My answer to this similar question: "How to delete unwanted/unused parts of texture?" may help, specifically the YouTube tutorials I mention. I used them to learn how to perform the operation of Texture Unwrapping and Baking, which results in the output you desire: keeping only the referenced parts of the texture and efficiently island-packing the remaining texture file.
For anyone else who doesn't understand the lingo of "unwrapping" and "baking" or how to accomplish doing these operations in Blender (like me 2 months ago) hopefully this will help:
Check out these tutorials:
Bake Textures From one UV Map to Another UV Map (Blender Tutorial)
By: YouTube channel "Ryan King Art"
How to Unwrap and Bake Textures in Blender 2.8, 2.9, 3.0, 3.1, and 3.2?
By: "One Wheel Studio"
Bake Multiple Materials to One Texture Map (Blender Tutorial)
By: "Ryan King Art"
I myself had to perform such operation in Blender, where I received a cropped .obj mesh as input which was referencing a texture file that contained extraneous data that was no longer needed in the cropped mesh. To decrease the size of the texture file such that it contained only the needed textures, I followed the above tutorials. In the process, I wrote down the steps I took in the Blender GUI to accomplish the Texture Unwrapping and Baking task, as well as automated the laborious process by using the Blender Python API. In case it helps, the detailed steps I took and their Python counterparts can be found in this Github repo file which I reproduce below in case the link breaks.
Steps for using the Blender GUI for creating (i.e. baking) a texture map
from a textured 3D obj model. The steps were created from following tutorials.
Begin by importing your obj file, delete default cube, then open 3 windows/editors inside Blender by hovering mouse over bottom black line, right click, 'split view': a) Open UV editor, b) shader editor, and c) "normal" view (not render, to save RAM)
Select your object and click Object data properties tab on right.
Open UV Map menu on right, Create new UV map called uv map 2
Open Object Data Properties tab on right > UV Maps > Click on UV Map 2
Go to Edit Mode (tab)
With UV map 2 selected: UV smart unwrap with island padding of 0.001
Inspect and check that UV map 2 doesn't have overlapping triangles
ctrl+p to re-pack islands?, if they dont fill up the image?
In shader view, to create new node: shift+a > search > image texture >
new > name: test_texture (4096 x 4096) (Reqs 7-9 GB RAM). Maybe
try something smaller like 2K (2048x2048) (reqs 4-6 GB RAM during baking)
In shader view, shift+a > search > uv map > connect "UV" to
"vector" of test_texture node
After connecting, Select uv map 2 from the drop down menu of the uv map node
In shader view, create another uv map > connect it to existing texture,
and select the exisiting UV map from the drop down menu to show blender
that the current texture uses the current uv map. At this point, there
should be 3 new nodes in the shader view
Repeat above steps 8-10 for each of the materials (the active material
can be selected on the right from the material properties tab)
On right, select render tab > Render Engine: Cycles
For max samples select 10 and 10 for viewport and renderer.
Click bake dropdown panel > diffuse. Uncheck boxes direct & indirect light.
In shader view, for each material, Select the new texture image node
Click Bake (being in Object Mode doesn't seem neccessary like in tutorial)
(Requires 5-6Gb RAM for 2k, 8-9GB RAM for 4k) Takes 10+ seconds
In shader view, for each material, attach the new texture image node to
the BDSF node in place of the previous UV map
Save baked texture: Image > Save As...
File > External Data > Pack Resources
File > External Data > Unpack Resources > Use Files in Current Directory (create if not found)
File > Export obj
Check that the new texture is specified in the outputted .mtl file
# Argument parsing assumes this file was called from terminal in this format:
# ./blender --background --python ~/Code/blender_code.py -- arg1 arg2 arg3
# "--" is Blender specific for passing in arguments (i.e. arg1, arg2, etc.) to Blender python scripts
args = sys.argv[sys.argv.index("--") + 1:]
INPUT_PATH = args
OUTPUT_PATH = args
RESOLUTION = int(args)
print('Input Path:', INPUT_PATH)
print('Output Path:', OUTPUT_PATH)
input_path = INPUT_PATH
export_filepath = OUTPUT_PATH
# delete the default cube at blender startup
objs = bpy.data.objects
if 'Cube' in objs:
# Load obj
imported_object = bpy.ops.import_scene.obj(filepath=input_path)
obj = bpy.context.selected_objects
print('Imported name: ', obj.name)
objs[obj.name].select_set(True) # obj should already be selected, but just in case
# sets our mesh to be active
bpy.context.view_layer.objects.active = objs[obj.name]
bpy.ops.object.mode_set(mode='EDIT') # Go to Edit mode
new_uv_map_name = 'UVMap_2'
