Baking normals gives flat blue render

So I’m trying to learn how to bake normal maps for some 2D assets I’m working on. I’m trying to create normal maps of 3D objects that look like this:

My problem is that mine end up looking like this:

with no rgb variation. When I bake with anything but the tangent option, I get crazy cool picasso colors:

How do I get gradients that are closer to the suzanne model?

How do I get gradients that are closer to the suzanne model?
By first attaching or posting a link to your blend file so other users can see what you are not doing correctly.

Oops. Had one saved, forgot to attach it.
boxnormals.blend (435 KB)

You don’t use baking as that bakes the difference in normals between two objects.
If you just want to render the object showing the normals an easy way is to just use a shadeless material with a normal texture applied mapped to the objects normals.
See the attached blend file. You can just append the material from it (Shift+F1) into your blend file and apply the material to your object, then just render the scene


normal.blend (175 KB)

Wow, thanks! I actually tried to figure out how to display it with materials and three textures mapped from normals to colors. Not sure how the image texture works, but Blender’s doing exactly what I need, so thanks again.