Is it possible to mix certain textures that are baked with ones that aren’t? How does Blender calculate light bounces that hit an emission shader that has a baked texture plugged into it? The reason I ask is because I have an animation that has several transparent and semi-transparent materials that cannot be baked. Also, as the camera moves the reflection on some surfaces must move correctly so I thought I could bake some of the textures to save render time but I’m wondering if this will actually work and save time or just be pretty much the same calculation. I know it’s a strange thing to ask but I’m just getting started with baking.
For reflections since it’s view dependent, one choice is to place an equirectangular (no pitch or bank) camera at your reflective objects position and render out an “environment” map of the surroundings. Then replace the glossy with emit and map the image using reflected coords -> env texture (iirc), maybe mapping rotation is needed if the camera was pointing the wrong way. You can kind of fake roughness blurring the coords, but I don’t think bump/normals can be faked. Since we only have reflected coords, there is no counterpart for refraction that I know of. Basically setting up your own reflection probe manually.
That’s a mess of stuff to fake reflections. Eevee will handle this waaaaay better of course.