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Is it possible to bake normal map from high poly object without the existence of a low poly object?

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  • $\begingroup$ To what would you apply that normal-map if not to a low-poly object? $\endgroup$ – tkausl Feb 2 '16 at 12:55
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    $\begingroup$ It may be possible if you have Multires modifier on high-poly object - then Bake from Multires option in Render > Bake rollout is used. However this doesn't always work (e.g. if high-poly has high polycount not because of Multires). See wiki.polycount.com/wiki/Normal_map for more info $\endgroup$ – Mr Zak Feb 2 '16 at 13:04
  • $\begingroup$ @tkausl To the same object but without subdivision modifier, for instance. $\endgroup$ – Gunslinger Feb 2 '16 at 17:04
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Yes. You just need to ensure that you have an image texture assigned to the object and that the object has a UV map.

In it's simplest form, using Cycles:

  1. Split your screen so you can see the 3D view and a UV/Image Editor
  2. Create a new image in the image editor. Let's call it "BakedNormalMap"
  3. Switch back to your 3D view and select your hi-poly object
  4. Make sure you've unwrapped it and it has a UV map.
  5. Add a new material
  6. Click the dot at the end of the Color option and choose Image Texture (this can be achieved with the node editor if you prefer)
  7. Select your BakedNormalMap as the image
  8. Switch from the Materials tab to the Render tab and scroll to the bottom to find the Bake options
  9. Choose the Normal option and below this in the "Normal Settings" choose Space: Object
  10. Bake

Don't forget to save your file.

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  • $\begingroup$ ...And what result after baking did you get using this method ? What colors does image have after being baked ? $\endgroup$ – Mr Zak Feb 2 '16 at 14:58
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    $\begingroup$ @MrZak You can bake object space normal map like this and then apply it to whatever other mesh you like. This should though be stated in the asnwer, as it is it's misleading. $\endgroup$ – Jaroslav Jerryno Novotny Feb 2 '16 at 15:21
  • $\begingroup$ @Jerryno you mean object space instead of tangent space (as by default) ? $\endgroup$ – Mr Zak Feb 2 '16 at 15:28
  • $\begingroup$ @MrZak yep, exactly $\endgroup$ – Jaroslav Jerryno Novotny Feb 2 '16 at 16:40
  • $\begingroup$ Apologies. I missed that in my description. Under the Bake options when you switch to a Bake type of "Normal" there are the extra parameters for Normal Settings. As pointed out by @Jerryno, the Space should be set to Object. $\endgroup$ – Spuggiehawk Feb 2 '16 at 16:53

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