Baking from selected Cycles issue - Ray distance broken?

Hey, so I’m trying to bake one object as normals/color onto another, onto one specific point, and the “ray distance” setting is seemingly being ignored by the baker. The object being baked onto the target is baking seemingly infinitely in each axis.

As you can see, the setting is set to 0.1m and yet the object is being baked onto each side of the model. I have used this exact same technique hundreds of times for ID maps and normal maps but now it’s not working smoothly.


Here you can see it with the color bake.baketest.blend (686.4 KB)
Here’s the file I’m testing with.

Hey Cody38,

what is it exactly you are trying to achive?

The smoothness of the tangent normals in the baked texture? Set shading to smooth on the sphere.

I’m trying to bake the blue sphere only to the face it is intersecting with. Instead, it’s showing up on all other faces.


The way I understand baking is that the object shoots out rays off its normals until it hits the target, which is then where it bakes. Then why is it baking on the opposite side of the object? I shouldn’t see blue on the underside of this cylinder but it’s there.

hey Cody38,

I think it’s not the right way to bake the object on to a face. This should be kind of like baking details form a high poly mesh to low poly mesh - both should have similar base shape.
I did something else:

  1. Duplicate both objects.
  2. Join them together.
  3. Select joined mesh and ctrl select the object you want to bake normals to.
  4. Adjust ray distance in the “Selected to Active” panel (in my case it was 1m).
  5. Bake.

combined mesh with red material:

cube and joined mesh sitting on top of each-other:

THANK YOU for reminding me of this. I had known to do this once but I guess it’s been so long I totally forgot. What I’m baking TO is not included in the baking process, so if I am baking one completely separate object to the other, without also baking the other to itself, the result will be messed up.

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Nice to know it was that simple of a solution. I always feel rusty whenever baking is on the line for me. :slight_smile: