Sketchfab adds Real-Time Ambient Occlusion

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Ask and you shall receive. While long-term Sketchfab members might remember when we tested the technique briefly in the past, we didn’t feel that the performance hit was satisfactory to make it a permanent feature, but that’s now changed.

Thanks to some new magic from our 3D development team, we have now added a Screen Space Ambient Occlusion (SSAO) option to our Post-Processing filters tab. SSAO allows you to add a real-time approximation of Ambient Occlusion. Ambient Occlusion is an algorithm that adds shadowing to your models in areas where light might ordinarily not reach. Examples include the corners of a room being slightly darker than the walls, or recesses in an object appearing darker than surface details.

SSAO is fantastic for picking out details in digital sculpts:

SSAO turned on using the filters tab, note the shadowing where objects meet:

The default setting, SSAO off. Note the lack of recess shadows:

Of course, in addition to SSAO we still support Ambient Occlusion (AO) texture maps in the materials tab and encourage you to use these for the cleanest most accurate effect on any work you upload with UVs. Also note, that given SSAO relies on screen space, we don’t render this effect in VR. Once again, the traditional texture route is your friend here.

For more detailed information on how to adjust SSAO settings and all of our post-processing filters don’t forget our Help Center is always just a click away.

About the author

Paul Chambers

Artist Evangelist & Community outreach at Sketchfab, freelance CG Generalist, render-farm tinkerer. Zelda worshipper.


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