Low poly mesh bakes into itself? Edit: also really dark normal maps

Hello, first post here.

I’ve been having fun sculpting, topologizing and now I’ve run into a problem with normal mapping. I’ve followed multiple tutorials and all of them seem to lead to the same problem, and this that my normal maps seems to inhert details from both the low poly mesh (topology) and the high poly mesh (sculpting). Pic related.

I don’t know how to fix it. I’ve tested it out on a basic cube object in a new file and it seemed to be working as it should be.

Hey, looks like your sculpt mesh was set to ‘Flat’ shading when you did it - thats why it looks like that. set to ‘SMOOTH’ and re-bake.

I noticed that my retopo mesh is also set to flat (not sure if it should be) so I changed it. If I set it to smooth the normal map breaks completely. Pic related.

The dark on his face is supposed to be light from the lamp. I tried multiple combinations of smooth and flat, tried recalculating normals and nothing seems to work. I can’t find the equivalent problem online and I am completely at a loss here :frowning:

And now every normal map breaks like this no matter what I do :frowning:

Nevermind. I just forgot to save the textures post bake like a complete idiot.

The normal map shown on the first screenshot is result of flat shading of meshes. Enable smooth shading for both highpoly and lowpoly before baking.
I would also suggest using better lighting setup for testing bake result. HDRi map could be a quick and effective solution.