blender man page

blender — a 3D modelling and rendering package


blender -b {{filename}}.blend -a

blender -b {{filename}}.blend -o //{{render/frame_###.png}} -a

blender -b {{filename}}.blend -o {{/path/to/output_folder}} -f {{10}}

blender -b {{filename}}.blend -o //{{output_folder}} -F {{JPEG}} -f {{-2}}

blender -b {{filename}}.blend -S {{scene_name}} -s {{10}} -e {{500}} -a

blender -b {{filename}}.blend --python-expr '{{import bpy;[0].render.resolution_percentage = 25}}' -a

blender -b --python-console


blender [args ...] [file] [args ...]


blender is a 3D modelling and rendering package. Originating as the in-house software of a high quality animation studio, Blender has proven to be an extremely fast and versatile design instrument. The software has a personal touch, offering a unique approach to the world of Three Dimensions.

Use Blender to create TV commercials, to make technical visualizations, business graphics, to create content for games, or design user interfaces. You can easy build and manage complex environments. The renderer is versatile and extremely fast. All basic animation principles (curves & keys) are well implemented.


Blender 2.78 (sub 0) Usage: blender [args ...] [file] [args ...]

Render Options

-b or --background
Run in background (often used for UI-less rendering)
-a or --render-anim
Render frames from start to end (inclusive)
-S or --scene <name>
Set the active scene <name> for rendering
-f or --render-frame <frame>

Render frame <frame> and save it.

* +<frame> start frame relative, -<frame> end frame relative.
* A comma separated list of frames can also be used (no spaces).
* A range of frames can be expressed using '..' seperator between the first and last frames (inclusive).

-s or --frame-start <frame>
Set start to frame <frame>, supports +/- for relative frames too.
-e or --frame-end <frame>
Set end to frame <frame>, supports +/- for relative frames too.
-j or --frame-jump <frames>
Set number of frames to step forward after each rendered frame
-o or --render-output <path>

Set the render path and file name.
Use '//' at the start of the path to render relative to the blend-file.

The '#' characters are replaced by the frame number, and used to define zero padding.

* 'ani_##_test.png' becomes 'ani_01_test.png'
* 'test-######.png' becomes 'test-000001.png'

When the filename does not contain '#', The suffix '####' is added to the filename.

The frame number will be added at the end of the filename, eg:
# blender -b foobar.blend -o //render_ -F PNG -x 1 -a
'//render_' becomes '//render_####', writing frames as '//render_0001.png'

-E or --engine <engine>
Specify the render engine
use -E help to list available engines
-t or --threads <threads>
Use amount of <threads> for rendering and other operations
[1-1024], 0 for systems processor count.

Format Options

-F or --render-format <format>
Set the render format, Valid options are...
(formats that can be compiled into blender, not available on all systems)
-x or --use-extension <bool>
Set option to add the file extension to the end of the file

Animation Playback Options

-a or --render-anim
Render frames from start to end (inclusive)

Window Options

-w or --window-border
Force opening without borders
-W or --window-borderless
Force opening without borders
-p or --window-geometry <sx> <sy> <w> <h>
Open with lower left corner at <sx>, <sy> and width and height as <w>, <h>
-con or --start-console
Start with the console window open (ignored if -b is set), (Windows only)
Do not use native pixel size, for high resolution displays (MacBook 'Retina')

Game Engine Specific Options

-g Game Engine specific options
-g fixedtime Run on 50 hertz without dropping frames
-g vertexarrays Use Vertex Arrays for rendering (usually faster)
-g nomipmap No Texture Mipmapping
-g linearmipmap Linear Texture Mipmapping instead of Nearest (default)

Python Options

-y or --enable-autoexec
Enable automatic Python script execution
-Y or --disable-autoexec
Disable automatic Python script execution (pydrivers & startup scripts), (compiled as non-standard default)
-P or --python <filename>
Run the given Python script file
--python-text <name>
Run the given Python script text block
--python-expr <expression>
Run the given expression as a Python script
Run blender with an interactive console
Set the exit-code in [0..255] to exit if a Python exception is raised
(only for scripts executed from the command line), zero disables.
Comma separated list of add-ons (no spaces)

