Normal Maps & Baking Textures

Hello!! This is my first tutorial from my new place! :D

This time we'll talk about normal maps, and how to bake them. Normal maps are textures that control the direction in which the light is reflected on a surface, and this is very useful for faking lots of detail, specially for videogames. The usual process for creating this kind of maps, is having a high resolution mesh, and a low resolution one; The detail into the high resolution one will be "baked" as a normal map into the lowpoly one, using its UVs for placing details into the texture.

In this tutorial, I start with a quick explanation about how normal maps work and how the baking process creates the normal map. Then we'll see a practical exercise on how to bake the detail from a high resolution mesh into a single polygon mesh, simulating all the detail using the normal map. Of course, we'll also take a look at how to set up a normal map in order to see it on the realtime 3DView. Then, I'll go forward and show you how to bake other types of textures, in this case an Ambient Oclussion map.

Remember that you can bake almost any channel! From Ambient Oclussion to a Full Render, going through Shadows and Lighting :D

Hope this is useful for you! Thanks for watching!! I'm planning on make Hangouts on Google+ for solving doubts :) Would you like this idea? Follow the blendtuts Google+ Page, or follow me personally!!

See you soon, and happy blending! :D





Thank you very much, Oliver!!! Víctor

Thanx, cool tutorial! :D

Muchas grazias. ;)
thanks Oliver! great tip.

Excelente tutorial y creo que esto contesta mi pregunta anterior, eso es lo que queria hacer un Bake con las texturas para poder simplificar mi trabajo y unir todo en una sola imagen, solo que no sabia como se llamaba.


Oye y no podias hacer un tuto de como tener varias esenas y compartir los objetos que hay en ellas? por que estoy un poco atorado con eso, no se como pasar un objeto de una esena a otra en el momento que quiera, y se me hace algo muy muy util, puedo convinar todo con render layers y esto facilita mucho las cosas cuando trabajas con muchos objetos, te muestro este video que hice resientemente

En realidad ya hay un tutorial que trata ese tema :D Busca el de "How to organize your scene" ;) Está en inglés, pero viendo lo que hago en él quizás puedas sacar algo en claro.

Buen video!! Me encanta Mass Effect! :D

Nice tut, thanks man.

Thanks everyone for the comments!! :D

ok gracias los buscare y no tengo problemas con que sea en ingles, solo que cuando intento explicar algo que ni en español entiendo, pues es mas fácil así no? jajajaj y realmente son muy buenos tus tutoriales

Great way to explain something that seems so fuzzy. Thanks so much.
I'm a hobbiest that was somewhat used to Blender's older interface. I struggled for hours and hours trying to figure out how to apply a normal map (without "baking") and the documentation got me nowhere! Your tutorial not only taught me about "baking" in the new Blender, but got me on the right path for applying pre-existing normal maps with their corresponding texture images... FANTASTIC, and a HUGE thank you!

Great tutorial! Thank you!

hi oliver, i've been working with normalmaps for years and i think you explained the complicated ray tracing aspect very well, your example drawing and english was fine so no worries there imo. and not sure if your aware of this but if you select the normalized check box before baking, you can get a more contrasting range of white through to dark grey in the ao texture. that method will then show up in the 3d view preview.

Thanks oliver. Very well explained. Especially the first part where you make the drawings makes it very clear.

Glad it was useful. I thought it would be easier to understand it that way for people who never used normal maps before :) Thanks!