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I'm very new to Blender, so this is probably a quick fix that I'm not noticing. But, after having spent 2 days researching how I could fix this and coming up empty, I felt I should ask for help.

I've been trying to teach myself materials and node use through tutorials, and I just tried baking the materials to a texture. I'm using Voronoi nodes to give polished detail to the steel part of the model, as seen in this picture.

enter image description here

But, when I bake the image to texture, I only get the gray base without the polished streaks from the Voronoi node.

enter image description here

Here is the node setup for the steel material.

enter image description here

And it was baked as Diffuse with only the color attribute selected.

enter image description here

If any more information is needed I'll gladly provide it. Something inside is nagging me saying that this is a very simple fix that I'm just not noticing it.

EDIT 1: I've added my Blender file.

EDIT 2 - SOLUTION: Thanks to Carlo I was able to figure out what was going wrong and play around until I fixed it. The problem I had was I was feeding the Voronoi node into a Bump feeding into the Diffuse normal, instead of feeding it in with the color. I knew it was something silly simple I was doing wrong. Also, like he mentioned, the Lighten node was destroying it too. First thing first, I got rid of the Bump, and I put in a multiply mix, then set the contrast to low. I got an effect that I'm actually liking better than the original because the polish streaks aren't so pronounced, but just barely noticeable. Compare this material setup picture with the original and you'll see where I altered the nodes.

Metal Material Resulting Look Baked Texture

Thanks so much Blender.se community. I really needed this. And, I'm sure I'll be back again in the future as I continue my Blender learning adventure. Have a great day!

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    $\begingroup$ Welcome to Blender.Se. Could you attach an emission shader to the latest color mix node (named Lighten) and show the output as you did in the first image? $\endgroup$ – Carlo Aug 19 '17 at 8:58
  • $\begingroup$ @Carlo I gave it a shot and the texture came out pure white when I baked it. So I also tried baking with direct and indirect lighting, and instead it was just black with faded light that was being emitted by the object. $\endgroup$ – DoctorDep Aug 19 '17 at 15:27
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"Lighten" mode needs brighter color in order to show something

With your setup are baking the Color component of the Diffuse pass. This means that the bake texture will show only the exact color input that's being provided to every diffuse shader in the nodes of your scene; no bump map/normals are being considered in this process, so the only way your texture could show some variations comes from the Mix factor of the Color Mix node (in your case set to Lighten blending mode)

Regardless of what color texture is coming into the factor, the output of the node will always be the light grey you see in the baked texture you are showing in your question: you are infact trying to Lighten a bright color with a darker one.

enter image description here

The manual is not quite clear about what the blending mode is doing:

Like bleach makes your whites whiter. Use with a mask to lighten up a little.

I may guess is adding the second color only when it's brighter than the first one, but it's a fact that using a second color darker than the first one results in a color that is always the same of the first one.

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    $\begingroup$ I edited my post to show the results of your help. Thanks so much! I think in his own way @Dimali was trying to say the same thing to me with his answer. Thank you to both of you, and especially to you for your detailed explanation that helped me figure out what I needed to change. Have a great day! $\endgroup$ – DoctorDep Aug 19 '17 at 21:30
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The reason for this is that you selected the Bake Mode "Diffuse", which is only the diffuse lights on the surface. Try "Full Render" to include your texture on top of the Diffuse bake.

Don't confuse the diffuse render pass with the diffuse texture or the diffuse shader.

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  • $\begingroup$ Do you mean the "Combined" bake? When I do that it includes lighting and so the model either comes out dark, or with unwanted shadows when I add light sources. How can I mitigate that issue? $\endgroup$ – DoctorDep Aug 19 '17 at 16:53

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