So I decided to fully convert Vanillaccurate to LabPBR 1.1 – including AO. You will now get AO in the 1.1 version as well.
Why this ? Because LabPBR 1.2 might be easier to work with, it has breaking changes: current shaders that use normals (most of them) will NOT work if the pack is using 1.2 format and has AO in the blue channel, indeed those shaders would simply consider the AO being the Z component of the normal and thus the normal rendering/computations would simply look wrong.
On the other hand, using a LabPBR 1.1 pack in a 1.2 shader would cause no issues, as the shader would simply discard the Z component of the normal and rebuild it. I think 1.2 shaders should always re-normalize the normals anyway so the possible AO included as normal vector length would simply be “erased” by re-normalizing the normals after having rebuilt the Z component.
So now Vanillaccurate will feature LabPBR 1.1 *including AO* and I’m currently writing a converter that will convert the pack to 1.2 should you use a shader that is 1.2 compliant. Keep an eye out for that new app which is a big toolbox with different utilities to work with resourcepacks (not only Vanillaccurate!)
Here’s a comparison between no AO, LabPBR 1.1 and LabPBR 1.2 using Kappa 2.1 shader :