I have modelled a pencil sharpener as in the attached image. Now I want to prepare it for sale at CGTrader or Turbosquid (or some other, doesn't matter at this point). I would like to deliver a professional grade result. I need to texture the model, but to put it on a site for sale, I will probably need to bake the textures, because I will also need to deliver the model in some exchange formats, such as FBX, OBJ, 3DS, DAE, which won't understand Blender's materials and special qualities of how light reacts to it, am I right? And now comes my question. I'm trying to understand the baking process. If I have a material such as Anisotropic BSDF (Cycles) or Subsurface Scattering material, if I bake, do I loose the special qualities of the material, how it reacts to light? If I understand correctly, baking is like flattening the texture and special qualities of the material, they are lost, right? Also, I see that I can choose what to bake, such as Subsurface Color, Subsurface Direct, Subsurface Indirect, Transmission, Glossy, Diffuse, etc etc. How does it work, how to use it properly? What do these "channels" do exactly? And if I bake all these separate "channels" how to put it back together in one finished material?

A pencil Sharpener

  • $\begingroup$ if you bake Combined then you're going to get the exact same result which you would see when you render your object. $\endgroup$
    – A.D.
    Sep 3, 2015 at 12:19
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    $\begingroup$ But what if the lighting and scene around changes? As I understand a baked texture is fixed, ie baked reflection is fixed, it won't be affected by a changing scene around? Not as with 'live' material with reflection, where it would adapt to surrounding scene and lights? Am I right, or I have it all wrong? $\endgroup$
    – Aardo
    Sep 3, 2015 at 12:44
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    $\begingroup$ You are right, view dependent passes (glossy, transmission...) can be baked but they wouldn't be representative of you objec't material qualities. Anyway you can bake the maps where they come from (specularity, alpha...) and let the render engine mix them. So you'll have to know what kind of workflow you'll have (PBR Metalness, PBR SPecularity, GLSL, ....and so on) depending on the choosen viewer...what would be yours? Anyway its a broad question, even if you specify one of them, it would be difficoult to find someone able to answer you exhaustively. $\endgroup$
    – Carlo
    Sep 3, 2015 at 13:23
  • $\begingroup$ Related questions: blender.stackexchange.com/questions/31535/… and blender.stackexchange.com/questions/18362/… You can have a look also at: artisaverb.info/PBT.html and blog.sketchfab.com/post/124843629314/… $\endgroup$
    – Carlo
    Sep 3, 2015 at 13:31
  • $\begingroup$ I think the workflow would depend on the customer, as I said I want to publish my models on 3D sites for sale. So it has to be universal and good. I don't know how it will be used and for what purpose. However personally I would be aiming for models for archvis and maybe movies. I'm not into game props. But who knows how one decides to use it? So I need a universal and visually pleasant solution. I understand that I have to sacrifice some effects, such as reflection, subsurface scattering, specular. My specific question would be, which "channels" do I have to bake and which to avoid... $\endgroup$
    – Aardo
    Sep 3, 2015 at 15:22


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