Cycles Baking - 2.71 - question about baking

Hi, I see that Cycles materials baking will be here soon officially, and present already in beta. So. I have a few questions having never baked materials before:

Ordinarily, when you render an object with textured material (let’s say one made from Voronois), does Blender have to calculate all the procedural maths of the texture then all the shading before the render tiles come up and has to do so again for every frame? And so, when ithe material is baked, is faster because it reads the texture and shading as a set unchanging bitmap, and only need to render chandges to that where (lets say) a new light shines onto it or a new shadow is cast onto therefore altering the baked substrate?

So if the material was reflective, I can’t see how baking can work because the things relfected on the baked surface change according to the view…? Thanks for reading.

I just did a simple bit of Cycles baking and sure enough the reflections and speculars of a glossy do bake, but it would require surrounding objects to never move… unless you can bake materials as animations?

So what are the general rules of thumb for baking reflective/transparent surfaces? It almost seems pointless that there are glossy baking features when reflections cannot look the same in a bake as they look from the same view of the baking’s source material. To have it looking the same you would need to bake from camera view, but in that case, you might as well not use baking - instead it would surely be better to simply render from the cam then project that render back onto the objects from the camera?

Simple, don’t bake those materials. Even games don’t use simple baked reflections anymore. Besides, glossy surfaces are so fast to render that it doesn’t even make sense from a “saving render time” point of view. Baking is most useful for indirect lighting and creating normal and displacement maps, as well as for baking down procedurals.

Simpler than I thought it might be - thanks! Another question if I may:

Let’s say you applied a texture to an object by means of ‘Object’ Texture Coordinate node and you were really happy with how it looked. You need to switch this node to being a UV Texture Coordinate for baking to work… but by doing so, it will ruin the position of the texture that you were happy with when it was coordinated by ‘Object’. How could you preserve the ‘Object’ Coordinate position of the texture AND still bake it?

Only the bake output is UV mapped. Inputs (the stuff you are baking down) can be whatever you want.

But when i tried baking a procedural that was coord’ed by an ‘Object’ coordinate, it refused to bake… so how can i bake the appearance of a procedural that is coord’ed by ‘Object’? Thanks!

Tried with procedural with object coordinates. baked ok

Supply a blend file that doesn’t work


bake test.blend (432 KB)

I opened your file, I pressed ‘bake’ with the cube selected and I get an error saying ‘Problem baking object map’.

I now just tried your file on work PC and it does work but not on my PC at home. So this makes me wonder if it is a hardware thing?