Experiments in GI and AO for future zoetropic discs

The two images above use Global Illumination to simulate the bouncing of light from one object to another. While the effect is subtle, you can see how colours from the bright cubes are bouncing and faintly illuminating the ground plane.

Despite the many undulations and crevices in the ground plane, I was unhappy with it’s flat appearance. The image below gives you a better sense of how undulated the surface of the ground plane is, but I needed a better way to communicate this instantly and not rely on viewing the scene obliquely.

Instead of relying on realistic representations of light and shadow, I decided to introduce use Ambient Occlusion to exaggerate the shadows and clearly show the crinkled form of the geometry.

The following two images have identical geometry, but the plane in the second image is shaded using Ambient Occlusion.