With the Bake Wrangler addon we can save some baking configurations. It does this by using his own nodegroups. Don’t worry about nodes: this addon has just a very few, but they are quite powerful. Keep in mind that you can save nodegroups in your Start up file by giving them a fake user. So this way you can save time baking your textures. Another interesting part is that you can do batch baking! I show you a few tips on how to use the addon.
First thing to know is that each setup needs at least one of the categories of nodes; Inputs, Baking and Outputs. To start with a simple example, we bake a diffuse (albedo) texture. Oh yes, I forgot to mention that the addon is an Editor type. So, to access the Bake Wrangler addon you in the left-top of an editor (like in a 3D-view or Shader Editor).
Here we see the Mesh node (input), the Bake Pass node (Baking) and the Output Image Path (Output). I use this setup to bake the diffuse texture of an object. So for example, if I made a nice (procedural) texture for a mesh, and I want to get rid of the complex nodes, I can use this node setup. Another reason for baking is when you want to export your assets for gaming engines.
Once you have this node-setup, a few things needs to be done:
You give the node-tree a name and give it a fake user. Giving it a fake user (and save your .blend-file as startup file) prevents you loose the node-tree next time you start up Blender. You can also give the node-trees fake users, save the .blend file and append nodetrees the next time you start up Blender. In the screenshot above you see I have two node-trees. One for baking diffuse and another node-tree that is more complicated.
There are more things we can do, like batch baking, bake in RGB channels, and bake multiple meshes. Below an example where I bake diffuse and normal. And I bake also metal, roughness and Ambient Occlusion in RBG channels. The benefit of baking in RGB channels is that I need only one texture to store three properties of a material.
Because the above node-tree will take to much explanation, I will make a video on how to use the Bake Wrangler addon. In the video I will also mention the Textools addon and the Material Nodes addon. These three addons provides us a powerful toolset making and baking textures.
Best is to check the first post Bake Wrangler on Blenderartists. This because there are several ways to get the addon, and one of the ways will support the developer.
Note: in the preferences, switch on Debug. In my cases I couldn’t get otherwise the addon to work. After switching it on, all went perfect.