Want to Bake Procedural Textures from High Poly to Low Poly Mesh

I’ll try to explain my situation the best way I can. I have a pair of very high poly shoes using 2 different materials on this one object with procedural textures (Material “Top” is a leather procedural texture and Material “Bottom” is a rubber procedural texture shown in the picture below).

I also have a low poly version of these shoes and I want to bake the high poly mesh with the procedural textures to the low poly version. I know I need to convert the procedural textures to images for the baking to work, but I don’t know how to do it even after watching countless tutorials about this.

I’ve already UV unwrapped the shoes, and I’ve tried adjusting the bake ray distance and bake setting, but I’m still not getting it right. What would the workflow be for something like this? If you need any more information about anything, please let me know, thanks in advance.

I have just tested baking procedural textures using Cycles in version 2.82, and did not need to convert anything to an image. I used a cube with a subsurf modifier for the low-poly, and a duplicate of the cube with the modifier applied as the hi-poly.

You have not described what is not “right” about your bake so it is hard to give an answer. Perhaps an upload of the file would help.

The basic process:

  • Create the hi-poly model, UV unwrap, and add materials.

  • Create the low-poly model in the same location. I usually duplicate the high poly model and edit this for the low-poly. This also saves the step of having to unwrap the low-poly separately.

  • Add a new material to low-poly, and add an unconnected Image Texture Node.

  • Click Add New and create a new image to be baked to. Choose a name and size.

  • Make sure this Image Texture Node is selected in the node editor.

  • Set up your lighting. For even illumination, I set the world to white or near white and use this to light the model. For an object (which will not move) in a scene, use the scene lighting to get correct shadows, reflections, etc.

  • Click the hi-poly and shift-click the low poly.

  • Choose the type of Bake (Diffuse, for instance), choose “Selected to Active,” and a ray distance.

  • Press the Bake button.

So I tried what you did and I still didn’t see the baked results, but then I’m starting to understand why. For one, I think it’s because I didn’t connect the image node to a normal map in my node setup which is what I see a lot of people doing in tutorials. I also don’t know how to select both separate shoe materials at the same time to bake them from the high res into the low resolution version. I’m still learning how to do this. Here’s a link to the file if anybody wants to help. Thanks in advance.

Shoes Test File

I see where you are confused in selecting the Image Texture in the material. I made a quick video demonstrating the process as it is easier than writing it all out.

I should add that you need to save out the image (Hit ALT-S in the Image View window to save to disk). Also, I used your scene with lighting and floor. This bake would only be good for an object that does not move in an animation. For a moving object, I would get rid of the floor (so the bottom of the boot is not obscured, and use even lighting to avoid baking in shadows (remove lights, and set World color to white or near white).

That’s great, thanks so much for the help!