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As a learning project, I've been modeling the Albion Laird sword. I've got a rather high polygon mesh. Since I plan using this mesh on a game prototype, I've created a lower resolution mesh, with the same proportions as the original, so I could bake the high normals into a texture for the simpler mesh. Below are both meshes side-by-side:

Top: Low-poly; Bottom: High-poly

Now, I've placed them both at the same location, unwrapped the low-res, selected the high-poly then the low-poly, baked "Selected to Active" tangent normal maps, just like this video, except I'm using Cycles.

Both meshes overlapped Selection and Bake Settings

I then attached the freestanding Image Texture on the shader's Normal input, and this was the result:

The material setup Resulting render

As you can notice, it looks nothing like the high-poly render and contains heavy artifacts. I assume this is due to the overlap in the handle area, but how can I circumvent that without distorting any of the meshes? Here's the high-poly render for reference:

High-poly mesh render

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  • $\begingroup$ Do you have any modifiers on the low poly model? $\endgroup$ – Denis Aug 18 '15 at 3:09
  • $\begingroup$ Try to increase ray distance in the bake settings $\endgroup$ – Denis Aug 18 '15 at 3:12
  • $\begingroup$ @Denis No modifiers on the low poly, however the high poly is actually using a mirror. Will try in a second $\endgroup$ – Kroltan Aug 18 '15 at 3:16
  • $\begingroup$ I think its the ray distance in the bake settings, your objects are over 20 meters in size so you would need to scale them down or increase ray distance a lot. $\endgroup$ – Denis Aug 18 '15 at 3:19
  • $\begingroup$ @Denis, that improved the situation a dramatically, see this render of the map baked with a ray distance of 50. But there are still some artifacts, mainly on the pommel and crossguard (the round and side-pointing things) $\endgroup$ – Kroltan Aug 18 '15 at 3:36

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