Baking allows users to pre-compute or "bake" pattern networks into 2D texture images or 3D point clouds. Baking has several advantages:
- Reduce render times be eliminating run-time computation of expensive pattern networks. These savings can be realized across many frames.
- Look development asset publishing as part of a shading pipeline.
- Lock procedural pattern information from a reference position without using Pref
- Transfer assets between renderers, real-time viewports, and 3D printing.
Baking is exposed in RenderMan via pass-through pattern plug-ins that allow users to both render and bake from the same scenes. Without heavy modification of assets or scenes, users are able to:
- Use previously baked results, if they exist, or
- Read the pattern network instead of the baked results. This can happen for any reason but typically will because the baked results do not exist or a user wishes to ignore the baked result in order to tweak the pattern network.
Baking itself is enabled by using the bake hider.
RenderMan provides a generic texture baking pattern, PxrBakeTexture.
2D texture baking requires a well formed texture manifold (typically ST). Baking behavior for overlapping texture coordinates is undefined.
Point Cloud Baking
RenderMan provides a generic point cloud baking pattern, PxrBakePointCloud. This can be used to generate Ptex images.