How to Bake Perfect Normals in Blender – Tutorial


Blender tutorial showing you how to bake a normal map from a high poly model, to a low poly model.

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CC-BY footage from Sintel, by


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43 thoughts on “How to Bake Perfect Normals in Blender – Tutorial”

  1. You need to make sure that the dummy material for the active object is the either the only material for that object or in slot 0 for that object. I got an "image not found for material in slot 0 of [active object]" message when I baked. Got a normal map, but none of the information from the high poly. Noticed that I had two materials. Deleted the first one, which left me with just the dummy material and then it worked out fine. (Would like to have seen that conversation in your interview with Ton 🙂

  2. Can anyone please help me…! It's showing an error when I click bake "no active uv layer found in the object "plane 003"

  3. Probably a bit late, but how extreme can a normal map be (the actual difference between the surface of low poly and high poly)?

  4. Hey guys, could somebody help me please, i have done everything on this tutorial series and i have had no problems at all, until i tried baking the normals. No matter how much i change the Ray distance, i keep getting those green shapes on the map. How do i know which value should i put there? or is it just by guessing?
    Really appreciate it if someone could help me.

  5. Will try for a response on 9 month old video. If you use Poliigon's texture add-on that puts in all the nodes for you, where does one plug a baked texture file into all of them?

  6. @3:53 No need to control-C and Control-V Just click and drag from the first to the second value. There you go, little trick 🙂

  7. why does my normal map never look like his? its always off and half is cut off in the corner, i followed everything he did so whats happening

  8. Will this normal map change the silhouette of the object? Or is a displacement map required for that? If so, is it possible to bake a displacement map in the same way?

  9. When you were trying to explain normal maps, I was confused by what you were saying. When you started, it clicked. I knew about "Normal maps". I actually thought normal and displacement maps were the same thing. Just a different look in the picture. One's shades of purple, and one's shades of black. When you were saying and showing what a normal map should look like, I realized I was wrong. Normal maps fake the details, displacement maps actually make the details just by using a picture by automatically raising and lowering vertices. Correct me if I'm wrong about that. But anyways, nice video.

    I'd like to see a video on how to get displacement maps and all those other ones by using one picture. I know about "Crazy Bumps" and "Pixplain" but I mean other software like paint programs like free ones like, GIMP, etc. To paid paint programs like Photoshop, maybe illustrator, etc. I don't know what can be used for this stuff. If Blender has a way to import a picture and do that, that would be fantastic. Blender needs a feature like that. Also, I'd like a feature that can import models to Blender by just a picture just like a software called "PhotoScan" does. Of course, the name of this feature probably would be called PhotoScan.

  10. I uv unwrapped my low poly object and then tried to bake the high to low poly object by selecting them and then pressing bake but I am getting " no valid selected object" error message

  11. At 11:36, how do you get that even, dark background with the object's shadows on it?

    Also, my horn is very blocky even with subdivision surface set to 4 and beyond. Andrew's is so smooth, how!?

    Edit: Okay, figured out the second issue… Had to press T on my anvil to open up the transform panel and set shading to smooth instead of flat.

  12. sir my object is not perfectly baked even i've tried a lot .The image get prepared everytime but whenever i applied it on the low poly mesh it is somewhat rotated means not as same as i sculpted.So how could i solve this problem.

  13. Sorry but this was not very well explained. Were we meant to remove the original textures from the anvils? Or leave them in place? Are you meant to select one object, then the other? Or select one, then add the other to the selection set (both selected at once)?
    Because I ended up with a black object and no bake.

  14. This is so sad.
    I worked hard for this tutorial and when I want to bake the normal map, my two anvils have to much vertices…
    I don't no why there were so much…

  15. I have got triangles when I apply it to the mesh, it has to do something with shading on my low poly version, how do I fix it?

  16. holy jesus man, u are soo cool, i was looking for tutorials in spanish because i'm mexican but, never found a guy who explained the blender tools like you, THANK YOU SO MUCH! now i'm starting a lot of projects i wanted to just because of you, ty bro, u rock, and keep doing what you do! ;D

  17. i tried ti follow this video but doesn't work for me. I am sure I making some mistake but I sow the video 5 times and… even with file downloaded doesn't work for me.

  18. is it possible to make a normal map based off of a complex particle system that way I don't have to keep remaking a giant complex particle system? I'm asking because sand is hard to node…

  19. is not working, I mean, it worked but on top of my previous material, that iron metalness that we created in the last video. so in your video you said "we dont have any materials thats why we are seeing that message over there" but actually i had that iron material, so, the normal went over that texture, and I tried again with the blank image and is not working. I don't no what to do now!

  20. I am new on blender and i have a problem while baking the normal map. Blender crashes and closes instantly. I use a laptop without a gpu. Can someone help me?

  21. Please recommend where I can learn some more basic explanations of Baking. I can't wrap my head around a baking workflow well enough to be able to do it from scratch on my own work.

  22. If my low- and high-poly meshes are in different positions/rotations, how can I make them coincide again? (I've already cleared position and rotation so they show up as 0)

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