Screen Space Ambient Occlusion

Manta Games

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Screen space ambient occlusion is a post-process effect which attempts to approximate shadows produced by nearby objects in a scene. A simple example of this would be darkening of crevasses in objects, as well as the illusion of absence of light found between two objects near each other.

In games, this effect aims to improve the visual realism of scenes by increasing visual depth of objects. The shader works in screen-space meaning it is a post process effect which makes use of (hopefully) already existing per-fragment depth and normal data.


  • Significant improvement to visual quality of plain scenes.
  • Fully customisable with multiple settings that can be adjusted to get exactly the look and feel you want.
  • Optimisations to reduce draw calls
  • Post-process effect, so it can be added on-top of other shaders without having to change much.
  • AAA-quality

Note: Ambient occlusion is an high-end effect meaning that it has the potential to improve the graphics of your game, however the cost of the effect is still quite high. This will run fine on any PC with a modern graphics card, however caution should be taken when working on slower PCs. As a rough guide, if you can run Ambient Occlusion in other games, then you can almost certainly run this SSAO.

This has currently only been tested on the windows platform, however it should work on both Mac and Linux. Mobile could work, however it is likely that the devices will not be powerful enough to run this effect.


We have a windows demo you can try before you buy: https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/14457523/MarketPlace/SSAO/SSAO_Demo.exe

NOTE: When importing, you will need to change the types of any erroring shaders to HLSL 9, there is a bug with the marketplace imports that default all shaders to GLSL.

End User Licence Agreement (EULA).

Version 1.0.0. Published February 14, 2015

Created with GameMaker: Studio v1.4.1522

Age Rating: 4+

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Fredrik H 25 August 2016

Error (SOLVET)

As mentioned below I had to change the shaders to HLSL9

It looks awesome so I decided to try it, maybe if it's easy to use and understand I'll use it in my game, but:

Reading project file....Error compiling vertex shader.
In Shader sh_gbuffer_ddn at line 3 : " : syntax error
Error compiling vertex shader:
In Shader sh_gbuffer_dn at line 3 : " : syntax error
Compie Failed - Please check the Compile window for any additional information

I have no idea ^^


Igor P 21 May 2016

Works Alright.

-Not so hard to implement.
-Publisher responding quickly.
-Documentation is good.
-Runs a little slow, but not way too slow.


Matthew W 16 January 2016

Doesn't work.

Same error as listed below. I hope the error is sorted soon


Manta Games (Publisher) 23 January 2016

As with the previous reply, we apologize for this and are currently looking into a fix (if it is the same error listed in a different reply). If this is not the same error could you please provide us with some additional information, thankyou!

Update: After checking, you simply need to change the shader type of sh_gbuffer_ddn and sh_gbuffer_dn to HLSL9 (GM doesn't save this for marketplace assets for some reason).


Hayoon J 03 December 2015

Looks great, but doesn't seem to work now.

Really looks amazing, but with the current version of GMS (1.4.1657) it throws the error :
Error : [V]Shader_sh_gbuffer_ddn(3) : '' : syntax error
Error compiling vertex shader:
Error : [V]Shader_sh_gbuffer_dn(3) : '' : syntax error

Hopefully it gets fixed!


Manta Games (Publisher) 23 January 2016

Apologies for the late response, we do not receive notifications from the marketplace. We are now looking into this error, apologies that it has occured, we should hopefully have it sorted out soon!

Update: You simply need to change the shader type of those shaders to HLSL9 rather than GLSL ES (For some reason marketplace assets do not maintain their shader type).


Reuben S 24 April 2015

Not impressed

Limited characters means no sugarcoating, but let me say that despite the flaws, this asset looks wonderful.
- Documentation is horrible. Explains very basic setup, but no chance acting as a reference.
- Implementation is very messy and a nightmare to work with. It requires lots of pruning and replacing. It would benefit from having a more streamlined system that utilizes functions to set properties and object dependencies.
- No script headers, descriptions, or argument explanations. Just very basic comments so a little hard to learn the system. The manual does help a LITTLE on the matter, but you will still have to do a lot of reverse-engineering.
- No error checking whatsoever. E.g., simple things like switching to fullscreen crashes because the surfaces are freed and not checked.
- Makes assumptions. E.g., bases sizes off view 0, even if it is disabled.

Looks great once working, but the user-friendly-side of the implementation needs a LOT of work. 'Till then, 2 stars. Sorry.


Anonymous 14 April 2015

Worth the trouble

Get it
Copy everything Nico T said, and paste it in this review


Nico T 20 February 2015

Great Shader(s)! Makes my game looks 100x better!

Thank you guys for your great shader(s)!
For such a complex shader it is really easy to implement it
and the help PDF is a awesome helpfile for new and advanced user.

SSAO just looks amazing and you nailed it with this shader!
My respect guys.


Manta Games (Publisher) 21 February 2015

We would love to see what you're making, Nico! Message us on the GMC (MishMash or orange451) if you would like to share! :)
Thanks again for buying our shader!

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