In a brand new project, I'm getting a white "X" instead of the backdrop preview. I can only find one reference to this online, with no solution given. I'm very new to the compositor, so apologies if I'm missing something obvious, tutorials give the impression that it "just works".

enter image description here

As a side note, I'd love to get these per-node previews shown in the video on the left, which I also can't find in the docs.

Cycles engine and "Blender render" have the same problem. Rendering normally or with the "Rendered" viewport shading works fine.

Thanks in advance!


Try rendering the scene (F12).

The white X means that there is no data to display. The per-node previews and backdrop preview should automatically fill in after the render is complete.

  • $\begingroup$ Oh silly me, thank you very much. I did tick "Auto-render", which seemed to have no effect. Perhaps I needed to make a change to trigger it, it's working now. $\endgroup$
    – JJJollyjim
    Jan 21 '14 at 10:39
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ @JJ56 Auto render only takes effect when you change something in the 3D view or edit an object in some way. $\endgroup$
    – gandalf3
    Jan 21 '14 at 10:43
  • $\begingroup$ @gandalf3, and I think you need to do a preliminary render before auto render starts to work. $\endgroup$
    – CharlesL
    Jan 21 '14 at 19:16
  • $\begingroup$ @CharlesL I tested it, and it worked as soon as I moved a vertex around (I had not rendered before). $\endgroup$
    – gandalf3
    Jan 21 '14 at 19:20

Blender 2.82 here. in COMPOSITING window you have to click/activate BACKDROP button enter image description here if it still not showing, render the image first


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