Ambient occlusion as max-distance matte in post

Obviously, this image isn’t going to win any beauty awards, but it’s a proof-of-concept of something that I wanted to test.

I’m using the inverse values of an ambient occlusion pass as a matte for a reflection pass, then blurring the result of that matte.

So…I think that gives me a max-distance glossy reflection that’s adjustable in post. Which would be kind of awesome. And MUCH faster than mia_material glossy reflections. I haven’t done this in the above image, but the non-inverse values of the occlusion pass could also be used to map the blur. I think this would give you reflections that blurred as a function of distance.

::edit::

I suspect that a problem would arise with the above in cases where a material had a bump map. The normal angles from that bump map heavily influence reflection (…I think) and whether not a point is occluded would be unrelated to reflectivity at a given point. At this point, I’m not sure how to solve that problem. But I’m going to think about it some more. And also double-check that I’m correctly understanding how AO and reflectivity work.

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