Normal Map Baking - flat color?

I’m trying to bake out normals from a high poly mesh to a low poly mesh and I’m getting a weird result where it’s just pumping out a flat colored normal map. It wasn’t doing this a couple of days ago. Any ideas?

  • The Bake should be set to “normals” (not “full render”)
  • Make sure “Selected to Active” is activated. This compares the high poly one mesh against the low poly mesh in order to work out surface displacements.
  • Normal space should be set to “tangent”. This will generate a Map that allows for the object to be animated (e.g. change rotation). Older methods could only make Normal Maps for stationary objects where only the lighting positions could change.
  • You might want to put both shapes on the same layer for the bake, double check which you are selecting first.

Yeah, I’ve done all of that. Not my first time around the normal mapping block, I’ve just never seen this error before. Here, I’ll take a screen shot maybe you can help me figure this one out.

Have you presaved the low-poly UV map?

Of course as soon as I post this it starts working again… I have no idea what caused it, but when I went to make a new one to replicate it for a screenshot for you it worked after like 20 times of not working. Oh well, back to work! Thanks for trying to help anyway!

Hahaha - yeah, a lot of the time I post it’s because I know nothing will progress unless I post something and then it’ll work itself out or turn out to be something obvious. I’m guessing it was the order of selection. Blender has this thing where the 3rd times selecting; unselects, and when you have two objects to select in order it can make the picking difficult.