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glTF is capable of storing a baked ambient occlusion map.
Currently, there is no arrangement of nodes that causes Blender 3D to use such a map in exactly the same way as intended in glTF. However, if the exporter finds a custom node group by the name of glTF Settings, and finds an input named Occlusion on that node group, it will look for an Image Texture attached there to use as the occlusion map in glTF. The effect need not be shown in Blender, as the system has other ways of showing ambient occlusion, but this method will allow the exporter to write an occlusion image to the glTF.
This can be useful to real-time glTF viewers, particularly on platforms where there may not be spare power for computing such things at render time.
A pre-baked ambient occlusion map, connected to a node that doesn’t render but will export to glTF.
The easiest way to create the custom node group is to import an existing glTF model that contains an occlusion map, such as the water bottle or another existing model. A manually created custom node group can also be used.
glTF stores occlusion in the red (
R) channel, allowing it to optionally share the same image with the roughness and metallic channels.
This combination of nodes mimics the way glTF packs occlusion, roughness, and metallic values into a single image.