Blender had the experimental feature set enabled, and the scene has an object with a subsurf modifier set to 4 levels. Its material has an image texture plugged into its displacement socket.

enter image description here

A copy of that object with its origin in the same place is on another layer, with the material removed, and given a Blender Render material. It is properly UV unwrapped to take the displacement on the first object as a displacement map. I used the technique in this answer for that, as it is perfect for maps of a world. It has just enough faces to serve as the base geometry for that map.

enter image description here

When I click bake, it produces this smooth gradient:

enter image description here

The method is taken from this tutorial. I have been looking for where I've gone wrong. What is the issue here?

Edit: Here is the file

  • $\begingroup$ One possible issue is I wasn't using OpenEXR as the image format, I've changed that. But now the generated image is flat gray. I also cleared the rotation on both objects, I don't know if that would affect things but they were each rotated a different amount on the Z axis. $\endgroup$ – kim holder Jun 18 '18 at 18:46
  • $\begingroup$ Seeing as your original displacement is simply an image texture, why not use that as your displacement map? How would the baked map be any different from this original, aside from the simple scale and offset from the math nodes? $\endgroup$ – JtheNinja Jun 18 '18 at 19:32
  • $\begingroup$ @JtheNinja the fact is i've never baked a displacement map before, and i don't usually use BI. I don't know how to just make that image the displacement map. However, there is also the issue that it is quite jagged. The subsurf modifier that is part of this technique really helped that. This is just a test, the real versions are much larger, so that matters. $\endgroup$ – kim holder Jun 18 '18 at 19:36
  • $\begingroup$ Oh, also, the displacement in the tutorial works like a true displacement, showing it like real geometry, while using much less memory. $\endgroup$ – kim holder Jun 18 '18 at 19:44

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