obj.data.uv_layers.new(name=new_uv_map_name) # create and name new UV Map
# Set new UV map to active
bpy.data.meshes[obj.name].uv_layers[new_uv_map_name].active = True
# UV Unwrap the mesh textures
# Working in shader view now...
obj = bpy.context.active_object
# You can choose your texture size (This will be the baked image)
image_name = obj.name + '_BakedTexture'
img = bpy.data.images.new(image_name, RESOLUTION, RESOLUTION)
texture_node_name = 'Bake_node'
old_uv_map_node_name = 'UV1_node'
new_uv_map_node_name = 'UV2_node'
print("Creating nodes for each material...")
for mat in obj.data.materials:
node_tree = mat.node_tree
nodes = node_tree.nodes
orig_img_tex_node = nodes['Image Texture']
# Creates uv map node in shader view and sets its uv map to current uv map
uv_map_node = nodes.new('ShaderNodeUVMap')
uv_map_node.name = old_uv_map_node_name
uv_map_node.uv_map = obj.data.uv_layers.name
# Create image texture node in shader view and sets its image
texture_node = nodes.new('ShaderNodeTexImage') # Creates node in shader view
texture_node.name = texture_node_name
texture_node.select = True
nodes.active = texture_node
texture_node.image = img #Assign the image to the node
# Creates another uv map node in shader view and sets its uv map to new uv map
new_uv_map_node = nodes.new('ShaderNodeUVMap')
new_uv_map_node.name = new_uv_map_node_name
new_uv_map_node.uv_map = obj.data.uv_layers[new_uv_map_name].name
# Make texture_node the only one selected. Make it active, as required for baking
for n in nodes:
n.select = False
nodes[texture_node.name].select = True
nodes.active = nodes[texture_node.name]
# Set render engine to cycles and set settings
# This changes things in the Render Properties tab on the right-hand-side (Camera icon)
bpy.context.scene.render.engine = 'CYCLES'
bpy.context.scene.cycles.samples = 10
bpy.context.scene.cycles.preview_samples = 10 # Takes a few seconds to update GUI
bpy.context.scene.cycles.bake_type = 'DIFFUSE'
bpy.context.scene.render.bake.use_pass_direct = False
bpy.context.scene.render.bake.use_pass_indirect = False
bpy.ops.object.bake(type='DIFFUSE', save_mode='EXTERNAL', filepath='/home/nitz/Downloads/8_8_22')
# This tells Blender what textures belong to the model during export
# In shader view, for each material, link new texture image node to BDSF node
# And delete the original image texture and old uv map nodes
for mat in obj.data.materials:
node_tree = mat.node_tree
nodes = node_tree.nodes
texture_node = nodes[texture_node_name]
old_texture_node = nodes['Image Texture']
old_uv_map_node = nodes[old_uv_map_node_name]
BSDF_node = nodes['Principled BSDF']
# Link new texture node to model
node_tree.links.new(texture_node.outputs['Color'], BSDF_node.inputs['Base Color'])
# Delete old texture and uv map nodes
# Remove old UV Map layer, which essentially makes the new UV Map used during export
uv_textures = obj.data.uv_layers
output_dir = os.path.dirname(export_filepath)
print("OUTPUT PATH:", output_dir)
if not os.path.exists(output_dir):
# Textures will be saved to path where blender file is saved to.
# The saving of the blend file has no other purpose. File is deleted.
blend_file_name = 'temp.blend'
blend_file_path = os.path.join(output_dir, blend_file_name)
# Packing and unpacking is used for exported files to include textures
bpy.ops.file.unpack_all(method='USE_ORIGINAL') # USE_ORIGINAL saves textures in curr dir
os.remove(blend_file_path) # remove temp blend file
print('Exported to:', export_filepath)
print('Finished! \nBlender quitting...')