Baking Normals and Ambient Occlusion maps

On January 26, 2008, in Tutorials, by Admin
This tutorials shows the process of baking normals and ambient occlusion maps to a texture.
The first step would be to select your model and create a new UV Face map. I created a simple landscape.
With my model selected, I switched to an overhead view. Press F to create a new UV face map.
Right click on one of the faces to select it to create an active face. Press A twice to deselect it and
then select all of the faces. This will select all of your faces as well as keeping an active face.
Next, with the mouse cursor over the 3D window, I can press U to bring up the UV unwrapping options.
Depending on your model, you will want to go with different unwrapping options, for the purpose of this
tutorial, I’ll simply go with the Project from View option.
This will give me a basic UV layout in a grid pattern. This is based on my current view which
is an overhead view. The next thing I’ll want to do, is create a blank texture to bake my
maps onto.
Within a UV/Image Editor window, click on Image and then New from the menu bar.
You’ll be presented with the options shown here. You can give a name to your new texture,
select the dimensions and the starting color.
In the 3D view window, make sure all your faces are selected with one face as the Active Face (represented
by the red and green border line).
In the UV Face window, select all of your faces.
Assign all of your UV faces to your new image by selecting it from the list of images available.
Next, switch to your Scene panel by clicking the Lanscape icon or by pressing F10.
Look for the Bake tab. Here you can choose what you would like to bake on to the new empty texture
that you have create.
Baking a Normals map will generate a texture similar to this one. You can then save this
image and use it as a normals map.I have yet to master the use of this feature. I’ve just recently learned how to use it. Rotating
the model will generate different colors for the map, however at this time, I’m not sure how that
relates to the normals.
Good luck with your modeling.

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