SSAO TOP

From TouchDesigner 088 Wiki

Summary

The SSAO TOP performs Screen Space Ambient Occlusion on the output of a Render TOP or Render Pass TOP. Because this technique requires access to the Depth Buffer, no other TOP can be in between the Render/RenderPass TOP and the SSAO TOP. Screen Space Ambient Occlusion is a real-time rendering trick that creates an approximation of ambient occlusion by using the Depth Buffer of the rendered scene. It is done as 2D post-processes, so the complexity of the scene has no bearing on how expensive it is. This is in comparison to true ambient occlusion which becomes more expensive with each new object that is rendered. There are two parts to a SSAO technique. First a SSAO pass is done that determines how much ambient occlusion each pixel is affected by. This result tends to be very noisy. A blur operation is then performed to even out this noise.

PythonIcon.png ssaoTOP_Class

Parameters - SSAO Page

Quality /quality - Determines the visual quality of the results. The higher the quality, the more computationally expensive it is.

Sample Directions /sampledirs - For each pixel, rays are sent out in random directions to see if there is a surface nearby that would occlude the ambient light to this pixel. This parameter controls how many rays are sent out per pixel.

Sample Steps /samplesteps - Since this is a 2D pixel-based operation, the rays need to sample multiple neighboring pixels along its path to check for points of interest. This parameter controls how many of these samples each ray does.

Surface Avoid Angle /surfaceavoid - This parameter biases the angle of the rays so they don't travel too close to the plane that the starting point lays on (as determined by the point's normal).

SSAO Pass Resolution /ssaopassres - The SSAO pass can be set to Full, Half, or Quarter the resolution of the input image.

SSAO Radius /ssaoradius - The distance it searches from the current point for occluders (in object space units).

Contrast /contrast - Controls the contrast of the SSAO contribution.

Attenuation /attenuation - Controls the attenuation of the ambient lighting.

Edge Threshold /edgethresh - To avoid the ambient occlusion from bleeding across the edges of objects onto other objects, an edge detect is done using the depth buffer to figure where one object ends and the next one begins. This parameter controls how sensitive the edge detection is.

Blur Radius /blurradius - The amount of blur in pixels.

Blur Sharpness /blursharpness - Controls the sharpness of the blur operation.

Combine with Color /combinewithcolor - By default the final ambient occlusion result will be multiplied by the color output of the Render TOP. You can just output the ambient occlusion results by turning this parameter off.

Parameters - Common Page

Resolution - quickly change the resolution of the TOP's data.

  • Input - uses the input's resolution.
  • Eighth, Quarter, Half, 2X, 4X, 8X - multiply the input's resolution by that amount.
  • Fit Resolution - Resizes the input to the size specified in Resolution using the best possible match that does not crop any of the input. It will resize the image to be larger than the input resolution if a larger resolution is specified. It's a "fit inside", Aspect Ratio is maintained.
  • Limit Resolution - Limits the input to the size specified in Resolution using the best possible match that does not crop any of the input. It's a "fit inside", Aspect Ratio is maintained.
  • Custom Resolution - enables the Resolution parameter below, giving direct control over width and height.

Resolution - enabled only when the Resolution parameter is set to Custom Resolution. Some Generators like Constant and Ramp do not use inputs and only use this field to determine their size. The drop down menu on the right provides some commonly used resolutions.

Use Global Resolution Multiplier - Uses the Global Resolution Multiplier found in Edit>Preferences>TOPs. This multiplies all the TOPs resolutions by the set amount. This is handy when working on computers with different hardware specifications. If a project is designed on a desktop workstation with lots of graphics memory, a user on a laptop with only 64MB VRAM can set the Global Resolution Multiplier to a value of half or quarter so it runs at an acceptable speed. By checking this checkbox on, this TOP is affected by the global multiplier.

Output Aspect - sets the image aspect ratio allowing any textures to be viewed in any size. Watch for unexpected results when compositing TOPs with different aspect ratios. (You can define images with non-square pixels using xres, yres, aspectx, aspecty where xres/yres != aspectx/aspecty.)

  • Input - uses the input's aspect ratio.
  • Resolution - uses the aspect of the image's defined resolution (ie 512x256 would be 2:1), whereby each pixel is square.
  • Custom Aspect - lets you explicitly define a custom aspect ratio.

Input Smoothness - This controls pixel filtering on the input image of the TOP.

