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I'm trying to bake textures and I'm finding it very difficult to move forward with what exactly I need to do. This is the file. I setup an image texture with Color Space Non-Color, fed it as input to the Noraml Map node and plugged it into the Principled BSDF node. It bakes and shows the purplish image but it does not apply it to the low poly mesh. Unfortunately, I can't bake this high-res model to my low poly model. How do I go about this?

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You have a circular dependency on the baked image. You will see the following warning in the status bar for a few seconds when you bake: Circular dependency for image "Untitled.001" from object "Plane.002".

I strongly recommend naming your objects and materials properly. If you have done this you will notice that the high-poly and the low-poly anvil both share the same material. That's the circular dependency and it's bad because you cannot use an image for baking that will be baked at the same time. The high-poly model doesn't need the normal map anyway.

To bake the normal map do the following:

  • click the number "2" between the material's name and the "shield" icon to unlink the materials and create an individual copy of it.
  • in the low-poly's material unplug the Image Texture node with the normal map that you want to bake.
  • select the Image Texture node so Blender knows that it is the target for baking.
  • select the low-poly anvil and enable Shade Smooth (context menu in Object mode)
  • to bake, select the high-poly, then the low-poly object. The order matters. The active object (low-poly target) is highlighted in orange, and the select object (high-poly source) is highlighted in red.
  • in Cycles render settings, lower the Max Samples count to 16 as normal maps don't need that many samples and it will save you a lot of time (see Do samples affect Normal map baking? for details)
  • bake the normal map with the settings you have ([X] Selected to Active)
  • save the baked image, and connect the normal map in the material to check the result. Done.

baked result

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  • $\begingroup$ i am sorry but i dont get some of the things you sad can you try to break it down for me a bit ? cause i am lost i followed it but i am still getting the same result nothing it worked once when i tred to replicate it t stopped working these normal mapsare annoting as hell $\endgroup$ Aug 2, 2022 at 13:12
  • $\begingroup$ please can someone help me out with this $\endgroup$ Aug 2, 2022 at 18:48
  • $\begingroup$ Where do you struggle with it? i.stack.imgur.com/PvDvd.jpg - in a nutshell: open the file, in the "Material" (1) disconnect the Image Texture node and click it so it's highlighted in white. (2) reduce the max samples to 16 (3) make sure you still have selected the anvil objects in the current order (Plane and Plane.002). (4) press "Bake" button and wait a while. (5) save the image with help of the drop-down menu. (1) re-connect the Image Texture node. Finally, change the material for "Plane" (high-poly) so it doesn't use the same mat as the low-poly anvil $\endgroup$
    – Blunder
    Aug 2, 2022 at 19:11
  • $\begingroup$ its telling me when i select the high res plane that the uvs are saying No active UV layer found in the object "highres" and when i render it and save the png and plug the imgae texture to the normal map it does not do anything to the low res ive been on it all day now i already feel dumb as hell $\endgroup$ Aug 2, 2022 at 21:18
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    $\begingroup$ If you get the error message "No active UV layer found in the object "Plane" then you have selected the objects in the wrong order and baking will not work. The active object is usually that one you select last in the viewport (Shift+click). It's highlighted in orange in the outliner. But you can also select objects in the outliner with Strg+click. The outliner is the list on the top right of the screen (3). Plane must be red, Plane.002 must be orange like in the screenshot. You did it right in the shared file. $\endgroup$
    – Blunder
    Aug 2, 2022 at 21:31

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