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I'm in the process of making a video game, and I currently have some low-poly models that have sharp edges where necessary to make them look good acceptable.

My model with sharp edges

For a shader I'm trying to implement, it's absolutely necessary to remove all sharp edges. I still want it to LOOK like I have sharp edges, so I turned to normal mapping. Basically, I want my model to have soft edges, and bake a normal map to it with hard edges. I've tried this by doing the following:

  1. I duplicated my model

  2. I moved the duplicate to another layer (on the exact same location)

  3. I set all the edges of the duplicate to "Smooth"

  4. I selected the Original model, and then shift-selected the duplicate. They were both selected, with the smooth duplicate being the active object

  5. I clicked "bake" (before going through all these steps, I created an image, and set my baking settings like so (I've set both the distance and bias to different values just to try it out, but nothing seemed to work):

bake settings

These are the steps that I went through, and I expected to see a normal map that shows hard edges at multiple places, including the collar of the model. However, the entire normal map is one color, which leads me to believe hard edges may not be baked:

Normal map

I've seen plenty of tutorials, but all that I found is about baking a sculpted model onto a low poly model. Because these models are actually identical, I wonder if what I'm trying to do is even possible. Can anyone tell me what I'm doing wrong?

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Alright, I made a big mistake. I copied the workflow from a tutorial I found, but as it turns out, it's not exactly a good idea to put the meshes on different layers.

I moved the meshes to the same layer, and got result that perfectly matched my expectations.

Let's hope this helps someone in the future.

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