  • Nearest Pixel - uses nearest pixel or accurate image representation. Images will look jaggy when viewing at any zoom level other than Native Resolution.
  • Interpolate Pixels - uses linear filtering between pixels. This is how you get TOP images in viewers to look good at various zoom levels, especially useful when using any Fill Viewer setting other than Native Resolution.
  • Mipmap Pixels - uses mipmap filtering when scaling images. This can be used to reduce artifacts and sparkling in moving/scaling images that have lots of detail.

Fill Viewer - determine how the TOP image is displayed in the viewer.

  • Input - uses the same Fill Viewer settings as it's input.
  • Fill - stretches the image to fit the edges of the viewer.
  • Fit Horizontal - stretches image to fit viewer horizontally.
  • Fit Vertical - stretches image to fit viewer vertically.
  • Fit Best - stretches or squashes image so no part of image is cropped.
  • Fit Outside - stretches or squashes image so image fills viewer while constraining it's proportions. This often leads to part of image getting cropped by viewer.
  • Native Resolution - displays the native resolution of the image in the viewer.

NOTE: To get an understanding of how TOPs works with images, you will want to set this to Native Resolution as you lay down TOPs when starting out. This will let you see what is actually happening without any automatic viewer resizing.

Viewer Smoothness - This controls pixel filtering in the viewers.

  • Nearest Pixel - uses nearest pixel or accurate image representation. Images will look jaggy when viewing at any zoom level other than Native Resolution.
  • Interpolate Pixels - uses linear filtering between pixels. Use this to get TOP images in viewers to look good at various zoom levels, especially useful when using any Fill Viewer setting other than Native Resolution.
  • Mipmap Pixels - uses mipmap filtering when scaling images. This can be used to reduce artifacts and sparkling in moving/scaling images that have lots of detail. When the input is 32-bit float format, only nearest filtering will be used (regardless of what is selected).

Passes - duplicates the operation of the TOP the specified number of times.

Channel Mask - Allows you to choose which channels (R, G, B, or A) the TOP will operate on. All channels are selected by default.

Pixel Format - format used to store data for each channel in the image (ie. R, G, B, and A). Fixed format values are limited to the range [0-1]. Refer to Pixel Formats for more information.

  • Input - uses the input's pixel format.
  • 8-bit fixed (RGBA) - uses 8-bit integer values for each channel.
  • 16-bit float (RGBA) - uses 16-bits per color channel, 64-bits per pixel.
  • 32-bit float (RGBA) - uses 32-bits per color channel, 128-bits per pixels.


  • 10-bit RGB, 2-bit Alpha, fixed (RGBA) - uses 10-bits per color channel and 2-bits for alpha, 32-bits total per pixel.
  • 16-bit fixed (RGBA) - uses 16-bits per color channel, 64-bits total per pixel.
  • 11-bit float (RGB), Positive Values Only - A RGB floating point format that has 11 bits for the Red and Green channels, and 10-bits for the Blue Channel, 32-bits total per pixel (therefore the same memory usage as 8-bit RGBA). The Alpha channel in this format will always be 1. Values can go above one, but can't be negative. ie. the range is [0, infinite).
  • 8-bit fixed (R) - has 8-bits for the red channel, 8-bits total per pixel.
  • 16-bit fixed (R) - has 16-bits for the red channel, 16-bits total per pixel.
  • 16-bit float (R) - has 16-bits for the red channel, 16-bits per pixel.
  • 32-bit float (R) - has 32-bits for the red channel, 32-bits per pixel.
  • 8-bit fixed (RG) - has 8-bits for the red and green channels, 16-bits total per pixel.
  • 16-bit fixed (RG) - has 16-bits for the red and green channels, 32-bits total per pixel.
  • 16-bit float (RG) - has 16-bits for the red and green channels, 32-bits per pixel.
  • 32-bit float (RG) - has 32-bits for the red and green channels, 64-bits per pixel.
  • 8-bit fixed (A) - An Alpha only format that has 8-bits per channel, 8-bits per pixel.
  • 16-bit float (A) - An Alpha only format that has 16-bits per channel, 16-bits per pixel.
  • 32-bit float (A) - An Alpha only format that has 32-bits per channel, 32-bits per pixel.


Examples

This example show the basic usage of the SSAO TOP.

Media:SSAO_TOP_Basic.tox