Strange inconsistency in rendering same scene in two different files

Hello people,

I am faced with a strange problem, which I would like to submit for your consideration. I am playing with a short animation of a flying boat skimming the waves, and I’ve split the animation into two different Blender files. The first involves the plane descending from above and reaching the sea; the other contains the flying “loop” that I intend to repeat.

Here are the two files:

The “Descent” .blend is a copy of the original “Dream” .blend, with all assets (objects, materials, etc) being the same. The only thing that is different (or rather, that I consciously changed) between the two files is the animation / keyframes. The last frame of the “Descent” .blend has been arranged in such a way as to be the same as the first frame of the “Dream” .blend, so that I can splice together the two image sequences smoothly. Theoretically, the renders of these two frames should be exactly the same:

This is the “loop” version of the frame:

However, that is not the case. The objects are rendered exactly as they should, but note the white reflections under the plane. You can easily identify the difference by downloading the two images and quickly switching between the two in an image viewer. (As I am a new user, I can only embed one file, you’ll find the renders in the Drive link above).

This is driving me nuts. The objects are exactly where they should be, the scenes appear to be identical, and yet the reflections are different. At first I thought it might have something to do with the denoiser, but after rendering the scenes without denoising I see that this persists in the original files as well.

It’s obviously something stupid that I’ve missed, some small difference that’s crept in, but for the life of me (and after two days of tinkering) I cannot seem to find it. Help?

I think you are basically taking a hard approach to animations that are spread across multiple blend files. I would advise you not to copy everything that is to be distributed over several shots/files (as far as possible), but to always manage and link them centrally to minimize such errors. Now you would have to compare everything laboriously to find the error. I tried that briefly, but unfortunately found nothing in a hurry. There is a good presentation on the topic of production pipeline from a Blender conference, which helped me personally a lot to organize animations well:

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Thanks for responding!

That video is unavailable, though

Cheers, many thanks!

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