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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.

Texture Baking

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.