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I downloaded a .blend file that is a model of an eyeball. When I first load it up in 2.79, right when it opens, before I do anything to it, it looks like this: enter image description here

When I open the exact same file in 2.8, again before I touch it at all, it looks like this:

enter image description here

I figured it had something to do with the "method to display/shade objects in the 3d view" selection, but for instance I can put both 2.79 and 2.8 on "rendered" and the 2.79 eye will look fine, 2.8 will look weird.

The blend file is here if you'd like to mess with it: https://drive.google.com/open?id=1mdDOiJLUsz_H5Lsq2eK7vZLwRKuM2ak4

I'm sorry if this is an obvious question.

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    $\begingroup$ The material use in Blender Renderer is not the same thing in cycles. 2.80 did not have the same system that can support old BI but only cycle EEVEE node based material $\endgroup$ – Hikariztw Jun 13 at 13:12
  • $\begingroup$ There are some addons that can help you to transfer material between BI and Cycles(with a mess, of course) $\endgroup$ – Hikariztw Jun 13 at 13:13
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You are using the Blender Internal rendering engine, which doesn't exist in 2.80. Therefore the viewport in 2.80 can't render any of the materials you gave the object. In order to render it in 2.80 you have to convert the materials to cycles/eevee materials (both of which are essentially congruent, so there is no difference).

enter image description here

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