Baking textures in Cycles

Cycles allow us to bake textures as does Blender Internal, but there are some differences between the two render engines.

Cycles versus Blender Internal

As we have seen previously, texture baking in Blender Internal can be very efficient to produce normal maps, ambient occlusion, color textures, and many other kinds of maps that we won't cover here. All of this in a very short time. So you might wonder why it is interesting to bake in Cycles.

Cycles is a ray tracer render engine based on physical parameters with global illumination. It is then possible to get some very realistic renders in a much more efficient manner. Baking in Cycles allows us, for example, to calculate a few heavy special effects only once, such as caustics. ...

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