This function was created to decrease render time and increase viewport speed, it will also allow you to use multiple materials in complex scenes and use them in other software like Unreal Engine. It also makes baking procedural materials way easier than with the regular blender baking system. The tool is still in beta, you can expect adjustments and changes to the UI and functionality in future updates.
All the materials have baking outputs to facilitate this process with the exception of a few materials that can’t be baked
When you select and right click a group node on the shader editor you will see a new option: “Set Sanctus Bake Sockets”
This will show you all the available output sockets, by selecting them they will be added to the Sanctus shader editor Panel (toggle with N)
You just need to set the resolution of the image and once you are ready press the “Bake” button. The time will depend on your system and resolution of the images, once it is done you will see the bakes and thumbnails listed:
You can view the results on a popup window by clicking the thumbnails, once you are happy with the result you can use the save button and select the destination folder, file format and other settings.
If the override textures button (right beside the baking button) is active, when you bake again the temporary images will be replaced, if it’s not it will create images with a new name and keep the previous results.
The clear button will clear the results, but it will not delete the temporary image from Blender.
Even if this tool was made for the procedural materials of the library, you can use it to bake any output of any node. So you can use it to bake textures or other procedural materials as well.