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I have a material assigned to a few test objects with an image sequence as a texture. If I view the scene in render preview, and scrub the timeline, (or render a sequence,) the texture behaves as expected.

However, with the viewport set to 'texture' or 'material' I only see the first frame of the sequence, wherever I am on the timeline. 'Auto Refresh' is set in the cycles texture node. Is this the expected behaviour?

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Unfortunately yes, that is the expected behavior (or call it a limitation, or a missing feature, or a bug...). Images used as part of the material currently refresh only on rendered view in Cycles.

If you switch back to Material Shading or any of the other OpenGL shading views int he viewport, the material will only show last image displayed in rendered view.

Editing the material will also force a refresh, but only for the current frame.

As an alternative (or to use as reference) you use an empty as image and use an image sequence, or video file, it will refresh correctly regardless of shading mode in the viewport. (see this link: https://blender.stackexchange.com/a/13897/1853)

Images used as background will also refresh fine.

Note that images used as background and empties used as images are meant for reference only, and will display in the 3D viewport but are not renderable.

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I found some very nice and easy solution, thanks to the now implemented amaranth tools from pablo Vazquez in 2.79c, when you have the render border for realtime cycles preview.

So, if you set the view to Camera and and check border render in Render settings, than you can do the following: scale the camera window very small so the gpu has not to much to calculate. As you get the real animation of the image sequences when you have the cycles vieport render there ist this interesting phenomenon:

Suddenly the image sequences are displayed in sync also outside the camera view/resp Render Border! Its a really great feature, and finally i can use prerendered or real live footage, in a fun way. Thank you Amaranth and blender.

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  • $\begingroup$ I wish I could accept 2 answers! That's very remarkable.. I expect this will all be cleared up in 2.8, but for any real work, I' going to wait for it to be stable. $\endgroup$ – Robin Betts May 28 '18 at 13:19

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