Originally Posted by HitmonInfinity
I think we're getting off topic here. I bake my normals in maya.... they turn out well. Does anyone know if it's worth spending time making the envelopes nice or should i just set it to "inside then out?"
I doubt this will have much effect on performance but maybe?. It would be easy enough for you to bake with the various options and simply time it. Really if "inside then out" provides the best results thats what you should use.
One of the biggest reasons that Maya is slow is that(atleast the version i used, 2008 ) is that baking was single threaded. Maybe they've updated this in newer versions? If so it might make sense to use an update version(if you're not)
Another that that makes a HUGE difference is deleting history when dealing with meshsmooth. Make sure to save a copy of your scene as this will permanently sub-divide your mesh, but it makes a masssssive difference in render speed. Its really a pain that you can't bake with the smooth preview thing.
At the end of the day baking is always going to take a while, its best to find some other task to do while running long bakes, get lunch, dinner, sleep, set up PSDS, etc etc. Also, make sure to do quick low quality bakes to check for errors before doing the full on final bake, this will save you from doing painful rebaking.