[ADDON] [$] SimpleBake - Simple Pbr And Other Baking In Blender 2.8

SimpleBake is a baking add-on for Blender. Its party piece is baking PBR maps from Bender materials (for export to other applications and services), but it also bakes all of the “traditional” Cycles baking modes, as well as a number of special maps. It aims to be the definitive baking solution for Blender 2.8, making baking possible with one-click (and not 100s).

It has been available on Blender Market and Gumroad coming up to 9 months now, and has around 500 happy* users (particularly game developers and Sketchfab… enthusiasts?). It is also a recognised Sketchfab up-laoder.

*See the Blender Market reviews

As some of the best features of SimpleBake have come from user feedback and discussion, I’ve been meaning to start a BA thread now for quite a while. This is me finally getting around to it! :slightly_smiling_face:

Available on Blender Market ($10)

General Features (apply to all baking)

  • Keep doing what you are doing - No new workflow to learn. No special node groups or materials to use. No limitations on the complexity of your materials. Just simple baking based on your existing workflow.

  • Auto export (baked maps) – Automatically export baked maps to external files.

  • Auto export (mesh) – Automatically export your mesh to external files. The mesh will have materials applied that refer to your exported bake images, making importing it into another application or service easy.

  • Batch baking and folder organisation – Export your bakes and mesh to custom folders (created where you blend file is saved), and with custom batch names (which are included in the file names). Bake a complex scene in stages with ease, and never accidentally overwrite your baked maps again!

  • No limits on materials - Your object can have as many different materials as you want. SimpleBake will process them all.

  • Combine to one texture set - Bake multiple objects to a single texture set in exactly the same way was you bake anything else.

  • Smart UV handling - Use existing UVs, generate new UVs and generate atlas maps - whatever you need. Either restore your original UV maps after the bake, or leave the ones used for baking applied.

  • Copy and apply - Option to duplicate your objects and apply the baked textures right in Blender. Textures you have exported will be linked to the external files (see the next point)

  • External linking - Textures not saved externally will be linked to Blender internal images. Textures saved externally will be linked to the external file. Never again will you close Blender without saving images externally, only to open it later on and find all your bakes were lost.

  • Easy to use and well documented - SimpleBake is designed with simplicity in mind. It should “just work”. Almost everything has a verbose tooltip. SimpleBake tries to catch every error, and explain to you what you are doing wrong, and how to fix it. Tips are displayed in the interface to avoid common “gotchas”, or where you have selected options that may not work well together (e.g. baking multiple objects to one texture set with their existing UV maps). Also, check out the FAQs on Blender Market for some detailed information about baking and using SimpleBake.

PBR Bake Mode

  • Simple PBR baking - A one-click solution for baking all PBR maps (Diffuse, Metallic / Metal, Roughness, Normal, Transmission, Transmission Roughness, Clearcoat, Clearcoat Roughness, Emission Specular and Alpha). Just tick the ones that you need and SimpleBake will spit them out.

  • Use complex materials -Create your PBR materials in the usual way. Use multiple Principled BSDFs and Emission shaders to get the result you want (beware other add-ons that claim to bake PBR maps - do they support multiple shaders?). Use Mix Shader nodes to mix them together how you want. Use whatever input to those shaders that you want! Then bake. SimpleBake will make sense of it all.

  • Bake to target - Bake multiple objects to a single target object with ease. Options for ray distance and cage selection are included.

  • Sketchfab – Provide your Sketchfab API key to upload PBR models and textures to Sketchfab with one click. Textures will be automatically matched to materials in Sketchfab (though some manual adjustments may be required due to limitations in the Sketchfab API - see the FAQs).

Cycles Bake Mode

  • Traditional Baking - Bake any of the “traditional” Cycles bake modes (Combined, Roughness, Normal etc). SimpleBake will handle all the node setup and a tonne of other things that make baking in Blender a pain.

  • Colour Space - Choose your colour space for baked images. Choose whether or not to use this colour space in your exported files.

Specials Bake Mode

  • Special Maps - Bake a number of special maps including AO, Curvature, Thickness, Vertex Colours and Colour ID. More to be added soon.

  • Smaller Features Making all baking in SimpleBake just a little easier

  • Super fast - SimpleBake uses a number of techniques and optimisations to bake super fast and super accurately.

  • Texture size - Select your desired texture size with one click. Optimum bake margins are set automatically.

  • Export formats - Export images in a variety of file formats.

  • Alpha - Bake with or without alpha background.

  • Colour space and bit depth - Automatic handling of colour space and bit depth for optimal results (while also providing manual overrides if needed)

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Version 4.5.0

  • Fulfilling a long standing user request, this version brings total control over the naming of bake files (to allow for different studios having different preferences). Check out the SimpleBake add-on preferences and the screenshot below
  • Introduced a basic “per material” bake option for Cycles. This will be developed further in time
  • Improved Sketchfab upload. This is now based on existing bakes for selected objects. Should be more reliable
  • Re-worked the automatic update checking function as it was blocking Blender starting up when internet connection was present but unreliable
  • A number of small bug fixes and enhancements

Version 4.5.5 of SimpleBake is a small update that adds the options to bake DirectX normal maps as well as glossy maps (inverted roughness).

This is a trial run for some of the new code that will eventually provide the channel packing functionality that I have been discussing with current users.

Available as auto-update as usual.


Thank you for making this add-on :slightly_smiling_face:

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