What is Ambient Occlusion (environmental) in videogames?

What is environmental occlusion in videogames

Ambient Occlusion (environmental) is a filter of graphic cards for more realism in the light and shadow effects of 3D objects. Environmental Occlusion significantly improves the rendering quality of lighting effects and having this filter on greatly increases the resource consumption of the GPU and could reduce FPS if the GPU does not have enough capacity to support that filter in a given game.

Depending on the game in which you use the Ambient Occlusion there could be very different quality differences when you have activated this filter. So you should notice if it is sufficiently compensable to have the Ambient Occlusion activated.

This filter also has several types which are SSAO, HBAO, HBAO + and HDAO and each applies different types of lighting quality in the 3D objects of video games.

The customization and availability of Ambient Occlusion options can vary in each game, for example in Overwatch for now only appears to put a yes or no to activate or deactivate that option, in other games you choose to more personalised.

Examples of Environmental Occlusion

Let us see images of what is Ambient Occlusion.

First, let’s look at Battlefield 4.

What is environmental occlusion in videogames

In this first image, we can see how it looks with HBAO.

What is environmental occlusion in videogames

Now the same image with the Ambient Occlusion deactivated.


Now with SSAO.

What is environmental occlusion in videogames

If you look well in the images have differences of noticeable shadows, you can take as reference example the metal that is above the wheel.

The following image is a screenshot within the World of Warcraft game with Ambient Occlusion disabled

Now the same image with the Ambient Occlusion activated with HBAO +

What is environmental occlusion in videogames

At a glance you will practically not notice any difference, but if you look at the images well, in the second the shadows that are in the upper right part of the trunk and in the lower part to the right in The herbs that are attached to the trunk.