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I'm just now learning about baking different maps from an online course but I came across an instance where a new part was added to an avatar but that part didn't have a normal map.

Can you bake a normal map for only part of an object? Or does the whole object have to be rebaked?

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Yes you can bake only a part of normal map if you have space for it on the image. You would need to only have a UV map for that part you want to bake, so you can duplicate your existing UV map, select all UVs other the the ones you made for the new part and scale them to 0 (it would probably be better to move that point somewhere where you have free space on your image so it doesn't produce any artifacts, snap to cursor located at (0,0) maybe?..)

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You will obviously need the UVs in the original UV map match the place of the ones you use for backing so you should create UVs for the new part on the original UV map first and only then duplicate it.

You should then make sure you have the Clear Image checkbox unset:

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Also you have to make sure the image you are baking to uses the correct UV map:

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This will obviously override the pixels covered by the new UVs in the image and some area around them depending on your Margin Size settings:

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You can delete the no longer needed second UV map later.

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  • $\begingroup$ That is good to know! Thank you so much, I appreciate it! $\endgroup$ Commented May 21 at 18:31

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