Simplebake - Simple Pbr And Other Baking In Blender 2.8

by Status451_CG in Scripts and Addons

NOTE: Version 3.0.0 brings a total UI redesign, a host of new UV mapping options as well as greater control over colour management! All updates are available for automatic install from within Blender.

NOTE: Version 2.5.0 now with the ability to upload directly to Sketchfab!

NOTE: Version 2.2.0 now with the option to bake ClearCoat and ClearCoat Roughness, as well as bake multiple objects to one target object. See the FAQ for details. Also the some bug fixes.

NOTE: Version 2.1.0 now with the option to automatically apply baked materials in Blender and more tweaks and bug fixes.

NOTE: Version 2.0 now available. Significant re-write of SimpleBake that adds new features and functionality. See revised features list below.

NOTE: Version 1.2 now available. HUGE performance increase. Baking more than 20x quicker.

NOTEVersion 1.1.1 now available. Includes support for materials that mix Emission and Principled BSDF. Lots of bugfixes

NOTEVersion 1.0.5 now available. Now includes mesh export (see below)

Introduction

Blender 2.8 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 2.8.

As a bonus, SimpleBake will also bake ColourID maps as well as the "traditional" Cycles bake modes - again, as a one-click solution. 

**No special node groups. No new workflow. Just simple baking**

Designed for Blender 2.8, does not work with older versions of Blender

Key Features

Specific to PBR Baking:

  1. Easily bake PBR textures for export to Sketchfab.com, Substance Painter, 3D Coat, Unity and other software and services;
  2. Create materials in the "usual" way around the Principled BSDF and Emission shaders. No need to use custom node groups or learn a complicated new workflow.
  3. Your object(s) can have as many materials on it/them as you like. Everything is baked down to one image per object per map (or just one image per map if you are using the "Multiple objects to one texture set" option - see below).
  4. Mix your Principled BSDF and Emission shaders together however you like, and use as many as you like. Use whatever input to those shaders (nodes or node groups) that you like.
  5. Bake maps with alpha, for easier compositing
  6. Bake multiple objects to a single set of images (the "Multiple objects to one texture set" option ).
  7. Bake PBR maps from multiple objects (e.g. high poly objects) to a single target object (e.g. a low poly object) (similar to Maya transfer maps).
  8. Upload model and textures directly to Sketchfab with one click!


Other features:

  1. Automatically save baked files externally - right into an automatically generated folder where your blend file is saved
  2. Easily bake a ColourID map for use in programs such as Substance Painter (random colour per texture);**No special node groups. No new workflow. Just simple baking**
  3. Easily bake any of the "traditional" Cycles bake modes (Combined, Subsurface, Glossy etc.). You set the Cycles settings you want on the Cycles panel, and Simplebake takes care of all the complicated node setup to make baking happen;
  4. Automatically generate a new UV map (Smart UV Project) if needed, or bake to a UV map of your choosing (see documentation for how SimpleBake handles UV maps)
  5. Automatically export your mesh at the time of bake with a single material and single UV map - perfect for instant upload to Sketchfab and similar
  6. Option to adjust memory usage for baking. If you have a particularly high or a particularly low powered computer, this can be set up or down for optimal results.
  7. Built with speed and simplicity in mind. No complicated setup or configuration, just the settings you absolutely need. SimpleBake bucks the trend of Blender's usual "configure every option in minute detail" approach by taking care of as much of the process for you as possible.
  8. SimpleBake leaves your scene safe and untouched. Once complete, you are exactly where you started plus your baked textures (and a copy of your object(s) with those baked textures applied if you chose that option).


Limitations

I like to be upfront about any limitations:

  • Blender 2.8 only.
  • Baking with alpha and the "Multiple objects to one texture set" option are mutually exclusive. It's one or the other, not both (though arguably you shouldn't need both...). I am looking into a workaround, however, this seems to be a limitation of Blender itself.
  • You can use node groups in your materials, however, your shaders (Principled BSDF, Emission and the Mix Shaders) currently must sit outside any node groups.

How to use



You will find SimpleBake in the render settings tab in the properties panel.

To bake, select the objects you want to bake in the viewport, select your options and then hit bake!

PBR Map Bake

Select the objects you want to bake, the maps you need and the extra options you want (including external save, image size etc.). After that, just hit PBR Map Bake, and watch it go.

ColourID Bake

This will bake a random colour to each material on your model. This is for when you are using an application (like Substance Painter) that makes use of ColourID maps to isolate different parts of your model for texturing.

Cycles Bake

The "traditional" modes of baking. This will bake as per whatever settings you have in the Cycles bake panel (usually the panel above SimpleBake itself). 

SimpleBake will still take care of setting up all the images and materials, cycling through all your selected objects, generating new UVs and saving externally (if you have selected those options).

Documentation

See the full documentation for SimpleBake.