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I'm a newbie with computer graphics and I'd like to learn what "light baking" means.

I've heard of this term but never understood it completely. Can someone explain this to me in plain English (possibly with some images)?

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up vote 2 down vote accepted

I'm by not means an expert but light baking is great if you want to watch your calorie intake.

Other than that, in relation to 3D programs, I believe it means rendering your object with lighting on it. This means, reusing this same object the lights will already be "baked" into it and you will no longer have live lighting. In other words you are "hard-coding" the lighting into your object, rather than letting whatever scene you import the object into take care of the lighting.

This is the lighting equivalent of Texture Baking, which will have the textures already rendered on the object.

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