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Can anyone explain "baking"?

So i've been running into "baking" a quite often now and since i'm a beginner i don't know much. I'm learning about level designing and "baking" popped up three times now. First one baking lighting second one baking textures third one baking for normal maps. Can anybody please explain what they mean?

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asked Apr 28 '18 at 09:38 PM in Using UE4

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avatar image ThompsonN13 Apr 28 '18 at 10:19 PM

baking is simply creating something based on the situation. so for baking lighting it basically takes the information in your scene like where shadows are and how the lighting affects things in the scene and creates a image kind of like a filter to apply to the scene so that the shadows dont need to be calculated when the game begins. thats the basic idea, how it actually works is a bit different though. as for baking textures and normals you may want to watch some 3d sculpting videos to learn more on that. the basics with textures is that you take say a character thats high poly (lots of geometry) and you project the detail of it to a lower poly model so that the lower poly one which is more performant can look like the higher poly model, again this is done with images. im no expert on these things and its a bit tricky to explain but you will learn more about the longer you spend making models.

heres some links about baking for 3d modeling they should help get you started in understanding baking.



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