I was wondering if anyone knew why texture baking in Cycles is so phenomenally slow?
I accept that this might be a technical limitation relating to how baking works, but I’m interested to understand for my own education.
For background only, I have developed an add-on for Blender 2.8 that allows for automated texture baking. If you are really interested, that addon is here, but I don’t think that it’s necessary to review the add-on to understand this question.
It is sufficient to say that I am baking emission passes and normal passes (a lot more of the first than the second).
My computer is not bleeding edge new, but it is also not old (Intel I7, GeForce Titan X). I would say that it is “reasonably fast” by today’s standards.
I cannot believe how insanely slow baking seems to be. In respect of emission passes in particular, I would have thought that these would be quite fast (not having to take into account lighting or shadows or anything) - but instead they take hours a time. Normal passes take even longer.
For a recent model, I baked 8 emission passes and 2 normal passes at 4096x4096. Total time was in the region of 14 hours That just seems disproportionate.
What is the issue here? What makes texture baking so slow? Is there any way to speed it up? There don’t seem to be any settings for emission bakes, and the settings for normal baking don’t help much.