The case of the blue render view

Reason #35 why you should check the Arnold log

In this case, a scene that used to render yesterday, now just resulted in a blue render view, like this:


Anytime the render view doesn’t update when your render, you can be fairly sure there’s some ERROR in the Arnold log.

In this case, the problem was a broken path to the IES file used by a photometric light. In the Arnold log, there was this ERROR:

00:00:04 870MB ERROR | [photometric] can't open C:/Assets/IES/example.ies

It’s easy to say “check the log”, but where do you find the log? It’s not like there’s a nice, color-coded button (red for error) on the render view UI that will pop up the log for you.

  • On Windows, you should see the Arnold log in the Output Windows. However, I find that this happens only when I start Maya from the command line. If I start Maya from the Windows Start menu, the Arnold log messages don’t show up in the Output Window. So I have to enable file logging, and check the log file.
  • On OSX and Linux, you’ll also have to enable file logging, unless you start Maya from a terminal.

Update: For Google:

  • Arnold renders a black screen
  • Arnold renders a blue screen


One thought on “The case of the blue render view

  1. Hi !

    Thanks for your post, was really helpful to resolve my issue here.
    By the way, just in case someone encounter the same problem as I did, in my case the log file was giving me this message :

    number of errors, error type:
    1: [driver_exr] %s: can’t create file “%s”: %s

    And this was due to my project, which was located in my Dropbox folder (appearently dropbox and Arnold aren’t good friends)

    Hope that will be helpful to others !

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