A scene I made is not rendering, at all.
This grey screen stays the same and nothing changes. Before

Here are my settings:

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  • $\begingroup$ This usually happens when I get an error, like out of VRAM on my GPU or maybe an exception caused by a buggy addon. Usually if you render and it actually renders you will get transparency or a solid color. $\endgroup$
    – VRM
    May 28 '16 at 15:08

Possible causes for blank output on rendering

Please follow the links in blue for further details

1 - No Surfaces

  • Make sure Surfaces is enabled otherwise Cycles has no geometry to render

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2 - Objects have been disabled for rendering

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  • The Eye icon is to toggle object visibility on the 3D viewport.
  • The Arrow Icon toggles selectability.
  • The Camera Icon toggles Rendering.

3 - Lights

  • There are no lights in scene.

To fix add some lights.

  • Lights are set at 0 power. To fix change the values to a higher number.

  • Lights have been disabled for rendering.

Enable the camera icon in outliner window.

4 - Strips on the VSE

To fix clear the strips on the VSE or disable the Sequencer box.

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5 - Object or camera are in a different render layer

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To fix include the layer where the objects are as part of the render layers.

How Render Layers work

6 - Camera is blocked

  • The camera might be behind a wall or another object

  • An object in front of the camera might be restricted from viewport display, making the issue not apparent in the viewport or render preview.

  • Camera clipping might prevent surfaces very close to the camera from showing in the viewport but still prevent it from rendering correctly

  • If Backface Culling is enabled in the viewport surfaces might not block view in the viewport but still show in render.

7 - Camera is set incorrectly

  • The rendered image is that of the active camera's view. Not necessarily the view you have active in the 3d vieport. Press Numpad 0 to show camera view.

  • Active camera is aiming in a different direction.

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  • Wrong camera being rendered.

You can have multiple cameras in the scene, but only one can be set as the active camera for rendering. Check that you are using the correct one.

In the Properties Window you can determine which camera is the active one

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Or select the camera you want to make active in the viewport and press Ctrl+Numpad 0 to select the active camera.

8 - Object as Camera

  • An object in the scene has been set as camera.

To fix set the active camera back to an actual camera object.

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9 - Output node disconnected

  • Output node in compositor might be disconnected. The composite node is the final output (not the viewer node).

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10 - Wrong exposure

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11 - Clip Distance

  • The clip distance for the camera is set incorrectly.

    Make sure that you set the clip start and clip end so that the camera can see within a distance range that encompasses the scene. Geometry that is too close or further away than the set parameters will not render.

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If your scene is too large or too small, if the scene is not within the range defined by the clip distance, then the camera will not "see the scene". Enable Display Limits on the camera to visualize the clip range.

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12 - The scene is completely out of focus (blurry)

  • Focus for the camera set to 0 and lens aperture (f-stop) is set to a low value.

The scene is so out of focus that you only see gray or some color that is predominant in the scene.

To fix, change the distance value to the actual distance form the camera to your object, and maybe try a higher number for the f-stop.

To find where your camera is focusing you can enable display->Limits. If you move the focus you'll see a cross mark that indicates where the focus point is:

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A trick you can do is use an empty. Move the empty to the place you want the camera to focus on and select the empty (or any other object as the focus target).

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Also read also this related post: Why does my object not sow up ?

  • 3
    $\begingroup$ Having no lights wouldn't cause the result the OP is seeing, it would result in a black render. Same with setting a cube as the camera or incorrect render layers, you would still get some kind of render, even if it's the one you don't expect, which isn't what the OP has. $\endgroup$ May 28 '16 at 15:39
  • 4
    $\begingroup$ @RayMairlot indeed, But since this question gets asked every other day I'm rehearsing a comprehensive answer that might help others troubleshoot... $\endgroup$
    – user1853
    May 28 '16 at 15:42
  • $\begingroup$ I understand that, I just think it may be confusing for users who have this specific problem to be trying out parts of your answer that aren't actually relevant to them. $\endgroup$ May 28 '16 at 16:58
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ In my case, I tried everything possible to no avail then I realized that for some reason my UV Map got disconnected from the object and that's why the rendering of the object was black. In any case, I learned a lot from Cegaton's answer; it's always helpful to understand how to deal with this kind of problem in just one answer rather than spending the all day seeking for possible options. $\endgroup$ Aug 13 '18 at 6:13
  • $\begingroup$ I took the liberty to add a hint in the "Camera is blocked" paragraph: the camera might be blocked by an object restricted from viewport display. I hope it doesn't conflict with your answer @cegaton. $\endgroup$
    – Nicola Sap
    Oct 15 '18 at 6:55

Restarting my computer did the trick. Was probably a RAM issue.

  • $\begingroup$ Yes, in this particular case (render shows blank screen with the grid), this was actually the right answer! Restart did the trick. $\endgroup$
    – Artanis
    Mar 4 '18 at 16:22

This was happening to me and I had previously post processed an image and noticed the console mentioning post processing before the render would stop after 32 seconds. I turned off post processing in the render settings and my render would work again. Hope this helps


aha.....tracked it down to the fact that when I was messing about with the mist with the compositor nodes I had left the use nodes and back drop buttons selected .....as there was no longer anything to 'composite' there was no longer anything to output I presume.....anyway sorted now. Another 3 hours of misery lol.


Additionally I found that the focus needs to be set to a specific object in the depth of field pane. If no object is set, you will get a blank screen

  • 3
    $\begingroup$ It's perfectly acceptable to have no object as the depth of field focal point - you must have been experiencing some other problem. $\endgroup$
    – Greg Zaal
    Feb 13 '17 at 19:17

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