A Quick Ambient Occlusion Experiment

Recent discussion about AO, a quick test with free software.


Looks very nice. What was the free software?

Kerkythea for the render and a free image editor to add the edges.


Nice image Dave, and I love that model.

Is there a way to accentuate the edges more for the ‘Arctic’ effect that the other thread was looking for?

There are some settings for materials to show edges but I find it’s so much easier and faster to combine an image exported from SketchUp using Hidden Line face style. That also makes it easier to control which edges are displayed.

Using the image editor for this sort of thing also makes it dead simple to do things like show internal details if you want. It took me longer to upload the following image than it did to create it in the image editor.


I really like that effect.

I use Twilight — which has a fair amount of control over edge properties but no (fully functioning) AO render mode.

The Fluid AO extension, which I referenced in the other thread, would need to be used in conjunction with SketchFX to show edges.

Bottom line, it seems, is that to achieve an Arctic Display mode equivalent with Sketch Up, you’re going to need to use an AO-capable renderer — and, depending on which one — possibly an image editor to combine images to control edge display.

Perhaps you are right. Personally I’ll take the renderer and image editor option so I can have more control over the resulting images. Probably a max of 6 or 7 minutes from SketchUp to the images I posted above. including render time.

If I was more adept with an image editor (I have Gimp), I would likely take the same route. Perhaps it’s time to invest in the effort of fully learning it and adding it to my workflow.

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I use PaintDotNet as my default image editor but it’s a Windows only thing. I tried Gimp and PhotoShop. PaintDotNet opens much faster for me and has more than enough capability. I’ve also found it easier and faster to use when editing textures so it’s the one that SketchUp and LayOut are both set to open.


I thought about this idea when reading the other thread and wondered about using fog, adjusting light and dark etc to soften the shadows then a line overlay, therefore removing the need for a render. After considering it for a bit I decided I needed to trim my toenails.


As much as I love Gimp, I’ve spent the few dollars to buy Affinity Photo and have not been disappointed. All the power of photoshop and a really nice user interface. It’s not rent-ware, so once you have version, you receive all updates until the next major version is released. They update fairly frequently to take care of any bugs and to tweak things their customers request.


Yep, I bought all three Affinity products… and Luminar4

I am another using Affinity Photo, love it.