I am struggling to understand what is LookDev mode for and how do I render an image which I see in this mode into a picture or video. I tweaked my material to look how I want in LookDev mode 1, but rendering via F12 seems to be using the Rendered mode 2 and the material looks totally different. What am I doing wrong and why this sudden bright pink glow in my material?

Using Blender 2.8 2018-10-12.

LookDev mode Rendered mode

  • $\begingroup$ it looks to me that your world texture is missing thus having those pink reflections. for what is the look dev I didnt really understand besides probably a faster way of previewing the materials using the open gl renderer. youtube.com/watch?v=Hz5wD6cHtuk $\endgroup$ – Virgil Sisoe Nov 20 '18 at 23:14
  • $\begingroup$ Yes, indeed the pink was caused by missing world texture. One would think if the world is black, the object would turn out black too, since there's nothing to reflect. This pink colour must be a warning of some sort.. $\endgroup$ – Ditto Nov 20 '18 at 23:43
  • 4
    $\begingroup$ It's a common convention for dealing with missing textures...render in a hard-to-miss color. $\endgroup$ – B Layer Dec 20 '18 at 20:59

LookDev stands for "Look Development", it is the equivalent of the Material preview mode in 2.7# with better shading and more advanced features.

This is a viewport mode designed to develop the look and appearance of your materials and shaders, it has realistic lighting and material previews are represented textured, fully shaded, and as close to the final rendered result as possible.

It differs from Rendered mode in that it doesn't necessarily use your scenes native lighting and environment, instead it (optionally) overrides scene lamps and scene world with a generic user configurable environment lighting, that is both more neutral on your materials and quicker to render, yielding faster performance for instant previews and more responsive editing.

It is harder to understand its value when working with EEVEE. Since differences to Render Mode are tenuous and blurry, and given how both are based on the same OpenGL real time rendering engine, it may seem like a pointless and redundant feature.

Its true purpose becomes more apparent when rendering with Cycles, where the Rendered viewport mode is actually rendered by Cycles based path tracing. While impressively quick it is too slow for preview and unsuitable as a working mode while editing; while LookDev is using EEVEE based preview in background trying to match Cycles output as close as possible with responsive OpenGL based rasterization.

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For the time being, to render the current viewport result at any time go to the 3D View header under View > Viewport Render or View > Viewport Render Animation

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I'm sure eventually there will be dedicated render buttons in the render panel to do this, both for EEVEE and OpenGL render.

  • $\begingroup$ There is an important difference between Render and LookDev even for Eevee: the second one show smoke very badly, without any light on it. LookDev smoke looks even worse than Solid view of smoke – it's very dark and transparent. $\endgroup$ – AivanF. Feb 12 '19 at 7:23

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