- In animation, the process of creating a single animation curve for an object whose actions are being provided by simulation rather than by keys and animation curves (keysets). This process makes many types of animation available that are not available for keyset editing.
- In rendering, the process of rendering illumination, shadow, shading, and textures to a file texture or to per-vertex color mesh. Baking lets you render an object once and either re-use the file texture as a texture map or bake colors onto vertex meshes. Texture maps can also be manipulated to obtain lighting effects that would be difficult to achieve in other ways.
In mental ray for Maya, also known as light mapping.