Debug Options

-d or --debug

Turn debugging on

* Enables memory error detection
* Disables mouse grab (to interact with a debugger in some cases)
* Keeps Python's 'sys.stdin' rather than setting it to None

--debug-value <value>
Set debug value of <value> on startup
Enable debug messages for the event system
Enable debug messages for event handling
Enable debug messages from libmv library
Enable debug messages from Cycles
Enable fully guarded memory allocation and debugging
Enable time profiling for background jobs.
Enable debug messages for Python
Enable debug messages from dependency graph
Switch dependency graph to a single threaded evaluation
Enable GPU memory stats in status bar
Enable debug messages for the window manager, also prints every operator call
Enable all debug messages
Enable floating point exceptions
Disable the crash handler

Misc Options

Skip reading the BLENDER_STARTUP_FILE in the users home directory
Set the BLENDER_SYSTEM_DATAFILES environment variable
Set the BLENDER_SYSTEM_SCRIPTS environment variable
Set the BLENDER_SYSTEM_PYTHON environment variable
Disable joystick support
Disable GLSL shading
Force sound system to None
Force sound system to a specific device
-h or --help
Print this help text and exit
-v or --version
Print Blender version and exit
Ends option processing, following arguments passed unchanged. Access via Python's 'sys.argv'

Other Options

Print this help text and exit (windows only)
Disable the abort handler
-a <options> <file(s)>
Playback <file(s)>, only operates this way when not running in background.
-p <sx> <sy> Open with lower left corner at <sx>, <sy>
-m Read from disk (Do not buffer)
-f <fps> <fps-base> Specify FPS to start with
-j <frame> Set frame step to <frame>
-s <frame> Play from <frame>
-e <frame> Play until <frame>
Enable debug messages for FreeStyle
Enable gpu debug context and information for OpenGL 4.3+.
Use new dependency graph
Use new GLSL basic shader
--verbose <verbose>
Set logging verbosity level.
Register blend-file extension, then exit (Windows only)
Silently register blend-file extension, then exit (Windows only)

Experimental Features

Use new dependency graph
Use new GLSL basic shader

Argument Parsing

Arguments must be separated by white space, eg

# blender -ba test.blend
...will ignore the 'a'
# blender -b test.blend -f8
...will ignore '8' because there is no space between the '-f' and the frame value

Argument Order

Arguments are executed in the order they are given. eg

# blender --background test.blend --render-frame 1 --render-output '/tmp'
...will not render to '/tmp' because '--render-frame 1' renders before the output path is set
# blender --background --render-output /tmp test.blend --render-frame 1
...will not render to '/tmp' because loading the blend-file overwrites the render output that was set
# blender --background test.blend --render-output /tmp --render-frame 1 as expected.

Environment Variables

$BLENDER_USER_CONFIG Directory for user configuration files.
$BLENDER_USER_SCRIPTS Directory for user scripts.
$BLENDER_SYSTEM_SCRIPTS Directory for system wide scripts.
$BLENDER_USER_DATAFILES Directory for user data files (icons, translations, ..).
$BLENDER_SYSTEM_DATAFILES Directory for system wide data files.
$BLENDER_SYSTEM_PYTHON Directory for system python libraries.
$TMP or $TMPDIR Store temporary files here.
$SDL_AUDIODRIVER LibSDL audio driver - alsa, esd, dma.
$PYTHONHOME Path to the python directory, eg. /usr/lib/python.

See Also



This manpage was written for a Debian GNU/Linux system by Daniel Mester <> and updated by Cyril Brulebois <> and Dan Eicher <>.

Referenced By


November 13, 2016 Blender 2.78 (sub 0)