AGF Multimedia has released DarkCorner, a GPU-based ambient occlusion plugin for After Effects.
DarkCorner uses Z-depth to calculate AO for still images or image sequences. Users can either supply the images in formats in which Z-depth information is automatically embedded, such as .rla or .rpf; or supply the Z-depth data via a second image sequence. Normal data can also be used to help the calculation.
According to the developer, it has tested the plugin with a range of 3D software, and has had “successful results with output from 3ds Max, LightWave, Maya, Cinema 4D, modo and Softimage”.
Interestingly, the plugin is OpenGL-based, rather than using a GPGPU API, so it is compatible with any graphics card that supports OpenGL 3.3 or higher.
DarkCorner is available for After Effects CS4 and above, on Windows only. AGF Multimedia is considering an OS X version, depending on demand.
DarkCorner currently costs $89.90 as part of a special launch offer that also includes JaggyBuster, a GPU-based anti-aliasing plug-in, for free.
Visit the DarkCorner website
(Includes download link: output of trial version is watermarked)