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"baking" arrangement of cloners to a texture, for realtime use

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Hi guys, this could be really easy and I can't see it, or impossible!

Let's say I use a cloner, with a disc as its child, to cover the surface of a target object (e.g. a sphere) with thousands of tiny discs. Then I use a random (or any other) effector to modify those discs' size, colour etc. 


Is there a way to take that sphere and convert this polygon-heavy cloner arrangement into a high-res texture that I can then apply to a sphere? The aim is to have a real-time equivalent of the cloned discs on the sphere. I say discs, because I'm not worried about the third dimension of the cloned objects (i.e. height from the sphere's surface).


Ultimately I'd like to be able to get something up on sketchfab like this (https://skfb.ly/PDOo) but with the variation in size and colour of the dots.

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Could you just do it on a big rectangle, render that out and use the resulting render as texture on your sphere ?


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I guess so, good idea!


Any other crazy ways of doing this, in case it wasn't an simple primitive like a sphere, or if it's UVs were edited?

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