- IDs & Masks
The Normals output will bake a tangent space normal map. There are options to flip the red (X), green (Y), and blue (Z) channels, as well as a setting to toggle dithering.
Normals (Object) #
The Normals (Object) output will bake an object space normal map. Object space normal maps are not commonly used in game or film assets, but are an excellent source for generating directional masks for your textures, for instance, adding a layer of dust to the top of your object.
The Height output will bake a height or displacement map. The Inner/Outer Distance sliders determine the minimum and maximum distances (in scene units) that will be recorded. If you have detail that extends 2 units in, and 5 units out, you would set these values to -2 and 5, respectively. To ensure that your zero point is 50%, set the min and max values proportionally, for instance, -5 and 5.
The Position output, otherwise known as a gradient map, will bake the position of your mesh in the X, Y and Z channels to the RGB channels of the image. A position map is good source for generating texture masks as well, for instance creating a gradient in color or saturation from the bottom to the top of your asset.
The Curvature output will bake both convexity and concavity maps. By default, the curvature map is baked in greyscale, where concave details are brighter while convex shapes are darker. Curvature maps are useful for generating masks for scratches, recessed dirt, and other effects.
The Concavity output, also known as cavity, bakes a map of the concave surfaces or cracks and pits. Concavity maps are useful for masking ambient light or generating texture effects such as dirt, dust, and grime.
The Concavity output bakes a map of the convex surfaces or sharp edges. Convexity maps are useful for generating texture effects such as scratched edges.
The Thickness output, also known as transmission, bakes a map based on the thickness of the high poly mesh. Thinner areas create bright values while thicker areas are dark.
Bent Normals #
The Bent Normals output generates a normal map which has ambient occlusion baked into the normal vector data. Bent Normals maps can be used to simulate complex lighting with certain shaders.
Bent Normals (Object) #
The Bent Normals (Object) output bakes a bent normals map in object space rather than tangent space.
Ambient Occlusion #
The Ambient Occlusion (AO) output bakes light occlusion from the high poly source. AO can be used in many shaders to provide ambient shadows or as a source to generate masks for texturing. An AO map can be especially useful for dust or dirt effects.
The Ray Count setting determines the quality of the AO. More rays will result in smoother AO, but slower bakes. The default setting of 256 provides medium quality, values from 512+ will result in high quality, and values under 256 can be useful for quick test bakes.
The Floor Occlusion setting adds additional occlusion to downward-facing areas. Floor occlusion can help to add directional AO, which is typically most useful for static objects.
The Ignore Groups option will cast AO between different bake groups. This helps to ground the various parts of complex objects. If you have certain elements that are removable or animate, a scope or magazine on a gun, you can move these bake groups off to the side so they don’t influence one another.
The Two-Sided option will cast AO from the backfaces of high poly objects. This is desirable for accurately capturing AO around object intersections, but will cause shadows around floating geometry. For complex assets, it may be a good idea to bake two maps, with this setting on and off, and composite them in your image editor.
The Dither option adds a small amount of noise to combat banding articles. When Dither is enabled, lower rays can generally be used while producing a superior bake.
The Exclude When Ignoring Groups option allows you to disable Ignore Groups for certain Bake Groups. This is especially useful if you have moving parts, for instance, a gun with a bolt or magazine that will be animated. Simply enable Exclude When Ignoring Groups in the Bake Group’s Low settings to make sure AO is not cast or received from other groups.
Diffuse Lighting #
The Diffuse Lighting output bakes the lighting and shadows from the Sky Light and direct lights in the scene. The material properties are defined by the material(s) applied to the high poly mesh(es).
Specular Lighting #
The Specular Lighting output bakes the specular reflections and shadows from the Sky Light and direct lights in the scene. Material properties are defined by the material(s) applied to the high poly mesh(es). Specular lighting is a camera-dependent effect and will not render the backside of your model.
Complete Lighting #
The Complete Lighting output bakes your scene’s material colors, diffuse lighting, shadows, and specular reflections. The material properties are defined by the material(s) applied to the high poly mesh(es).
IDs & Masks #
Material ID #
The Material ID output bakes a unique color for each material assigned to your high poly objects. The colors are automatically applied, so if you want to set specific material ID colors, you can apply the colors to the albedo of your high poly object’s materials and bake an Albedo map.
Group ID #
The Group ID output bakes a unique color for each material group.
Object ID #
The Object ID output bakes a unique color for each material object.
UV ID #
The UV ID output bakes a unique color for each UV island.
The Wireframe output bakes a map representing the low poly mesh’s UV layout.
The Alpha output bakes a map of the holes in the high poly mesh.
The Albedo output bakes the albedo value (this works with a simple color value, an image input, or both) from the high poly material(s).
The Specular output bakes the specular value (this works with a simple color value, an image input, or both) from the high poly material(s).
The Gloss output bakes the gloss value (this works with a simple color value, an image input, or both) from the high poly material(s).
Albedo (Metal) #
The Albedo (Metal) output bakes a color map suitable for the metalness workflow from the high poly material(s).
The Roughness output bakes the roughness value from the high poly material(s).
The Metalness output bakes the metalness value from the high poly material(s). If your materials do not have metalness inputs, metalness content will be generated automatically. There is a Metalness Threshold setting to fine-tune this conversion, which does not apply if the source materials use the metalness workflow.
Vertex Color #
The Vertex Color output will bake vertex color or zBrush polypaint data to an image.
Featured art by Xavier Coelho-Kostolny
The Transparency output bakes a map based on the transparency values set in the high poly material(s).
The Emissive output bakes a map based on the emissive values set in the high poly material(s).