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I'm trying to follow Andrew Price's anvil tutorial but I'm completely stuck at the point where he bakes the normal map from a high-poly sculpted mesh to a basic mesh...

I have tried changing the ray distance and extrusion, I've also tried to Alt + S the low-poly mesh and use it as a cage, but no matter what I do, the best normal map I get looks like this.

enter image description here

Most of it is blue-ish/purple, so the color scheme is matching a "proper" normal map, however it still looks really weird once I apply this image as a normal input to the low-poly mesh material. Does anyone know what I'm doing wrong?

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    $\begingroup$ your map looks normal, maybe the problem is your node setup, for example don't forget to switch your Image Texture from sRGB to Non-Color. If it's not your problem, please show a screenshot or share your file (pack the images before saving and uploading): pasteall.org/blend $\endgroup$
    – moonboots
    Apr 15, 2021 at 11:56
  • $\begingroup$ Wow, thanks for a fast reply! I'm trying to figure out how to compress my Blend file, since it's currently more than 50 MB. Thanks for the tip about packing the images. Made the file even bigger, but at least they are included now :D $\endgroup$
    – aniache
    Apr 15, 2021 at 12:07
  • $\begingroup$ please share the link ;) $\endgroup$
    – moonboots
    Apr 15, 2021 at 12:46
  • $\begingroup$ Here is the link to Google Drive! drive.google.com/file/d/1zU8Go5jjExATc6ycEyr81Rzt7zwSZ0yu/… $\endgroup$
    – aniache
    Apr 15, 2021 at 12:51

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When you create a new image in order to bake the normals, enable 32-Bit Float:

enter image description here

Also, use another material for the high-poly object, otherwise the normal map will cumulate with the real bumps.

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  • $\begingroup$ Thanks again for the reply. I've created a new image with 32-bit float enabled, that didn't change the result at all. Changed the material of the high-poly mesh as well, didn't change the result, but helps visually :) With the normal map that I get, some parts of the mesh look perfect, some other parts are completely unaffected, and some parts have weird artefact, like this: i.stack.imgur.com/QnNrt.png The normal map itself also looks strange, if I zoom-in on it: i.stack.imgur.com/7YlCF.png I feel like something is wrong with the normal map itself... $\endgroup$
    – aniache
    Apr 15, 2021 at 18:35
  • $\begingroup$ It works here, maybe make sure that the Image Texture is set to Non-Color instead of sRGB, and push the Normal Map strength value to see if it gives something, because it's rather discrete $\endgroup$
    – moonboots
    Apr 15, 2021 at 18:41
  • $\begingroup$ My image texture is non-color, and I've just tried pushing the Normal Map strength all the way to 10, it just makes the same weird artefacts more pronounced... Does your baked texture look the same as mine? Cause to me it looks like my mesh is getting exactly the baked texture, including the weird parts... $\endgroup$
    – aniache
    Apr 15, 2021 at 18:46
  • $\begingroup$ please share your file but pack your image, there was no packed image in the file you shared and I had to bake again. There seemed to be some bake bugs in 8.3, maybe first 2.9 versions, maybe it's your problem? In that case try with the latest versions or with 2.79 $\endgroup$
    – moonboots
    Apr 15, 2021 at 18:50
  • $\begingroup$ drive.google.com/file/d/1zU8Go5jjExATc6ycEyr81Rzt7zwSZ0yu/… Does it work now? I got a notification "Some images have been painted on, these changes will not be saved". No idea what it means, I did not knowingly paint on anything... $\endgroup$
    – aniache
    Apr 15, 2021 at 19:03

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