I understand the use of AO’s in static objects and scenes. But isn’t it technically wrong to use them in dynamic models, like characters?
As far as I know, the way of adding AO maps in blender is by multiplying them with the color map through a mixrgb note, right? It’s exactly as baking shadows in the diffuse texture, isn’t it.
Sooooooo, it doesn’t make sense to me. Does it to you?
Very strictly speaking, technically it’s not correct to use them at all if you have defined geometry and calculating a full GI. AO is to occlude ambient light (from everywhere) in a game engine where you can’t afford full GI calculations. Game studios have their own guidelines when AO is baked and when AO is omitted or done real time, and game rules/situations dictate if the baked AO is used or not, and how it is used it depends on how reflections are obtained. But yeah, AO is a quick simulation of GI based on ambient light and should be thought of as such. That said, everything is possible or legal if it helps sell the image.