Baking normals - problem with artifacts

I’m facing problems with baking normals from high to low poly object. I’m getting artifacts that appear as a dark spots when rendering. High poly is about 5 mil. and low polys I’ve tried were from 7000 to 0,5 mil. polygons.

Pix are below, and this is what I’ve tried so far:

Tried to clean up the high poly - no loose verts, no overlaps, recalculated normals. Did the same with low poly. Also tried it with a hand made lowpoly from retopo, made a low poly in blender with decimation, made a higher res lowpoly (about 0,5 mil. polygons), made a low poly in zbrush with UVs - for every one of them the problem keeps appearing. Always in the same places.

When unwrapping I’ve tried manual method with laying seams, tried blender smart UV project, tried to cut uvs into smaller pieces. Nothing helped. Tried baking into image from 1K to 8K in resolution.

Both meshes has the same origin, are overlaping, have transforms applied, normals recalculated… still nothing.

If anyone has any idea, please don’t hesitate to share it.


use a cage, and set a proper ray distance…

Also u can check the normals in the overlays menu : face orientation. Some times recalculating is’nt working on me so… And the cage too!

@MichaelBenDavid I will need to dance a bit with the cage concept. When trying to do the stuff like in tutorial mentioned below, I get the error “Invalid cage object, the cage mesh must have the same number of faces as the active object”. I assume that when scaling faces along normals, when they are facing towards other faces (like in mouth, eyes, folds) they are collapsing into self… just a theory by now. I will try to tweak that cage by manually moving those problematic faces.

@roussos I did that, I’ve also checked normals in “display normals” in overlays menu. Did that from outside and inside… everything seems ok.

thanks for the tips :slight_smile:

no that error means, that the cage and the low poly meshes must have the same verts,faces count, this doesnt have something to do with face normals, either if you scale the cage in some areas due to self intersection, or try to use a low value of scale before baking, you can use a displace modifier to have more control instead.

I still get the error message when using a cage. To make a cage I scale up (by normals) the low poly duplicate. When I scale not enough - normals appears as a flat blue image, when I scale more I get the error message. I’ve also tried to scale it a bit and then manually tweak separate faces by hand, with no good result.
But fortunately I’ve managed to make pretty good normal map by cranking the ray distance to 0,06. I was tweaking the ray distance before, but did not get granular enough. Changing the ray distance by 0,01 would give different results. Map is not perfect, but I can clean it up in photoshop.

Thank You @MichaelBenDavid for interest in solving my problem.

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You could use a program called “xNormal” to bake your normals. I was trying to use Blender to bake my normals, but I kept on getting yellow artifacts. You can find xNormal here:

I then followed this tutorial, and my normal bake came out with no issues.

Hope I helped! :grin:

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Thanks @CamoSnipe. I know about xNormal, though never used it. I try to do as much as I can in blender :slight_smile: