's not the same SDK, and we'll have to wait until 9.2 final release one way or another. But it would be good to know what WorleyLabs says about FPrime's compatibility. Btw, thanks for your comments :)


04-01-2007, 01:18 AM
Oh I see what you're saying. Good point.

05-08-2007, 05:17 PM
Mac version?


05-10-2007, 08:16 AM
Great plugin, but I have a question, It's this plugin similar than node Occlusion II, which is faster of the two nodes ? and which better ?. Can occlusion nodes get better results in less time that a good gi config. Here is a very tested scene which lw radiosity render engine, maxwell and kray, and here is the best results. I propose to get a better result with occlusion nodes in less time.

05-10-2007, 09:59 AM
Mac version?


yeah, still waiting... :hey:


05-10-2007, 05:41 PM
We've unveiled some serious render slowdown issues with the sg_ambocc shader plugin. Not sure if this is also the case with the node.
We've had render times shoot through the roof, after 9,2 RC1 builds.

Might be good to look into that.

Sebastian G.
05-10-2007, 07:50 PM
Mac version isn't dead yet. I'm currently implementing FPrime compatibility mode.

And nobody use the shader version anymore please. It's old and buggy.
Nodes are the future :)

05-11-2007, 11:10 AM
This is really a great plugin but how are people getting it to work with reflections? I turn it to reflection mode and follow node trees like the ones posted but so far it refuses to blur reflections. I am fairly new to nodes so I'm assuming it is user error, but is there something i'm forgetting? The reflections tend to remain sharp no matter what values I enter, and when turned to reflective mode the refraction box doesn't ghost. Any suggestions?


05-11-2007, 11:30 AM
Update: I just got it working. My problem seems to have stemmed from a bug that had to do with certain combinations of nodes....not sure if this is on the LW end of things or what. I'll try to figure out exactly what causes things to break...

07-22-2007, 02:10 AM
Great plugin, but I have a question, It's this plugin similar than node Occlusion II, which is faster of the two nodes ? and which better ?. Can occlusion nodes get better results in less time that a good gi config. Here is a very tested scene which lw radiosity render engine, maxwell and kray, and here is the best results. I propose to get a better result with occlusion nodes in less time.

Nope, I think it's not very similar to Occlusion2. Render times are the same with both for simple occlusion shading (white background), but results with SG_AmbOcc are far better. As backdrop occlusion, SG_AmbOcc are a little bit slower but again, results are better (smoother and more natural shading). Occlusion2 works only in ambient mode (but we can use a lightprobe or an spherical map); on the other hand, SG_AmbOcc besides to work in ambient mode, works also in directional mode (to simulate faster soft shadows), reflection and refraction mode (for soft- reflections and refraction effects), it can respect transparency, besides we can fake a kind of local bouce effect and copy settings to all instances, and some few other curiosities.

About a good GI setup, it depends on the scene and the render engine, I guess.

About your proposal with that scene, things work in a different way if we solve it through ambient occlusion nodes since we need to fake everything (or at least radiance effect too). This means faster render times in detriment of accuracy. The test below (solved with SG_AmbOcc) renders in about 3 minutes in my old P4:


The same scene with a second "bounce light" effect added in post (http://forums.cgsociety.org/showthread.php?f=21&t=471102):


Here's the scene (http://www.geocities.com/spinquadlinks/gibox.zip) if you want to examine it (you'll need FI's LocalAmbient shader and Denis Pontonnier's Backdrop node)

You might want to try SG_AmbOcc node to fake also soft refractions for the transparent pyramid, or reflections for the transparent ball.

Update: I just got it working. My problem seems to have stemmed from a bug that had to do with certain combinations of nodes....not sure if this is on the LW end of things or what. I'll try to figure out exactly what causes things to break...

Be sure you have enabled Full Surface Evaluation for reflections. If that's not the problem, I'd check if the plugin folder is in the correct route (or re-install the plug again). If you are running more than one LW version in the same machine, be sure you are running its proper HUB version. If that doesn't work, maybe you might need to install LW again.


07-26-2007, 10:08 AM

In the attached scene:
Deleting the upper row of nodes of the plane surface (connected and unconnected) crashes lw.

Tech support said it's not LW that's crashing, it's the sg_ambocc node.
So here you are, my testfile.


07-27-2007, 05:30 PM
Hi Mike,

I contacted to Sebastian directly (his email is in his website). He had already solved the problem, but the previous released version was not really the last one (these things happen when there's too much work) :) Please, check the SG_AmbOcc web page (http://www2.informatik.hu-berlin.de/~goetsch/AmbOccNode/) for the last update.


07-29-2007, 09:27 AM
Ah fine!
Thanks Gerado!


10-20-2007, 08:16 AM
Somebody can post here an small tutorial on how to setup a simple occlusion scene using this shader? I'm trying to get results but my renders are totally black :(

10-20-2007, 10:47 AM
Without knowing too much about your scene, it's kind of hard to guess how to solve the problem.

But I would say it's probably something to do with the scale of your scene being smaller then the settings for the occlusion shader. I would decrease the value of the occlusion until you see some results.

Could you post your scene?

02-19-2008, 06:31 PM
A fast test with the scene and here it seams fine. Maybe the problem is due becouse of something modified in the scene. (?)
Check if there is any misconfiguration with the installation of the plugin. You should try unistalling the plugin and restart with a new installation.

02-21-2008, 09:15 AM
It's old but it seems is the same situation:



05-01-2008, 09:05 AM
Mac version isn't dead yet. I'm currently implementing FPrime compatibility mode.

Any progress on this? :D I wouldn't mind contributing a little, if that helps spur a final release for UB...

12-20-2008, 09:32 PM

Anyone knows why I'm getting this division?


Cheers :thumbsup:

Forget it! Just a problem loading the scene. Working fine now.

Cheers again.

12-25-2008, 08:48 PM
Yeah, I'd gladly donate a bit (and am), to encourage UB version development.

09-19-2009, 03:25 AM

I've got some polys appearing into my SG_AmbOcc occlusion pass (the base of the ear in my example)...Is this a known issue or am I doing something wrong?

The node (ambiant mode, 32 rays) is just plugged into the luminosity channel of my surface. It happens with or without AS. My model is standard subpatched with smoothing threshold at 89.5...

09-19-2009, 03:46 AM
Not sure, not at my own machine, but is there an angle setting somewhere, that you should reduce (in the AO node I mean).

09-19-2009, 03:54 AM
Yes, there is, and it's working now...Thanks!

09-19-2009, 01:07 PM
It looks like a great node but would love to see the mac version to this.

01-26-2010, 01:31 PM
since this old thread is still alive... another request for the missing mac UB version from me. i contacted sebastian already in 2007 about this and he told me that it was in the works. no idea what happened then. i sent him my little paypal donation already at that time ;) ...

01-29-2010, 03:14 AM
just try it on windows... ;)

01-29-2010, 05:59 PM
Just in case, his last comment about a UB version in other thread:

I had send the code for my ambient occlusion node to a few people who attempted to build a UB version. As you may have noticed, there's no UB version yet.
So apparently it is more difficult and time consuming than expected.


06-02-2019, 06:31 PM
Is their a LW 2018/19 version?

06-03-2019, 02:37 AM
i dont think so