I'm trying to build a new material from scratch. My height is based off an imported 8bit png greyscale map. Trying to connect an HBAO node out of this, and into my AO, but I'm not seeing any AO returned. One thing I'm noticing is the link between my height and my HABO id a red dashed line. I can't find what that means in the docs, but I'm guessing it's bad. Does anyone know what that means? Or how to properly use the HBAO node. Tutes I found on youtube are basic and don't address my issue, so I'm turnign to this forum in hopes to find something.
The red line indicates you are connecting a different output format to an input e.g. colour to greyscale. Although your bitmap contains grey values, is the bitmap node set to colour or greyscale (click on it and check in "Specific Parameters")? Make sure it is set to greyscale.
Thanks for this. The second part of my question is, should it matter whether 3 color channel or 1 grey channel are piped into the HBAO node? Should it not work on luminance values? Is that why I'm not getting any output change from that node?
Yes it matters, the HBAO is expecting a heightmap which is a single channel greyscale map.
If you just have the bitmap node, change it to greyscale output, so that you plug in the correct format to the HBAO node. If you have other nodes in between, then use a greyscale conversion node to convert the preceding colour output to greyscale.