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

Here are my settings:

enter image description here enter image description here[enter image description here

  • $\begingroup$ 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. $\endgroup$
    – J Sargent
    Commented May 28, 2016 at 15:08
  • $\begingroup$ Related blender.stackexchange.com/questions/67490 $\endgroup$ Commented Oct 2, 2022 at 0:03
  • $\begingroup$ Just had this issue and none of the suggested solutions worked. I eventually figured out that in the Compositing nodetree sidebar, under the performance section of the options tab, the "Chunksize" field had no value. I set it to 256x256 and it fixed the problem. $\endgroup$
    – HellaMad
    Commented Jun 5 at 5:24

8 Answers 8


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.

  • The lights might might be blocked by objects in the scene

  • Lights have incorrect Shader Nodes with incoherent output or disconnected nodes

  • World shader is set at 0 power. To fix change the values to a higher number.

  • World shader has incorrect Shader Nodes with incoherent output or disconnected nodes

  • You are rendering with EEVEE and have lights using nodes. EEVEE doesn't yet support light shaders using nodes. Either use Cycles render engine, or disable nodes in lights.

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 - Compositing

This often manifests as a visible image during the rendering process that disappears once rendering is complete

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

  • Compositing nodes have incoherent or incorrect setup - Check to see if any nodes are producing undesirable effects, by disconnecting, disabling or avoiding them all together.

  • Compositing doesn't use correct view layers, channels or passes - See if the input render node render layer name is correct, also make sure the correct color socket is being used, not the alpha, depth or other passes

  • Compositing is using render output from other scenes - Make sure the View Layer node is using the current scene from the dropdown menu.

  • Glare node has a high mix factor - If you are using the Glare filter make sure the Mix Factor is not set too high. Default value is $0$, high values will produce only the glow and ignore the image.

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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 this related post: Why does my object not show 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. $\endgroup$ Commented May 28, 2016 at 15:39
  • 5
    $\begingroup$ @RayMairlot indeed, But since this question gets asked every other day I'm rehearsing a comprehensive answer that might help others troubleshoot... $\endgroup$
    – user1853
    Commented May 28, 2016 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. $\endgroup$ Commented May 28, 2016 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. $\endgroup$ Commented Aug 13, 2018 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
    Commented Oct 15, 2018 at 6:55

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

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Yes, in this particular case (render shows blank screen with the grid), this was actually the right answer! Restart did the trick. $\endgroup$
    – Artanis
    Commented Mar 4, 2018 at 16:22
  • $\begingroup$ My case too. I had a blank render, a completely transparent image, because I also had transparent film on (deliberately) $\endgroup$
    – Jos
    Commented Aug 29, 2022 at 15:22

The problem is, in the Output Properties under Post Processing > Pipeline the Sequencer is enabled. This is by default and usually no problem when you create a 3D scene and want to render it, as long as there is nothing in the Sequencer.

sequencer in pipeline

But you have a strip with a movie clip there, so the Sequencer determines what the output shows - and there is no strip for the scene. The problem now is, you can press Shift+A > Add > Scene, but the only option available there is "New Scene", you cannot choose the active scene in which you are in.

add new scene strip

To do this, you have to create a new scene with the New button next to the scene name. I would not copy the original scene but start with a completely new scene.

create new scene

If you now go to Video Editing and try to add a scene strip, there appears the name of the other scene ("Scene") to choose it as input. This way you can have many different scenes where you create 3D contents and additionally have one scene only for the video editing. In your case you have to add the movie clip there as well of course.

add existing scene strip

If you just want to render your object to see how it looks and do not care for the movie clip, you can disable the Sequencer in the post processing pipeline while you render.

If you do not want to use the Sequencer from the Video Editing at all, you can go there, delete the strip containing the movie clip and since it's the only one, your scene will now be rendered normally. To get the movie clip in the background you can add it in the Compositor and use an Alpha Overlay node to composite the 3D scene above it.


You may have no light but you don't realize it because in the Viewport Shading panel you have disabled Scene Lights and Scene World, so in Render Preview your scene is enlighted by the Material Preview world, but it won't be in the final render. The solution is to reactivate the options and create the lights or world you need for render.

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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


I had this problem and I found that my Display Device was set to 'None'. I set it to sRGB and it rendered.

Further reading on Color Management Render Properties > Color Management > Display Device


When I was messing about with the mist with the compositor nodes I had left the Use Nodes and Backdrop buttons selected, as there was no longer anything to composite there was no longer anything to output I presume.


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
    Commented Feb 13, 2017 at 19:17

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