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Bake a Hard Surface Normal Map

  • Software:Blender  ·
  • Difficulty:Intermediate

Rules of the Exercise

  • 1
    All sharp edges must appear rounded, without appearing split.
  • 2
    Some "visual handshake" details must be included where multiple surfaces intersect.
  • 3
    All normals should be pointing in the correct direction, without obvious artifacts.

Normal mapping from start to finish

Using what you've learned in the Intro to Normal Map Modeling for Games course, optimize and bake the normals of the provided high poly object onto to the low poly object.


  1. Download the gun part file and open it in Blender. The high poly object is on the first layer and the low poly version is on the second layer.
  2. Modify the high poly object to prepare it for baking.
  3. Modify the low poly object and unwrap its UV's to prepare it for baking.
  4. Bake the high poly normals on to the low poly object.
  5. Upload the low poly model to Sketchfab.
  6. Apply the normal map to the model in Sketchfab.
  7. Submit the Sketchfab link as your exercise result.


This exercise is not easy, so here are a few things to remember as you get started:
  1. Normal maps only bake angle information, so any 90 degree angles will need to be adjusted in order to be seen.
  2. "Visual Handshake" details should be added to the high poly model in order to be seen clearly from a distance.
  3. Edges that should appear beveled on the low poly model need to be both seams and set as sharp.
  4. This mesh is fairly complex, so you may need to use a custom cage.
Since this exercise is more tricky than most, if you encounter any issues I would recommend asking for help on the Community. That way, we can have a bit more in-depth discussion than we can in the questions tab of this exercise.