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EDIT: See update below, posted based on results of two comments received.



I finished Part 5 of the donut tutorial v4, and I think things looked pretty good:

enter image description here Original file location, Viewport Shading = Rendered

Then I moved the ".blend" file from the working folder to an archive folder. When I opened it there, all the objects were pink, i.e., the donut and marble countertop had taken on the color of the icing. I figured out that Blender lost track of the location of the materials files when I moved the ".blend" file. So I updated the following locations:

  • With the donut selected:

    • In the Properties Editor for Materials, under Base Color, I used "Open Image" to update the location of "Donut base.png".
    • Going to the Texture Paint Workspace, I found in the Image Editor that the location of "Donut base.png" was correct. No change needed there.
  • With the plane (marble) selected:

    • In the Properties Editor for Materials, under Base Color, I used "Open Image" to update the location of "QuartziteDenali002_COL_8K_METALNESS.png". When I made that change, I found that ".001" had been appended to the file name in the Base Color field, and I deleted that.
    • Going to the Shading Workspace, I found in the Shader Editor, in the node connected to Base Color, that the location of "QuartziteDenali002_COL_8K_METALNESS.png" was correct. No change needed there.
    • In the node connected to Roughness, I used "Open Image" to update the location of "QuartziteDenali002_ROUGHNESS_8K_METALNESS.png". When I made that change, I found that ".001" had been appended to the file name in the node, and I deleted that.
    • In the node connected to the normal map, I used "Open Image" to update the location of "QuartziteDenali002_NRM_8K_METALNESS.png". When I made that change, I found that ".001" had been appended to the file name in the node, and I deleted that.

After all of that, Blender looks like this:

enter image description here New file location, Viewport Shading = Rendered

The colors have been fixed, but if you look closely, you can see a fuzzy line running diagonally across the marble from top-left to bottom-right. It's more visible if I switch the Viewport Shading to Material Preview:

enter image description here New file location, Viewport Shading = Material Preview

Now that fuzzy line looks somewhat like a shadow, and there are splotches of light on the left side.

I went back and took a look at the copy in the working folder and switched it to Material Preview. There I see splotches of light, but that shadow thing is not there:

enter image description here Original file location, Viewport Shading = Material Preview

Did I break the file when I moved it, more than I was able to fix by resetting those file locations? Can I fix the remaining damage?



UPDATE: I got two comments with suggested actions:

  1. Use "File > External Data > Report Missing Files" to get a report of problems.
  2. Use "File > External Data > Find Missing Files" to get Blender to fix any such problems found.

These commands are in the manual, which does not say that "Find ..." will fix the problems, but will "help you to fix" them. It's not clear from the descriptions what different results are to be expected from "Report ..." and "Find ...".

Results:

I tried both suggestions, and got:

enter image description here

Note that these results are from the Info Editor. The first comment said to start by opening a Windows console to get the results. That did work for "Report Missing Files" (not for "Find Missing Files"), but was not necessary because the same results are posted in the Info Editor.

The first two lines are filespecs at paths that don't exist. So if Blender is looking for files there, they will indeed appear to be missing.

The fourth line appears to indicate that Blender looked for missing files in the stated folder and didn't find any (green check mark at beginning of line).

Thus the results of the two commands are contradictory. The first says it found two files to be missing; the second says it found none.

Next, I checked all references I know of for the two files that were said to be missing. I know of three places where the first one is referred to and one place for the second. Here are the results of checking those four references. The blue arrows point to the places where I clicked to bring up the file browser. In all four cases, the file browser shows the file in its correct location.

enter image description here Checking reference to "Donut base.png" in Properties Editor.

enter image description here Checking reference to "Donut base.png" in Image Editor.

enter image description here Checking reference to "Donut base.png" in node of Shader Editor.

enter image description here Checking reference to normal map file in node of Shader Editor.

Is there somewhere else I should look for where those files may be referenced in the wrong locations? Or is this indicating a bug I should report to the dev team?

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    $\begingroup$ Try opening a console window with Window > Toggle System Console in Blender then File > External Data > Report Missing Files. Morale for future: Don't move a Blend file that is still being worked on! $\endgroup$
    – John Eason
    Dec 6, 2023 at 10:04
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    $\begingroup$ In the is menu there is also "Find Missing Files" that will update the file paths for you when you have moved the blend file. By default, Blender saves the file paths of images and other resource files relative to the blend file. If you move it then the paths will break and you have to fix them. You also can use absolute paths or pack all data files into the blend file (but then you can no longer share them between different blend files). Just a reminder: Don't forget to save the image files. They are not saved when the blend file is saved! $\endgroup$
    – Blunder
    Dec 6, 2023 at 13:44
  • $\begingroup$ @JohnEason - Thank you. I've edited the question with the results of following your suggestion. Please take a look and let me know if you have any further comment. $\endgroup$
    – NewSites
    Dec 7, 2023 at 1:04
  • $\begingroup$ @Blunder - Thank you. I've edited the question with the results of following your suggestion. Please take a look and let me know if you have any further comment. $\endgroup$
    – NewSites
    Dec 7, 2023 at 1:04

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After making the edit to the question, I posted a link to it on the Blender Guru Discord to ask if someone there could help. I got the solution from "7Elven" there. He happened to notice that in my picture above of the Shader Editor for the plane, the color space for the normal map file was set to sRGB, when it should be Non-Color.

From following the instructions in the tutorial, that field had been changed from sRGB to Non-Color for both the roughness and normal map files. But in the new location, when Blender lost track of those files, it apparently also reverted those two settings. I changed them back to Non-Color one at a time. Changing it for just the roughness file made the shadow thing lighter. Doing it for just the normal file made that shadow thing go away completely!

I don't agree with the advice in one of the comments to not move Blender files. A file system is lame if one can't move files around. But one has to understand the consequences of such moves and be prepared to fix problems they may cause. What I have learned from this is that when I move a file, I need to:

  • Update the locations of files referred to.
  • Check the parameter values in nodes where those files are referred to.

I suppose there may be other gotchas that could get me on a future move, or that may still be lurking after this one. But in this case, so far it seems that those two things have fixed things up.

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