As I understand, when we bake an image it is baked as if the camera is on top of each face. Thus, if I have a material that uses the Layer Weight -> Facing value in Cycles Render, this would not work as expected for the baked image.

See example below:

enter image description here

My question is, is it possible to simulate a similar effect as if I wanted to bake from the point of view of the render camera? If not, any ideas to achieve a result that is close to the rendered view above?

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    $\begingroup$ You may have to use a different input other than layer weight node for this, like say perhaps a Local Normal from a Geometry node instead, though I must say that baking normal based effects into a texture is generally uncommon as these will not look right from other angles. $\endgroup$ Apr 8, 2017 at 1:15
  • $\begingroup$ Place an empty to the position of camera and use the empty's coordinates in the shader to calculate facing angles towards it. You will need some custom math. Then it is no longer dependent on camera and you can bake. $\endgroup$ Jan 1, 2019 at 10:50

1 Answer 1


You can calculate the dot product between the Geometry -> Normal and a Vector -> Normal that you specify. It will give you a similar effect, ranging from -1 for surfaces pointing away, 0 for tangential surfaces, and to 1 for surfaces facing towards the specified normal.

  • $\begingroup$ What's the reason for down-voting this answer? $\endgroup$
    – Fax
    Jan 21, 2019 at 11:17

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