Excuse me if I’m being a bit blunt, but we can do better than we are in the realm of normals.
I spent about 7 hours troubleshooting this normal map I’m trying to make. I was using the Workbench engine, and turned off filmic and anything else that would interfere with color, but the normals were always a bit off. I was confused, as I assumed this was the new way to get a normal pass, as we don’t have a proper tangent space normal in passes yet, only world space. After plenty of tests, I could only get the blue in my maps to 115,115,231, but normal maps require the flat face to be 128,128,255. It looks perfect to the eye, but is on average tilted toward x+ and y+ by up to 30 degrees.
we need a way to gather screenspace normals! We have world space normals, but they aren’t nearly as useful for post processing.
As important as it is, I’m a bit disappointed that cycles’ baking still uses only a single non-standard workflow, where you have to have a disconnected texture node in the material, and then you have to manage a selection between the 3D view and texture node, while the advanced bake options are only shown once normal bake type is selected. It may even be broken, but it’s confusing enough that I can’t tell if I’m even doing it right to check. (after some fiddling, yes, baking normals is absolutely broken.(12/8/2018))