icon-texturingIntroduction to Baking in Cycles

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Tags - baking, Photorealistic
Software:
  • Blender 2.71
Discover How To:
  • How to start baking in just 3 minutes
  • How to use baking for specific purposes like caustics
  • How to bake textured objects

Chapter Marks (Full Length )

modelling icon30.36icon-texturing1.43icon-texturing4.03icon-texturing9.13materials icon10.49
Software:
  • Blender 2.71
Discover How To:
  • How to start baking in just 3 minutes
  • How to use baking for specific purposes like caustics
  • How to bake textured objects

Chapter Marks (Full Length )

modelling icon30.36icon-texturing1.43icon-texturing4.03icon-texturing9.13materials icon10.49

In this tutorial you’ll discover:

  • The basics of baking and how to get started in minutes
  • How to bake textured objects
  • How to use baking for specific purposes like caustics

What is Baking?

Baking is the process of calculating and saving the cycles light data directly onto the objects themselves. Meaning they can then be viewed in realtime:

This makes it immensely helpful for game development, as well as camera fly through animations.

It works by UV unwrapping the object, creating a blank image and baking the light data onto it.

Download

Some ready made scenes to explore:

Cycles Baking - Prison Hall - Free .blend

Download the Prison Hall Scene

 

Cycles Baking - Living Room - free .blend

Download the baked Lounge Room scene

Enjoy! This ridiculously cool feature is made possible due to the Blender Development Fund. So a big thanks to everyone who donates, not to mention Dalai Felinto who coded this whole thing :)

And here’s a tip from Dalai that wasn’t in the tutorial: You can select multiple objects and bake them at the same time :)

Summary

1. Select the Plane and UV Unwrap it.

intro_to_cycles_baking_1

 

2. Create a blank image as placeholder.

intro_to_cycles_baking_2

 

3. Proceed to the Node Editor and add an Image Texture and make it the active selection.

intro_to_cycles_baking_3

 

4. Proceed to the Render Panel and click Bake, as seen below.

intro_to_cycles_baking_4

 

5. Unwrap the Cube and repeat steps 2 to 4.

intro_to_cycles_baking_5

 

6. Attach an Emission shader to the materials, as seen below.

intro_to_cycles_baking_6

 

Baking a scene with Textures

1. Create a node setup like you would normally:

intro_to_cycles_baking_7

 

2. In the node editor, select the ‘floor’ image texture node, then in the render settings, click Bake.

intro_to_cycles_baking_8

 

Baking Caustics

1. Add the Suzanne monkey head and add a simple Glass shader.

intro_to_cycles_baking_9

2. Select the floor, create a new image in the UV image editor, and in the bake settings, choose Diffuse Indirect.

intro_to_cycles_baking_10

3. Combine this baked image with your normal render, by plugging it into an emission shader and Add Shader as shown:

intro_to_cycles_baking_11

Voila! You now have baked caustics that can be used to save time in animations.

Now you know the basics, give it a shot!

Troubleshooting

Not working or just returning a black image? Make sure:

  1. You’ve created a New Blank Image. UV Image Editor>New Image
  2. That image is added to the node editor as an Image Texture and kept selected.
  3. The Normals of the object are facing on the side to receive light. If not, EDIT>W>Flip Normals
  4. If multiple UV layouts exist, make sure the correct UV Map layout is selected.
  5. The standard node setup for the material is connected to the shader output
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