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For example, say that I have some mystery material that has two or more Principled BSDF shaders mixed together with Mix Shader nodes. Would I bake maps for this material by baking sets of maps for each Principled BSDF shader individually (such that there are two or more color maps, two or more roughness maps, etc.), and then use more Mix Shader nodes down the road to blend the eventual Image Texture nodes to make a PBR material? Is it easier than I'm imagining?

EDIT 1: Just to try to make sure that communication is more standard and common, I have this example node set-up that uses more than one Principled BSDF shader. An answer below says that mixing the inputs would solve the issue, but I'm not entirely sure that I know what that means without seeing it.

So in the example image, how would you go about baking the individual maps properly?

Shader Example

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If it's 2 Principled BSDF shaders, you can simply mix the inputs instead of the 2 shaders and have only one shader instead of 2.

For example if you have something like this:

enter image description here

Instead of mixing the 2 Principled BSDF shaders, you should mix only the inputs that differ and use one shader. In this case: the Base Color, Metallic, Specular, Roughness and Normal inputs differ. So you can mix the values for these properties with the same masks:

enter image description here

As you can see the result is the same.

So now you can bake those inputs to textures:

enter image description here

As you can see I connected what went into Base Color straight to Material Output and selected Emit pass in the bake settings so it gets saved to the selected new Image Texture node(named after the image's name "Base_Color.exr"). Here is my new Base Color texture after baking:

enter image description here

You could repeat that for other inputs one by one, or use one of many add-ons(like this one for example) to do many textures automatically.

By the way, name the files you make properly. Don't be lazy to type what the texture is, or you might end up making a situation like this where it's confusing for other people if they have to use your assets or even for yourself if you want to re-use stuff after half a year once you already forgot everything.

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  • $\begingroup$ Right, but then how do you go about baking the maps? Do you just sample from the Mix Shader node? Are there any special steps for making sure that each map bakes properly? I might not entirely understand how the Mix Shader node works when it comes to this application, and I'm certain that I'm going to end up doing it wrong. I'm not finding any tutorials for baking with more than one BSDF online anywhere. $\endgroup$
    – NickJ_001
    Mar 23, 2023 at 14:11
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    $\begingroup$ I think you mostly want to have one Principled BSDF before you bake. Usually the whole idea is to have one shader and different properties for it in different parts. You are supposed to mix the textures, not the shaders. All the tutorials about baking one Principled BSF will work for you then. $\endgroup$ Mar 23, 2023 at 15:34
  • $\begingroup$ Would you be able to demonstrate what you mean? I'm not certain that I understand the way that you're explaining it. $\endgroup$
    – NickJ_001
    Mar 23, 2023 at 15:36
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    $\begingroup$ I'll try to updaye the answer in a few hours when I get a spare minite. $\endgroup$ Mar 23, 2023 at 16:22
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    $\begingroup$ I hope the answer is clear now. Let me know if I didn't manage to communicate something clearly enough. $\endgroup$ Mar 23, 2023 at 18:20

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