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An Introduction To Baking

In the following guide you will be shown how to bake textures within Knald's baker, from high to low polygonal source files.

Loading Meshes

Click the Load Baker button in the General Tab to initiate The Baker.

In the Bake Meshes group click the toolbox button that is located to the right of the High Poly slot to load a High Poly mesh.

Click the toolbox button that is located to the right of the Low Poly slot to load a Low Poly mesh.

Click the toolbox button that is located to the right of the Cage Mesh slot to load a Cage Mesh.

  • If you wish to load more than one High Poly mesh you can click the + icon to add more slots as needed
  • You can remove previously loaded meshes by clicking the - button next to the slot that contains the High Poly mesh that you wish to remove.

Adjusting Your Texture Size & Bake Settings

In the Global Bake Settings group set the desired texture size that you wish to use by changing the spinners to the correct value.

  • If you don't have a pre-made cage file then it is recommended that you set the initial bake to something small such as 512² or 1024² with No AA.

Set the Anti-aliasing to 16xAA if you wish to enable anti-aliasing for higher quality bakes (at the cost of a little extra baking time). If you require dilation then ensure that the Dilation On/Off checkbox is checked on.

Adding Bake Targets

In the Bake Targets group select the textures that you wish to bake by using the 'Map Type' dropdown and pressing the 'Add Map' button. Repeat this step as many times as necessary in order to add all the desired bake targets.

You can add all possible bake targets by pressing the 'Add All' button.

Baking Your First Texture

Press the Pre-Process button to start the mesh processing and initial bake. Knald will then load, process and cache the High Poly mesh/meshes for faster iteration later.

During the initial bake (and every bake thereafter) Knald will always bake Tangent Space Normal1), Object Space Normal, Derivative, Displacement/Height & Vertex Color automatically and simultaneously without any interaction from the user, even when they are not selected as bake targets. This can be useful to remember as if you forget to add a bake target you can simply add it post bake and it will appear in the associated tab without the need to rebake everything.

Adjusting The Projection Cage

If you have loaded a Cage Mesh then you can skip ahead to Baking Ambient Occlusion & Transmission Maps

If on the initial bake you chose not to load a Cage Mesh then it is possible that you may need to adjust the projection cage (and possibly the Range Cage too) in order to ensure that it fully encloses the High Poly mesh with no intersections visible in the 3d Preview Window.

In the Global Bake Settings group check the View Cage checkbox and adjust the Push Slider so that the cage encompasses the High Poly mesh while still keeping it as close as possible to the High Poly surface. The projection cage should in most instances completely enclose the High Poly mesh in order to render correctly.

If the defaults for the Range Cage are not sufficient, which can be the case when baking to a plane for example, you can adjust it by selecting Manual in the Search Range dropdown and modifying the slider to a value that more suits your current needs. Range should be set at a distance that is as close to the High Poly mesh as possible, while still being enclosed by it. Setting this value too high can cause unnecessary increases in render times.

Setting an appropriate value for Range allows the rays projected from the cage to hit all areas of the High Poly mesh, which gives the desired result; A perfect bake.
Setting the Range value to an amount where it clips the High Poly mesh causes areas to be missed by the rays, which causes gaps in the bake.

Press the Bake button to rebake the textures with the new settings.

Baking Ambient Occlusion & Transmission Maps

The baking of Ambient Occlusion & Transmission Maps is performed after all other bake targets are processed due to their interactive nature and their ability to be updated on the fly without the need to rebake other targets.

If you want to change the settings for either of these post bake you can do so by going to the associated group, either in the Main or Baker tabs, and adjusting the relevant controls. This will update the bake to reflect the changes made.

1) Knald uses MikkTSpace by Morten S. Mikkelsen, which is available from
baking_introduction_knald_1.1.txt · Last modified: 2017/05/23 03:49 (external edit)