Bake Wrangler is a nodes based extension and replacement for the inbuilt baking system. The aim is to provide a highly configurable but easy to use baking system with all the extra features you really wish you had.
Bake Wrangler 1.0 RC1 (release candidate 1):
A couple of bug fixes but actually some pretty big changes from the first RC under-the-hood. The quick run down of changes is:
- Color space issues fixed
- Bake passes that can use scene lighting crashing fixed (combined, diffuse, glossy, etc)
- Some changes to Curvature pass
- With ‘Debug’ option enabled, the full process log will automatically open in a new window if the bake crashes or has an error. (To make it easier to post logs)
The new system has to handle alpha channels separately, which means a slight slow down if you need an alpha channel on your output. I still have one change to come dealing with reroute nodes and maybe a slight change to the alpha system.
Bake Wrangler 1.0 RC (release candidate 0):
We are getting to what is likely to be the last of the beta releases, other than bug fixes. All the core features are implemented and a lot of the baking code has been re-factored or rewritten either for performance to facilitate future features. The major changes you will notice (other than bug fixes) are:
- New message output. The default will pop up a text window when you start a new bake. This can be controlled from preferences. If you disable the pop-up you can still view the progress by opening a text editor window and viewing the “BakeWrangler” file. Messages are of course still sent to the console and the new stuff can be disabled in prefs if you don’t like it.
- Performance is greatly increased for file output, you will notice simple bakes finish much quicker now.
- New options have been added to the Bake Pass to use your world and render settings along with the option for 32 Bit Float output (note that if you use the Float buffer, baking things like normals to something other than Non-Color will result in weirdness)
All this means that soon(ish) the ‘Beta’ product will go away. The release version will launch on both Gumroad and BlenderMarket in the next month or so hopefully. Anyone who has donated or provided support with testing and developing will get a code or something to access the new product.
I still have more planned for the future with addition bake types, ease of use improvements, etc.
Bake Wrangler beta 0.9.5.2 (bugsplat):
Mostly just a bug fix update. Not what I was planning for the next release, but I was made aware of a number of issues that seemed important!
- Some modifiers weren’t working properly (booleans any way). This is a blender issue which seems to only exist when doing background stuff. Actually there seems to be a number of bugs in blenders background processing. Any way I have a workaround which seems to solve it now.
- Using translations were causing bakes to fail. That seemed pretty bad. It should be all fixed now by using UTF-8 input and output.
There are a couple of other things like adding the PBR Specular pass, some UI stuff like updating lables to reflect the selected bake pass and I’ve renamed the inputs to Target and Source since people complained about Active and Selected (you may need to restart blender after updating for that change to work).
Bake Wrangler beta 0.9.5 (objectify):
Major change to the node set up. ‘Bake From’ node is gone, replaced by Object List. Mesh node is changed to support the new system.
The Mesh node now takes 3 inputs which can either be single objects or any combination of the Object List node. The inputs are ‘Active’, ‘Selected’ and ‘Scene’:
Active: Only uses ‘MESH’ type objects and anything connected here is treated as the target object of the bake.
Selected: Can now accept any object type and everything connected will part of the selection when baking. There is a caveat here that some weird blender bug was causing crashes with Meta and Surf objects but only depending on their list order. To bypass it everything is converted to a Mesh, which means your objects Viewport settings will be used rather than render settings. Keep that in mind.
Scene: New input that will place these objects into the bake, but not select them in any way. This lets you add lights and such if you want to bake cast shadows or the like.
The Object List node has a filter to choose what object types to show and can be switched to Collections. UV maps and Cages can be set per object in the list.
This all adds up to allow more flexibility in your baking and potentially use a lot fewer nodes if you only have simple needs. New node trees will also start with a basic set up and out of date node trees will be automatically updated the first time they are opened. Please let me know of any issues with the auto tree update and if any node set ups cause crashes!
Bake Wrangler beta 0.9.4 (curvycavity):
Added three new bake types:
- Cavity (experimental)
- Curvature Smoothed
The cavity pass is a bit slow, but I think it produces better/more accurate results than some other methods. Try it out on different models and tell me what you think?
This is probably the last update before I make a bunch of changes to the node tree. Auto updating old trees to the new one could be a problem, so a warning that previously saved trees may not work in future. But I will see what can be done.
Bake Wrangler beta 0.9.3 (mixer):
Added support for Principled materials that use Mix Shaders. Are any other material configurations needed?
