Simplebake - Simple Pbr And Other Baking In Blender

by HaughtyGrayAlien in Scripts and Addons


**No special node groups or materials. No new workflow. Just simple baking at the click of a button**

Videos

Check out these great videos by Alex Pearce (as well as his excellent other content) which do a much better job of explaining how to use SImpleBake than I ever could.

Introduction

SimpleBake is the definitive baking solution for Blender.

Blender provides a very powerful way to create complex PBR materials by using nodes. However, what should be a simple process of baking and exporting these materials for use with other software or systems (Substance Painter, Second Life, Sketchfab, Unity etc.) is surprisingly difficult.

SimpleBake aims to address this problem. SimpleBake is an addon / tool that provides a one-click solution for baking PBR maps from materials created in Blender.

However, SimpleBake isn't just an add-on for PBR. You can easily bake all of the "traditional" Cycles bake modes, along with other kinds of specialist maps (Ambient Occlusion, Curvature, Thickness, Vertex Colours and Colour ID).

See below for a full overview of the features, and also check out the FAQs and ratings for more information.

Features

PBR Baking

  • Simple PBR baking - Just select what textures you want (Diffuse, Metallic / Metal, Roughness, Normal, Transmission, Transmission Roughness, Clearcoat, Clearcoat Roughness, Emission Specular and Alpha) and SimpleBake will spit them out.
  • Create complex materials how you want to -Create your PBR materials in the usual way. Have as many materials on your object as you want. Use multiple Principled BSDFs and Emission shaders in those materials to get the result you want (something that sets SimpleBake apart from other addons). Use Mix Shader nodes to mix them together how you want. Use whatever input to those shaders that you want.
  • Bake to target - Bake multiple objects to a single target object with ease. Options for ray distance and cage selection are included.
  • Sketchfab – Provide your Sketchfab API key to upload PBR models and textures to Sketchfab with one click. Textures will be automatically matched to materials in Sketchfab (though some manual adjustments may be required due to limitations in the Sketchfab API - see the FAQs).



Traditional or "Cycles Baking"

  • Traditional Baking - Bake any of the "traditional" Cycles bake modes (Combined, Roughness, Normal etc). SimpleBake will handle all the node setup and a tonne of other things that make baking in Blender a pain. As many materials on your object(s) as you want.
  • Colour Space - Choose your colour space for baked images. Choose whether or not to use this colour space in your exported files.

General (apply to all baking)

  • Presets - Create and save your own presets and use them across your blend files.
  • Bake in the background - Queue up a number of different baking tasks to bake in the background while you continue to work in Blender. Each task can be given a name. When it's finished, import the textures and/or objects into Blender.


  • Keep doing what you are doing - No new workflow to learn. No special node groups or materials to use. No limitations on the complexity of your materials. Just simple baking based on your existing workflow.
  • Special Maps - Bake a number of special maps including AO, Curvature, Thickness, Vertex Colours and Colour ID.
  • Auto export (baked maps) – Automatically export baked maps to external files.
  • Auto export (mesh) – Automatically export your mesh to external files. The mesh will have materials applied that refer to your exported bake images, making importing it into another application or service easy.
  • Batch baking and folder organisation – Export your bakes and mesh to custom folders (created where you blend file is saved), and with custom batch names (which are included in the file names). Bake a complex scene in stages with ease, and never accidentally overwrite your baked maps again!
  • No limits on materials - Your object can have as many different materials as you want. SimpleBake will process them all.
  • Combine to one texture set - Bake multiple objects to a single texture set in exactly the same way was you bake anything else.
  • Smart UV handling - Use existing UVs, generate new UVs and generate atlas maps - whatever you need. Either restore your original UV maps after the bake, or leave the ones used for baking applied.
  • Copy and apply - Option to duplicate your objects and apply the baked textures right in Blender. Textures you have exported will be linked to the external files (see the next point)
  • External linking - Textures not saved externally will be linked to Blender internal images. Textures saved externally will be linked to the external file. Never again will you close Blender without saving images externally, only to open it later on and find all your bakes were lost.
  • Easy to use and well documented - SimpleBake is designed with simplicity in mind. It should "just work". Almost everything has a verbose tooltip. SimpleBake tries to catch every error, and explain to you what you are doing wrong, and how to fix it. Tips are displayed in the interface to avoid common "gotchas", or where you have selected options that may not work well together (e.g. baking multiple objects to one texture set with their existing UV maps). Also, check out the FAQs on Blender Market for some detailed information about baking and using SimpleBake.
  • Automatic updates - No need to come back to Blender Market to grab a new version of SimpleBake. When a new version is available, you will recieve a notification on the SimpleBake panel. You can then automatically update via the SimpleBake user preferences. A quick restart of Blender and you are using the latest and greatest SimpleBake.
  • UDIMs - Blender still doesn't support baking to UDIMs, but SimpleBake can make this happen! Check out the Limitations section below for more details.

Smaller Features Making all baking in SimpleBake just a little easier

  • Automatic update ensures you are always using the latest version - Updates to SimpleBake are free for life. You can automatically update from within Blender (an alert at the top of the panel will let you know that a new version is available).
  • Super fast baking - SimpleBake uses a number of techniques and optimisations to bake super fast and super accurately.
  • Texture size and output size - Select your desired texture size with one click. Scale up or down to get an anti-aliasing effect. Suggested optimum bake margins are set automatically.
  • Export formats - Export images in a variety of file formats.
  • Alpha - Bake with or without alpha background.
  • Colour space and bit depth - Automatic handling of colour space and bit depth for optimal results (while also providing manual overrides if needed)

Limitations

I like to be upfront about any limitations. There is no point in mis-selling you something:

Node groups - While you definitely can use node groups in your materials, the actual BSDF nodes (i.e. the Principled BSDF, Emission and the Mix Shader nodes) currently must sit outside any node groups for SimpleBake to find them and work correctly. 

PBR materials - For PBR baking only, materials must be based around the Principled BSDF, Emission and Mix Shader nodes. You can't use other shaders (e.g. Glass BSDF). If you did, that wouldn't be a PBR material. Other than that, there are no limitations (e.g you can have as many Principled BSDFs as you like, mix them as you like and feed input into them however you like). This does not apply to CyclesBake, where materials can be literally anything.

UDIMs - UDIMs are supported, but max 10 tiles and only if all tiles are in one row. That's OK for most people most of the time, but it may cause issues for super large projects. I'm working on it.

Documentation

This Blender Market page, and the FAQs have become the de facto documentation for SimpleBake.

Also check out the videos linked to above for an overview of how to use SimpleBake.

Please contact me via Blender Market if you have any difficulties or questions.

Change log

A full running change log is available here. Check out the new features that have been added since I got around to updating this product page...

Supported Blender Version(s)

SimpleBake supports the latest stable Blender release, with some effort to also support the current LTS. Alpha, Beta and other versions of Blender are not officially supported.

Sales 2700+
Customer Ratings 67
Average Rating
Published almost 3 years ago
Software Version 2.93
License GPL
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