I'm having an issue with baking a normal map. Steps to repeat (this is likely a bug, so may not be repeatable.)

  1. I made a new material and assigned it to the model being baked.
  2. I added Principled Shader.
  3. I connect to Material Output. Principle Shader has NO inputs.
  4. I place an Image Texture node, linked to a Normal Map I wish to update: "Player_Skin_N"
  5. I select the Image Texture "Player_Skin_N", ensuring it is highlighted with a white box.
  6. I bake the image.
  7. RESULT: "Player_Skin_AO" receives the bake result instead. I have unlinked the data block, closed Blender, deleted and remade the only material using this texture, created an Assigned a new material. Nothing works. No matter what I try to bake, it goes to the same bake target "Player_Skin_AO" and I seem to be unable to deselect it (it's not highlighted or actively selected in node editor, and at this point, it isn't in ANY material in the project, or even on any node graph at all. It's just in memory somewhere.

But the short version: I can't get Blender to bake to anything except that single target.

Other attempt to fix the issue:

I duplicated tab "UV Editing" and deleted the original, hoping it might work (does when Sculpts stop rendering in Sculpt tab ocassionally.)

I have not found a way to continue working within this project as I can only bake to that same target, and nothing else.


I was able to fix this by doing the following: Open Blender, WHILE it is open, rename the source file in my File Explorer (externally), then attempt to Reload the image in Image Editor.

This caused the image to become "uninitialized." After doing so, I made new iterations of the same image, and can now bake to other Image Textures. I do not know what went wrong. This is how I got around it, though. In case anyone else runs into this.

  • $\begingroup$ hello, could you please pack the images and share your file (keep it as simple as possible): pasteall.org/blend $\endgroup$
    – moonboots
    Commented Jul 1, 2021 at 18:55
  • $\begingroup$ I apologize @moonboots I already de-initialized the image by the time I saw your reply. If you were looking to debug this I already scrubbed the file from the project. The solution tot he problem is in the OP now (won't help with debug, but is at least a known workaround now.) The image was an external import, as I was making topological changes to the model and just needed to "update" the maps. $\endgroup$
    – Josh G
    Commented Jul 1, 2021 at 19:10
  • $\begingroup$ You can add your solution as answer to keep this site organized. After 2 days you even can accept your own answer. $\endgroup$
    – Blunder
    Commented Jul 1, 2021 at 20:10

2 Answers 2


I was able to solve this by uninitializing the image being forced as the render target. I did so by setting the image to "Single Image" referencing the external file, then renaming the file from the File Explorer (outside of Blender), then attempting to reload the image.

After the image became uninitialized, I was able to bake normally again to other images.


I was having a similar problem on blender 3.2.

It baked to two textures simultaneously, the one I selected and some other texture randomly.

I finally realized it had to do with having two material slots. The "bake to" texture was an image texture node of the first slot, but not the second. It was baking to the first node I had put in the second. So, I copied the "bake to" texture node to the second slot and ensured it was selected.

It worked.


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