I would like to bake just the texture colors while using cycles. In blender internal I would pick "Textures" as bake type to accomplish this, but no such option is available in cycles. According to the documentation it seems the 'UV' bake type should do this but instead it seem to bake the uv coordinates or something like that.

Edit: I would like to clarify the use case. I have a game level that we normally bake with lots of lights using cycles which takes the order of 10 hours with lots of complex materials. We can also lower the samples / bounces settings to get a quicker, noisier result. But, we would also like to render just the the unlit texture colors to get a super fast, noiseless, flat version to see what textures will look like in the level. This is useful when we iterate the source textures frequently and the designers prefer this over the noisy version.

So ideally I would like to modify the materials as little as possible (not at all). It is certainly an option to have a script in our plugin modify them automatically, making the materials shadeless as suggested below, but that would turn the whole thing very complex which I would like to avoid.

  • $\begingroup$ You need to use shadeless shading and then bake the material as a texture. Search Cycles baking on YouTube for tutorials $\endgroup$
    – VRM
    Apr 17 '15 at 14:27
  • $\begingroup$ Using a shadeless material is possible but I would have to modify the existing material heavily to do so (ray multiplier, emission etc). I should have specified that I also want to use this as a regular BSDF material for baking, but sometimes I just want a quick (noise free) preview of what it would look like which is why I wanted the quick bake textures thing. Now I could in my python script do this modification automatically when I do this quick bake but it gets quite messy, especially since I wouldn’t know the layout of each material node network which potentially could be quite complex. $\endgroup$
    – MrTeapot
    Apr 17 '15 at 14:47
  • $\begingroup$ @MrTeapot You need to choose Diffuse Color in Bake Type, thats similar to baking shadeless material in Blender Internal. $\endgroup$
    – Denis
    Apr 18 '15 at 1:03

To bake texture in Cycles without having any influence from objects and lights in the scene you need to choose Diffuse Color in Bake Type. The result is similar to baking shadeless material in Blender Internal.

From Cycles Render Baking documentation page: Render Baking

Diffuse Color/Direct/Indirect
Bakes the diffuse pass of a material. Diffuse Color is a property of the surface and independent of sampling refinement.

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  • $\begingroup$ Great advice, this is what I am looking for, thank you! I make a note that I do have to set samples = bounces = 1 to make it quick, but that is easy enough to handle through my plugin. $\endgroup$
    – MrTeapot
    Apr 18 '15 at 18:33
  • $\begingroup$ It doesnt matter how many samples you use, Diffuse Color baking is independent of sampling refinement. $\endgroup$
    – Denis
    Apr 18 '15 at 18:36
  • $\begingroup$ For the end result it doesn't matter at all, but it is much quicker when they are set to 1. Perhaps this is a bug, I'm not sure (I am running 2.73). $\endgroup$
    – MrTeapot
    Apr 19 '15 at 18:35

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