Baking an ambient occlusion map?

Well I took a Beretta M12 model from FPSB and scaled it, gave it phys, a QC file, and converted the bitmap file it came with to vtf for use as materials and tweaked it a bit after testing it a few times. It works fine in Gmod and now I need to skin the newly converted materials. I asked Lt_C for advice on skinning because I lack experience in it and he was very helpful.

Problem is I don’t know how to bake an AO map, so can anyone explain to me how to bake one?

For 3DS Max:
Create >> Lights >> Standard Lights >> Skylight; put it anywhere
Apply flat texture (white) to model
Rendering >> Render >> Advanced Lighting >> Light Tracer; exit
Select model, Rendering >> Render to Texture (or press 0)
Scroll down, you’ll see a big white box. Under it, click “Add”
Add “CompleteMap”
Set texture size/name/output directory
Click “Render”

This works great.

It’s only been in the past couple of months that this method has become like second nature to me. Now I can render out an AO map whenever I feel like it with no need to google tutorials.

I use that method all the time. I’ve been told that 3DS Max bakes are better quality but I’ve never compared them.

xnormal still works really well if you are not getting a result your happy with.