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Blender newbie here. I was doing a video editing project using Blender 2.83 LTS and was able to complete and render an mp4 video successfully. I was having a bunch of issues though, including it crashing / exiting frequently.

For the next video, I updated to 2.93 LTS. Great news! Crashes went away and everything seemed much faster... The bad news is the render I did can't be played in Windows media player or VLC. It can't even be imported back into a different Blender video project.

I went back and loaded the first blender file and re-ran the render without changing any settings. The output was significantly smaller (99MB instead of 2.3GB) and also can't be played.

Any suggestions on how to resolve or do more debugging? Nothing is giving me an error beyond "can't be played" so I'm not sure what the problem is.

Settings used are:

  • 1920x1024, 100%
  • Frame rate 60 fps (same as source)
  • FFmpeg, RGB
  • MPEG-4
  • H.264
  • High Quality (I also tried medium)
  • "Good" encoding speed
  • MP3 audio (I also tried AAC)
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  • $\begingroup$ Sounds like serious trouble (bug), have you checked the console (window -> Toggle System Console). Also: Blender lets you combine containers with codecs all over the place, which most players don't appreciate. However VLC and Blender re-import should be fine with it. If you have the time (urgency) to test, leave out the audio for a quick test and see if that's the reason. I don't think mp3 is very popular with video. $\endgroup$ Oct 7 '21 at 20:00
  • $\begingroup$ @FrederikSteinmetz - Thanks for the feedback. As you'll see from my answer, I found the problem, but knowing about the console seems like something that will save me time in the future. $\endgroup$
    – Zarigani
    Oct 7 '21 at 22:34
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User error (unsurprisingly). Turns out I'd managed to fill my hard drive. Blender was just giving up when it hit the limit.

In my opinion, this really should have resulted in a visible error message that would have helped identify the problem, but at least now I know what to look out for.

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