RenderMap and RenderVertex let you bake various surface attributes and storing them in an image file or vertex color property. For example, you can create a surface and illumination map that considers the effect of multiple materials and textures on a single polygon mesh; calculates the diffuse, specular, ambient, and shadow values; and stores them in a single texture that can be applied to the object.
The RenderMap property specifies which types of map to generate and which surface attributes to consider. By changing an option in the RenderMap property, you can store values in a vertex color property (RenderVertex) instead of a bitmapped image file — for more about vertex colors, see [ ].
The disembodied hand was textured using a combination of several images mixed together in a complex render tree, and lit using two infinite lights. The result is a highly detailed surface that incorporates color, bump, displacement, and lighting information, and takes a fair amount of time to render.
RenderMap was used to bake everything into a single image. The resulting texture image was then applied directly to the Surface input of the hand's material node. Finally, the scene lights were deleted, producing this result — a good approximation of the hand's original appearance. Because the hand's illumination is baked into the rendermap image, you can get this result without using lights or an illumination shader.
Instead of baking surface properties, the Color Sampler shader evaluates a render tree and saves it as a texture file. This technique can have its advantages in some situations. For information about using the Color Sampler shader in general, see . In particular, to know when this must be useful instead of RenderMap, see .