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I am on WIndows 10 and using Blender v2.93.6.

I am running into an issue that can be summarized as this: I am using an image texture on one of my meshes, then texture painting on top of it. When I create an entirely separate mesh and try to create a material that uses an image texture, it completely erases all texture painting I did on my other model, and the loss cannot be undone by Ctrl+Z.

Here are the steps that can be reliably followed to recreate this issue:

  1. Select entire mesh.
  2. Create brand new material for the mesh (mine is in the shape of a sign, so I'll name it m_sign).
  3. Set "Surface" to Emission, set the color to use an image texture. Here is the image texture used: enter image description here

It is a small 48x48 checkerboard texture.

  1. After setting texture interpolation to "closest", renaming the image texture from "PixelTextureGrid_48" (the original name of the image file) to "Sign", and UV unwrapping, here is what my mesh and workspace looks like: enter image description here

  2. I then perform my texture painting, after which my model and UV map look like this: enter image description here

  3. After this, I create a brand new blank plane. This will be grass. I name the plane "Grass", and I create a brand new Emission material for it named m_grass: enter image description here

  4. This is the problem step. Much like with the sign, I would like to assign my 48x48 pixel grid image texture, so I can paint on this object and make it look like grass. I choose to open an image file, and like I did with the sign I open the "PixelTextureGrid_48.png" file: enter image description here

  5. The instant that file is opened, I completely lose all texture painting done on the sign. The Grass object believes it is using the "Sign" image texture, and over in the UV editor, the preview for my "Sign" texture still has the colors on it, but actually selecting that texture shows the default image. All progress is lost, and it cannot be undoneenter image description here

What is the intended flow for trying to create two materials using image textures that come from the same original image file? And where is my texture paiting progress stored? Since the original image clearly isn't modified if I go to it in my file explorer.

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When you specify the image, Blender loads the image. Since this image is already referenced elsewhere, reloading the image reverts any unsaved image work. You need to save your edited image-- need to save your texture painting.

If you don't want to overwrite your base image, you need to save this as a different image than the base image you used. You can save as either an external file, or you can pack the image into the .blend (using the main file->external data menu.) You can save images in a number of ways; probably the most straight forward is to use the File->Save option in ann image editor viewport.

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