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I am currently making a decently low poly model to fit a specific style. I do not want to make a higher poly version purely for baking.

The procedural bump is just a noise texture, with vertex colors to control the intensity, to use as normal map clothing wrinkles. Procedural mat shown below.

enter image description here

What I expected when baking these to a texture was for it to bake just the bump from the noise texture itself. However, what baked instead was the noise texture, as well as sharp blocks of normal data that seemed to follow the angles of the low poly parts of the geometry.

enter image description here

When applied to the model, these normals don't look correct whatsoever, and the blocky parts are extremely visible despite not being there in the procedural version. How can I get it to bake PURELY the noise texture, and ignore the actual geometry? Do I have to find some kind of workaround or is there an easy way to fix this?

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  • $\begingroup$ what happens if you give your mesh a Subdivision Surface modifier before baking? $\endgroup$ – moonboots Aug 29 at 10:31
  • $\begingroup$ It does smooth out the map, but I'm still getting issues where the curvature of the geometry is affecting the map when it shouldn't. In fact, the subdivision seems to amplify this effect, even if it does smooth out the original blocks of normal data from before. I want a way to bake purely the displacement from the noise itself, and nothing else. $\endgroup$ – Wheatttttt Aug 29 at 16:34
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I've figured it out! Turns out, even if it doesn't show visually, apparently if the mid-level of the input to the bump node isnt 0.5, it bakes respective to that, meaning areas that should be flat are baking as if they're offset.

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