Ambient Occlusion in the pipeline
I don’t know why I bother frustrating myself with xNormal when I love the raytraced ambient occlusion bakes from Blender. Just because I’ve dropped Blender for most other purposes doesn’t mean I can’t load it up for this particular tool.
I’m utilizing more of the bazaar than the cathedral for 3D asset creation: Rather than using one monolithic application, I’m using whatever tool does the job in the way I like best. I think I’ve settled on 3D Coat for normal maps and specular (I adore painting in specular!), and Blender for AO.