I cannot figure out how to bake normals in Blender reliably. I can bake normals and get a near perfect result, and then bake them again without changing any settings as far as I can tell, and get something horrendous and unusable.
I baked this normal map from HP to LP without using a cage:
Without changing anything that I’m aware of, I hit bake again, and immediately get this instead:
Obviously something is different, but it’s not anything I’m consciously changing. I’m baking using Cycles. I have the image texture active on the material, but it isn’t plugged into anything, so I don’t see how the normal map already existing could affect subsequent bakes. I just don’t get it, and it’s driving me nuts.