I created this crate for a game I'm working on, I've been trying to bake my wood pallet texture I have but every time I try to do so my bake comes out having artifacts and the material itself darkens immensely. I've attached a picture, on the left hand side is my image after UV Unwrapping and on the right is after the bake. I've circled the artifacts with red circles. I'm using Cycles Render and the Bake Type is set to Diffuse. Any help or guidance would be greatly appreciated.
That's because there are no lights in your scene so it would be dark because lighting information is saved in baked textures when baking using the combined bake type.
It was a combination of 2 things :
Not having any light in my scene & the artifacts were created by overlaping UV's