For the purposes of this post, I used Max 2012.
What is texture baking?
It’s the process of taking the image of an object in a scene and applying that image as a single map to the object. It includes any lighting effects and can save quite a bit on rendering time while giving your material depth.
For a more detailed explanation go here. Chipmasque explains it really well.
Now, on to baking our textures:
- First, you need to assign V-Ray as the renderer in your scene.
- Rendering > Render Setup > Common Tab > Assign Renderer rollout
- In your scene you will need to use all V-Ray materials
- Hit M to open the material editor and click on the Standard button
- Under V-Ray Adv 2.10.01 (or the version you are using) double click on one of the V-Ray material types
- Make your materials
- Once your scene is ready, open Render Setup and go to the Settings tab.
- Under the V-RAY::System rollout, check the box for Frame Stamp. Make sure Full width is checked and Justify is set to Left.
- If you render at this point, your scene may look quite flat. We will fix that next.
- Go to the V-Ray tab in Render Setup.
- Under the V-RAY:: Image sampler (Antialiasing) rollout, set the Image sampler type to Adaptive DMC.
- Go to the Indirect illumination tab and turn GI on.
- Back to the V-Ray tab, go to the environment rollout and turn on GI Environment (skylight) override. Set the multiplier to .08.
- Now that you’ve done all that, it will take longer to render. Yes I know, we’re supposed to be making it faster to render, please don’t yell at me. We are getting there, I promise.
- If the image looks grainy, you can adjust the DMC sampler parameters in the Settings tab.
- Once you are happy with the quality of your render, if not the render time, we are ready to bake.
- First things first, go back to the Settings tab and turn off Frame Stamp.
- Now go to Rendering > Render To Texture
- General Settings – Set the path where you want the baked textures to be saved.
- Select the objects you want “baked” in your scene. They will appear in the Objects to Bake rollout.
- Under Mapping Coordinates select Use Automatic Unwrap.
- Under the Output rollout, add VrayCompleteMap.
- Below that you can adjust the size. I set mine to 512 x 512.
- Make sure you give your map a name in the name field, otherwise it just uses the default VrayCompleteMap.
- In the Baked Material rollout choose Save Source (Complete Shell). I believe that is the default, but just in case.
- Select Create New Baked and keep Standard:Blinn.
- Make sure Keep Source Materials is selected.
- Back at the Output rollout, set the Target Map Slot to Self-Illumination.
- Now, hit render there at the bottom of the Render to Texture window and watch it go.
- Congratulations, you have successfully baked your textures.