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This object has had some weirdness with its faces for a while that I've never been able to track down. There are no double vertices and the normals are fine. There are no rips between faces. There were, but I fixed them. But when I bake ambient occlusion, a bunch of strange things show up.

odd diagonal shadows in baked image texture

shadows in flat areas for no reason

What should I do about this?

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Well the issue is in overlapping faces.

First, the solidify modifier. When you press bake witch face will project: internal or external? In the place on your screenshot - external.

But even worse, if you disable the solidify modifier you will get same problems, becouse you have overlapping faces in UV-layout also.

This gif shows the overlapping faces:

enter image description here

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  • $\begingroup$ There is no sign of those extra faces on the actual mesh, so how do I get rid of them? $\endgroup$ – kim holder Oct 23 '18 at 18:07
  • $\begingroup$ Its somehow outta topic but ... how U made those GIFs fellas? $\endgroup$ – Jan Matys Oct 23 '18 at 19:19
  • $\begingroup$ @JanMatys I'm on a Linux system and I use Peek blender.meta.stackexchange.com/a/964/7548 $\endgroup$ – kim holder Oct 23 '18 at 19:45
  • $\begingroup$ Alright, i deleted the solidify modifier as it isn't really needed here and it was a source of issues. Also I deleted the UV map and regenerated it and the extra faces disappeared. $\endgroup$ – kim holder Oct 23 '18 at 20:04

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