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Bake time - bake quality

what is best bake set up for scenes to be viewed on a pc screen as opposed to a headset? Should I bake with higher lightmap resolution? Should I use fewer samples for a pc screen? Or should I use the same for both?
Bake times can be unpredictable…I can see the progress bar during bake times but it doesnt forecast the due completion time. I dont want to incur a long bake time when I dont need to bake with samples that arent necessary. What is the best solution?

Usually, the same number of samples and the same lightmap resolution should be used for PC screen and a VR headset.

You can find out the total baking time when the baking is done by hovering the mouse pointer over the “done” baking job in the job list. To show the job list you can start another bake, which you can then cancel right after you read the total time for the done bake. Please see this screenshot:


The default lightmap resolution of 75 is sufficient for high quality results. If you want to shorten bake times, you can decrease it to 50-60.

If the scene is well-lit then usually ~100 samples should work for a draft bake, and 400-800 for a high quality bake. The baking time increases roughly linearly with the number of samples, so if you double the number of samples, the baking time will be also - roughly - doubled.

One possible workflow is to use low number of samples while working on the scene (50-100). Then if you want to use N times more samples for the final bake, you can estimate the final bake time by multiplying the draft bake time by N.