Baking normal maps in Blender

Blender 2.79

Normal Bake

1) In the render Tab, under ‘Bake’, select Bake Type: ‘Normal’, enable ‘Selected to Active’, and set Ray Distance large enough to cover the geometry.

2) Make sure the target object has an active UV channel

3) In the UV/Image editor, create a new image with the desired resolution, and name it.

4) In the target Object’s material, set an Image Texture with the new image you created, make sure the Image Texture is node selected in the Node Editor of the Target Object’s material view, so it will be the target for the baked texture.

5) In the render Tab, under ‘Bake’, press the ‘Bake’ button.

6) Set the image texture as the materials Normal Map, check if it’s effective and save it to disk.

Model on the left is a 1.5 million triangle 3D scanning of an archaeological find, Model on the right is a 4000 triangles retopologized low poly model with geometrical details baked into a Normal Map.