We’ve all been doing this or at least trying it and it’s awesome! Made a quick scene with some more complex materials and baked in Cycles in about 1 hour and rendered in Open GL in 3 minutes for a 10 sec (250 frames) animation. In normal rendering my projected render time for the same animation was 12 hours+. Yes it’s not as accurate as a full render and the reflections aren’t dynamic and you sometimes get weird artifacts for no known reason, but it’s still pretty darn good! I can see me using this constantly for rendering quick animations that would have taken ages before!
If you haven’t tried the baking yet, or are struggling to figure it out, Andrew Price has a great tutorial up on YouTube that is short and simple. If you have, then let’s see the results!