Also fixed a bug where baking multiple objects using a single PBR pass would cause objects after the first to return their Emit channel instead of the selected one.
Next I plan to make some significant changes to the node tree to allow adding multiple ‘low poly’ objects to a pass as well as scene elements (lights, etc) that can contribute indirectly to a pass. I’m also strongly thinking about moving feedback away from the console.
What bake passes do people want that are not currently supported? Especially any Principled node channels that aren’t currently exposed?
Bake Wrangler beta 0.9.1 (batch-cooking):
This update is all about batch baking. Output Image nodes can now be connected to a Batch Bake node to perform all your bakes with one click:
This is one of the last major features I wanted to add. I want to focus on polishing things up and tweaking minor features in preperation for non-beta release. So please report any out standing bugs and request tweaks/polish that you think is missing!
-Point 1 update:
Preference loading problem should be fixed now. Also added a work-around to try to maintain file dirty status along with the ability to select which UV map to use if the object has more than one.
-Point 2 update:
Preferences should really be fixed this time!
Bake Wrangler beta 0.8.2 (collectionbake):
Two major changes in this update. Firstly the way color spaces are handled has been changed as an undesirable side effect was introduced due to changes in 0.7 which meant the gamma setting was being applied to saved images. Color spaces should now be correct in saved images.
Secondly the High Poly node has been renamed and reworked to ‘Bake From’ node. It now has the ability to select non-empty Collections and the option to include sub-collections. Curves have also been added as a valid object type. This mostly happened thanks to @Darknoodles contributing some code and testing the workflow.
The main missing features as I see it now are the batch baking node and some ability to deal with mix shaders. Please report any bugs or work flow issues you have so they can be ironed out for the 1.0 release.
Bake Wrangler beta 0.8 (bakeimage):
Apologies, it has been a while between updates. However it’s sometimes difficult to find time to work on projects that don’t put food in my stomach.
This update brings the ‘Bake Image’ work flow into play (the button on the Output Image Path node that has been disabled all this time). I’m not sure how useful people will find it, but I think it’s good for when you just want to update one bake in your project.
The ‘Color’ socket should always be generated first (if it’s connected), the order of the other channels depends on your node set up. But their processing order shouldn’t matter.
The build passes all my tests and there isn’t a large amount of new logic, but as always please report any bugs here!
Bake Wrangler beta 0.7 (imageset):
Adds support for all image format settings. Output to alpha channel will now work when using a format that supports alpha.
- Choose Color Space (sRGB, Linear, Non-Color, etc)
- Choose format (BW, RGB, RGBA)
- Choose depth (8, 16, 32, etc)
Note: There are a lot of possible settings and I haven’t tested all the combinations, but they should be working. Report if you find any problems!
Bake Wrangler beta 0.6.1 (imagespeed):
Small update to fix an issue with multires and masks. Also improved the speed of the image manipulation step and made connections to image channels behave in a more useful and sensibile way:
Color socket to a R/G/B socket will now take that color (eg Color to B socket will take B channel from the Color). Channel (R/G/B) socket to a Color socket works the same, but in reverse (eg B to Color socket will write B channel to the Color).
Bake Wrangler beta 0.6:
This update fixes a number of bugs, improves the UI and feed back along with new features to fully support all bake types and options. This version should be much more robust and handle many weird cases that would cause the previous version to fail.
- All built-in bake types supported with all options.
- Additional bake passes for Principled shader: Albedo, Metalness
- Bake and Save at different resolutions
- Bake directly to specific image channels (alpha currently not working)
- Masking with separate sample count for baking multiple passes to one image
- Support for Multires and Cages
- All baking takes place in the background using a separate copy of the data. Nothing is changed in your scene and you can continue working while images bake without problems.
Planned Features (by 1.0 release):
- Implement the ‘Bake Image’ work flow (currently only ‘Bake Pass’ workflow is enabled)
- Full batch grouping support to bake multiple passes and/or images with a single button
Desired Features (depending on community support):
- As part of batch support, one click previewing of baked textures on selected model
- Selecting of Collections in addition to objects (big time saving for very large projects)
- Automatic file naming for batch output (%O, etc)
- Additional node types for cleaner layouts, rerouting, grouping, etc
- Additional post processing nodes, like Anti-aliasing (can already sort of do this by baking and saving at different sizes)
- Add selected to High Poly node
- Extra features as desired and requested by the users