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OpenGL Ambient Occlusion

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I'm trying to implement ambient occlusion as seen on this page (scroll down a bit). I think I understand how it works, rays are projected from the center of each occupied cell (ones that have faces), the distance the rays travel before colliding into another occupied cell is recorded. An occlusion value for each face is calculated using the distances the rays travelled, and the sum of the cosines of the face normal and ray normal. That occlusion value is then used to determine how much lighting the face receives.

Trouble is, the source is written in python and the author doesn't go into much detail on how to calculate how far the rays travel, so I need a bit of help. Are there any other resources on this or can anybody explain this for me? Thanks in advance.

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