I feel this probably could have turned out better, I just could not get the clouds right. This was, however, probably the most successful implementation of AO I’ve had yet in a gmod image. I used a really tight z-pass to render it at 4320p, then downsampled it. They’re hard to notice with everything going on in this image, but there are some pretty nice soft shadows going on, and I didn’t paint any of them.
I honestly don’t know what to play around with next, graphics wise. I’ve managed the three big things I wanted (accurate placement of effects in 3-D space in an image, accurate DOF, and accurate ambient occlusion).