I have a cycles material (diffuse shader) with a procedural normal map on it, which renders as expected in Cycles. But if I bake the normal map it outputs a flat image (0.5, 0.5, 1.0).

I've tried Bake from Selected with a normal mapped material and that doesn't work either.

How do I bake a normal mapped material into a normal map?

  • $\begingroup$ blenderartists.org/forum/… Here's the node setup, BTW. And it works very well for me. $\endgroup$
    – therufuser
    Nov 29, 2014 at 16:40
  • $\begingroup$ Use the displacement input of the material output node... $\endgroup$
    – JakeD
    Feb 21, 2017 at 1:29

3 Answers 3


An obvious hack which, however, does seem to work well:

  • Connect the color output of your procedural normal map, that you would normally feed into Normal Map node to Emission node which has Strength set to 1

  • Connect Emission output of the node to Surface of Material Output

  • Bake Emit

  • $\begingroup$ This bakes the normal map in Object Space, but most normal maps are in tangent space. $\endgroup$
    – Chris D
    Feb 14, 2021 at 1:39

Blender internal can use GLSL for baking so you can bake normal as well as black and white bump maps from one object to another. As long as the bump map texture is attached to the material of the source object it will work. As yet cycles can't so you can only bake actual geometry with cycles. If you want to use normal or bumps as a source for baking you need to use BI.


This is currently not possible. But: You can use your procedural texture (as long as the output is only black and white values) and plug it in the displacement slot of the shader output. You need to twig the values to your desired height for example with a color ramp. The cycles baking is able to render this to the normal map.

  • $\begingroup$ I do not think this answers the question. $\endgroup$
    – David
    Apr 19, 2015 at 22:39

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