Urgent problem with render Baking

Hi everyone,

I’m working on an animation for a client that needs to be finished within the next few days, and am trying to get a complex scene (with Approx AO and raytraced shadows enabled) to render quickly. So far, the plan has been to set up the scene normally and then to bake a “Full Render” to each surface. I’ve done this in the past with no problems, but I’m confused by the amount of time it’s taking to bake each texture this time - the entire scene only takes 30 mins to render, but I’ve been waiting over 24 hours for just one of the textures to bake. Is this normal? My deadline is looming, and yet again Blender has left me staring at an egg timer for an enormous amount of time with no progress bar or indication of what the hell it’s doing with my time.

Sorry, but Blender can be infuriating when working to a deadline. Does anyone have any advice on how to shorten the time it takes to bake? Thanks.

I can’t offer anything but sympathy, as I faced a similar problem with a project but found no solution, ended up scrapping the AO & Texture bakes I’d planned. One still-frame render took over 30 hours to complete. However, in the interest of meeting your deadline, have you considered using a render farm? Not all projects lend themselves to that option but if so, you can save a great amount of time getting your output, at reasonable cost depending on the farm you choose.

You need to find out (fast) which models are taking the extra time. It could be some have heavy material use (e.g. reflectivity / refraction) or it might be that there’s twist in the surface normals… if you have a mobius strip anywhere in a mesh it can really eat render time. I was teaching Blender to students a while back and had a set up where they could import their character onto a turntable I’d made, pre-set in terms of animated spin to showcase their model… there was one person’s model which just took forever per frame even though it was relatively low-pol. I never did fully determine whether it was a world / render setting he’d tweaked, although looking at his mesh I concluded that there were single face areas, causing a flip in normals which may have been sending the renderer into a loop.

Try deleting models and see if any suddenly make that progress bar appear. Failing that, render the background scenes and then the characters separately and use the VSE to composit them together.