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Ambient Occlusion

We start with the default blender scene, containing a cube, a camera and a light. press "A" and add a "Plane" to the scene
blender ambient occlusion

Press "S" to scale it, and move it below the cube by dragging the plane on the axis.
blender scale move

Press "F12" to render the scene, it will look like this:
blender render scene

Find the lightsource in the scene Select it (right-click) press "X" and delete it Press "F12" to render the scene, it will obviously be black without a lightsource:
blender render scene without lightsource

Now we need to make sure our objects have "default materials". The cube has one by default, but since we created the plane we have to manually create a new material for it. Go to the material-tab (sphere-icon with checkerboard) and click on "new".
blender materials

Now we have to enable ambient occlusion in the "world-tab" (sphere-icon like a world):
blender world settings

Now we render again (F12):
blender scene render

So far so good... Now what we want is to have this "in a texture" and a proper U/V mapping. Switch to U/V mapping
blender u/v-mapping

Create a new texture
blender new texture blender new texture

Select the plane (right-click on it) and press the "tab-key" to select all vertices
blender select plane vertices

Press "U" and select "Unwrap" to easily generate U/V coordinates
blender generate u/v-map

Now go to the "render-tab" and find the "bake" part. Select "ambient occlusion" and "normalize". Normalize enabled means it will generate a black-white image (instead of using materials & textures) So now you have the following selected items: Active texture in UV Active plane has UV coordinates Click on "generate and you should see your U/V texture at the right-top being (slowly) generated Notice it shows progress per-triangle (and since we only have 2 triangles, the progress indicator will not be very smooth ^^)
blender bake u/v-texture

Now we want to see the plane with our newly baked texture. Select "textured" and observe the plane now getting a (fake) shadow from the texture. If we move the cube, you will see the shadow on the plane will remain (duh - it's baked!)
blender textured

blender plane

blender moved cube

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