Thumbnails not generating

i’m having a problem with thumbnails not generating the model view upon saving/closing a file… instead, they’re all black.

they look like this:

(screenshot via highlighting the .3dm icon which is on the desktop then spacebar)

• i don’t know, exactly, when this started happening and i can only say “about a week ago” (it was happening with the apr1 build and is doing the same with apr7… but i can’t say with any certainty that it started happening on apr1)

• this is only happening on my laptop (computer info at the end of this post)… my macPro with 10.7.5 is still properly generating the thumbnails… if i transfer a .3dm from the macPro, with a properly generated thumbnail, to the laptop-- the icon is fine and works ok with Quick Look.

• if i open a previously saved .3dm which has a properly generated thumbnail then make a change to it and save it, the updated icon is all black… (same thing with newly created models)

• other apps that generate image or movie based icons (preview for instance) are still working ok.

i’m a little hesitant to reset rhino at this point (display modes & keystrokes would be lost) and would like to know if there are any other possible things i can try first.


Software information

Software versions
Rhinoceros version: 5.0 Wenatchee 2014-04-07 (509)
OS X version: Version 10.9.2 (Build 13C64)


Hardware information

Computer hardware
Hardware model: MacBookPro6,2
Processor: Intel Core i7 CPU M 620 @ 2.67GHz
Memory: 4 GB
Architecture: Intel 64 bit

Video hardware
Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GT 330M 512 MB
Memory: 512 MB
Screen size: 1680 x 1050
Displays: Color LCD

Third party kernel extensions

USB devices
Apple Inc.: Apple Internal Keyboard / Trackpad
Apple: Internal Memory Card Reader
Apple Inc.: Bluetooth USB Host Controller
Logitech: USB Receiver
Apple Computer, Inc.: IR Receiver
Apple Inc.: Built-in iSight

Bluetooth devices

OpenGL information

OpenGL software
OpenGL version: 2.1 NVIDIA-8.24.11 310.90.9b01
Render version: 2.1
Shading language: 1.20
Maximum texture size: 8192 x 8192
Z-buffer depth: 24 bits
Maximum viewport size: 8192 x 8192

Implementation settings
Use texture compression: No

Appearance settings
Antialiasing: None
Mip map filtering: None
Anisotropic filtering: Medium


so i bit the bullet and reset rhino… the problem is no longer present and thumbnail generation is working properly again.

(import/export display modes and keystrokes would be nice :wink: . possibly some other stuff too but those two especially)

[edit] for others who may find this thread later in life ->

Resetting Rhino for Mac

I could not duplicate this, and no one else mentioned it as a problem.

The next time you erase your preferences, save a copy first. If erasing preferences seems to solve your problem, restore your saved copy and see if the problem returns. That confirms that the problem was something in preferences.

I have no idea what could be in the preferences file that would interfere with generating thumbnails, but, without your old preferences file, I have no way of discovering what could have been the problem.


geez… should of thought about saving a copy… which unfortunately, i did not…

i’m timemachining that computer… i’ll see if i can retrieve it.

Well ,just to give Jeff a bit of vindication. I saw this as well. I am not getting it now, but some files in preview show a black image as opposed to the generic rhino preview I get with a Rhino4 file.

I would like to know about saving preferences before installing a new WIP.


so, i was able to restore the .plist to the time of the black thumbnails (i’m pretty positive about that because i checked some .3dms in time machine and made sure i used a .plist in between having a black one on the desktop then a newly created black one on the desktop)

thing is, the thumbnails are now saving correctly with that .plist… :confused:

all i can really say is that from a user point of view, i had the problem… when i reset rhino, the problem went away… when i restored the .plist to the time when i was having a problem, the problem no longer existed…
so it doesn’t make any sense to me and probably much less sense to someone reading this.

if it comes up again, i won’t rush into resetting and wait for further advice.

as i found out, time machine is actually great for this

(this is the first time i’ve actually restored anything from time machine-- about 6 months ago, i put an SSD in my laptop then put the original drive in place of the optical drive… and decided to do time machine backups to the original drive… then more or less forgot about it until now)

i didn’t realize you can use time machine to go back and restore individual files but you can.

i did have a problem with the procedure in that simply restoring the .plist didn’t seem to change anything… what i ended up doing was resetting rhino, then restoring the .plist, then restarting the computer… i’m not saying those steps are required but it is what worked for me… (if i were to try it again, i’d first try restoring then restarting without resetting rhino)

likewise, you can manually copy a .plist and have it as a backup… (~user/ Library/ Preferences — com.mcneel.rhinoceros.plist) just copy that file to somewhere… if you want rhino to go back to the settings when you made the copy, just replace it manually… though you may have to go through some of the steps mentioned above… i’m not sure if a simply drag/drop/overwrite will do the trick in mavericks

it’s back…

i was experimenting with textures etc in regards to the mac texture thread… and was saving files just prior to this one perfectly fine… the difference i did prior to receiving a black thumbnail is that i _PictureFrame with embed bitmap option selected.

i can’t make it happen again… i’ll mess around with it to try to find a pattern.

i am still getting this from time to time… i’m almost positive it’s something to do with having images in a file but then again, when i first made this thread, it was happening to every single file- even freshly created ones with no images.

i still can’t figure out a way to make it happen every time though… so i’ll just leave it be until i can come up with something repeatable.

This might be related to custom display modes, and perhaps autosaves when the active viewport is using a custom display mode. This is only a guess at this point, but I have other examples of jagged previews from users who have custom display modes, and I think a custom mode was active at the time the preview was created. I haven’t recreated this yet and am still investigating.

Do you have any custom display modes?

yep. i have 7-8 custom display modes…
i even slightly tweak the Standard display modes (for instance, with standard shaded mode, i turn off isocurves and make all surface edges a single color)… i do that so i can use the ctrl-cmmd shortcuts to switch between modes… this mode is my most used.

i also often use a shaded mode which shows textures and a rendered mode with custom lighting.

i have seen this happen during a session… i’ll open the drawing with a proper thumbnail then later on, notice the thumbnail is black prior to me closing the file (indicating it’s happening during autosave-- at least some of the times)… it will then save black until i quit rhino.

if i quit rhino then relaunch with a black thumbnail file and do a cmmd-S, the proper thumbnail i then created…

if it’s an autosave problem, that’s going to be tough to find (as a user) because you have to wait a while in between the saves…

Actually not. An Autosave happens immediately if you have unsaved changes and you switch to another application. Switching to the Finder to look at the thumbnail would trigger an autosave.

ah. ok. didn’t know that.

I’ll mess around with some things later tonight to see if I can trigger the behavior on purpose.