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The viewport in Material view

Here is the viewport in material view. The node setup is just a PNG texture into a diffuse shader.

The viewport in Rendered view

And this is in rendered view. I've tried using environmental lighting as well as a directional light, and while the lit parts become brighter/washed out, the darker parts stay dark.

Normals are correct and there is no z-fighting. Ambient Occlusion is not enabled. Changing to Flat shading makes it worse.

Here's the .blend

Update: Any modifier that alters the mesh (bevel, subdivide, etc) make the problem go away instantly.

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  • $\begingroup$ It would be much better if you upload the .blend file, or at least screenshots of your node setup, I doubt you'll get a good answer using the provided information. $\endgroup$ – Georges Mar 27 '17 at 14:38
  • $\begingroup$ I've uploaded my .blend. The reason i didn't post the node setups is because they're all the default diffuse setups. $\endgroup$ – Nghillaz Mar 27 '17 at 14:40
  • $\begingroup$ Hi. Please use blend-exchange.giantcowfilms.com for blend uploads. It's more permanent. $\endgroup$ – Ray Mairlot Mar 27 '17 at 16:03
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You have Custom Split Normals Data added to the geometry, to fix this, while selecting the object, go to Data Tab in Properties Panel, scroll to find Geometry Data, and click Clear Custom Split Normals Data.
enter image description here
More information about this issue Here

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    $\begingroup$ Nice one! I get this a lot when i import obj's from certain pieces of software. And while i have already figured this out, it took me a few months of having to bear with broken normals until i did. Here, have an upvote! $\endgroup$ – Sebastián Mestre Mar 28 '17 at 1:26
  • $\begingroup$ Glad my answer helped! According to documentation, this happens only when importing .fbx, but the documentation could be outdated. $\endgroup$ – Georges Mar 28 '17 at 8:53
  • $\begingroup$ it is never this bad but custom normals from an obj can warp your normals $\endgroup$ – Sebastián Mestre Mar 28 '17 at 17:20

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