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I have set my animation render settings in preferences to an image folder on my system, and yet when I render, the output path has set it in some random place that I cannot find. I can also find no way of finding the full path inside Blender.

To make matters worse I am on a Mac and Finder won't show me the full path either.

When I look in the folder I set my preferences to it is empty. This /tmp folder is a mystery. And I have no idea where it is.

How can I get Blender to show me the full path? How do I set the preferences to place these render files in the proper default folder?

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AFAIK /tmp/ is macOS's temporary directory that is deleted when shutting down.

To access it from Finder, open the "Go to the folder:" popup with ⌘ CmdG or ⇧ Shift⌘ Cmdg, type /tmp and hit "Go".

To choose a different path where to save your renders, you need to write a correct path in Blender's file output field. You can type it manually or use Blender's browser. Make sure you have full read/write access to that folder and that it doesn't contain any special characters, dots, spaces, punctuations, ... It can cause issues sometimes, so sticking to bland Latin letter and Arabic numbers dashes and underscores is the safe solution.

You can also just type //<filename> to output the render files alongside the .blend file.

Please note that the scene's file output is used only when rendering a sequence of images. If you render only a single image, you have to save it manually from the image editor, or use a "File Output" node in the compositor.

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  • $\begingroup$ Although these explanations will surely help saving renders, there is this one issue which I stumbled upon a very long time ago already but decided to ignore it, and I could imagine that this is what was the source of confusion for the initial question, it starts with: "I have set my animation render settings in preferences", because in the Preferences under File Paths you can set a Render Output path. The Blender manual says: "Render Output - Where rendered images/videos are saved." Hovering your mouse over it says: "The default directory for rendering output, for new scenes." $\endgroup$ Commented Oct 5, 2023 at 6:46
  • $\begingroup$ In my Blender, it has the path "C:\Output\" in there by default. The folder exists, however nothing ever gets saved there. Nor in any other path I put in there. Even if I delete the path /tmp\ in the Output Properties, the one from the Preferences is not used. If I try to render an image sequence without a path there, rendering stops after the first frame with "Render error (Permission denied) cannot save: 0001.png". So I'm wondering, what is this setting in the Preferences good for anyway? As I said, I decided to ignore this setting completely because to me it does not seem to work. $\endgroup$ Commented Oct 5, 2023 at 6:50
  • $\begingroup$ @GordonBrinkmann Hehe that is weird but it does exactly what it says. Try creating a new scene in your file and check the render output. No idea why the first scene in a new project defaults to tmp though. Might be a bug ? $\endgroup$
    – Gorgious
    Commented Oct 5, 2023 at 8:29
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    $\begingroup$ @Gorgious Actually I never realized that :D Probably because most of the time I use just one scene in files. However, the description in the Blender manual is not so clear about that "new scene" stuff and a bit misleading. So if I would simply change the path in the Output Properties in my startup file to the one in the Preferences, then from this moment on it should be consistent, no matter if I create a new project or a new scene within this project... $\endgroup$ Commented Oct 5, 2023 at 8:46
  • $\begingroup$ @GordonBrinkmann agreed ! Blender works in mysterious ways ;) $\endgroup$
    – Gorgious
    Commented Oct 5, 2023 at 9:09

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