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I have wondered lately if baking images to a single image affects the resolution of the texture on the model? I have noticed that with many downloaded freeware models there is only one image file which has all the required images for the model 'baked' onto a single image. Doesn't this affect the resolution of the texture on the model (eg the 'baked' image file maybe 2048 x 2048 pixels and contains lots of different images inside it)?

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Not the baking by itself. That's totally up to how it's done.

You could have four 1024px² textures baked into one 2048px² texture. It's essentially the same textures copied into one. And the UVs arranged in the UV space to correct the new locations.

You can make the baking virtually equal in quality, as much as you can make it lose quality by having a final texture with fewer pixels than the total of the originals, or you could even bake into a final picture that's bigger than what the originals could total to.

There are maybe some software that can optimize the UVs to use the same amount of pixels with a smaller picture, but unless you really made poor UVs to begin with, I doubt it has much gains.

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  • $\begingroup$ Thanks. Yes I realise that four 1024px2 images 'fit' into a single 2048px2 image but was thinking more of say multiple 2048px2 images into a single 2048px2 image but as you mention the output 'size' baked i8mage can be 'selected' which I did not know HOWEVER I thought that there was a disadvantage in have huge images (eg 8192px2). I have googled the advantages of a baked image but also wonder the pros versus the cons. Thanks again. $\endgroup$ Jul 16, 2023 at 4:10
  • $\begingroup$ make sure that the original Image Texture is set to Closest instead of Linear though, if you want it to be as close as possible to the original $\endgroup$
    – moonboots
    Jul 16, 2023 at 8:23
  • $\begingroup$ Bigger images take up more memory, so you can't fit as many in your memory. On itself, it's the only real downside AFAIK. Now the biggest reason why we sometimes group up multiple textures into one file is in cases where the cost of loading more texture files outweights the cost of calling fewer but bigger files. See "atlas textures". $\endgroup$
    – L0Lock
    Jul 16, 2023 at 16:23

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