I'm relatively new to blender: I have a project that is due in less than 10 days, I was provided with STEP files but managed to convert them to STL files for Blender. Used the models to animate with and applied textures. Pretty much the whole scene is set up and ready to render.

I have followed numerous tutorials and am no where near resolving the problem. I tried numerous things to lessen the render time - switched the device to GPU Compute, shortened the sample size, using an image sequence... the worst head scratcher of all is the baking. I tried baking my models with the applied material, and even that is taking beyond forever to process. I'll provide a screenshot: enter image description here

What the hell am I doing wrong? How can I lessen the amount of time baking, or better yet signicantly reduce the render time without impacting too much on the quality?

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    To me, the problem you describe it not totally clear... do you want to bake or render ? is it a performance issue (or is the bake totally fails) ? Please add some details (eventually upload your blend file blend-exchange.giantcowfilms.com). But first thing : your UV map seems to be totally overlapped in the triangle. – lemon Oct 2 '16 at 9:33
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    Depending on scene complexity, and havailable hardware, animations can make bakes and renders take a lot of time. To get better times, you can reduce complexity, optimize slowing factors, and/or use better hardware. This last option could also mean use web render farms... @lemon: 2.78 is out, now, how did you spot that he's using a RC? – m.ardito Oct 2 '16 at 9:44
  • sorry about 2.78, it is very new and I missed that. I remove this bad comment – lemon Oct 2 '16 at 9:49
  • could you post a screenshot of the sampling settings? Nothing in your scene so far gives a reason for the render being slow, at least judging from the screenshot – aliasguru Oct 2 '16 at 10:20
  • With the provided info is hard to help you. Please edit your question and add more information. To get better help upload your file to blend-exchange.giantcowfilms.com and add the resulting link to the text of the question. – cegaton Oct 2 '16 at 14:38

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