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Tutorial: Global Illumination Texture Baking & Lightmapping in Maya

Tuesday, December 14th, 2010 | Posted by Leonard Teo | 5 comments

How to bake global illumination and ambient occlusion to textures in Maya.

I recorded a quick tutorial on doing texture baking for games in Maya. In this video, I go through how to bake out ambient occlusion on characters, and global illumination for a level. The resulting textures can then be used to create greater realism in a very ‘cheap’ way in the game engine. This is by no means a new technique, but still a good one to know.

If you’re using a game engine like Unity or Unreal, these engines already have advanced lighting such as lightmapping and screen-space ambient occlusion, which will get you very good results. Some of these implementations even have dynamic global illumination. If you have access to those tools and your target platform supports it, definitely go down that route. The technique presented in this video is still good if you need basic pre-computed lighting and shadows.


Leonard Teo


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