Render Image/Animation

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With newer versions of Blender, the render image and animation buttons (Render, Animation, Audio), previously in Render Properties, have been removed in favour of using the main Render menu found in the main Info Header running along the top of the application; rendering is now initiated from here.

Design note: ensure the appropriate rendering Engine is in use.

Simple scene set up and ready for rendering to an image in Blender 2.8+.
A simple scene in Blender 2.8 ready for rendering, camera object directed at a collection of meshes – objects hidden (H) in the 3D View will be rendered unless specifically disabled (cf. note below).

Render Image or Sequence

As mentioned above the Render, Animation and Audio buttons previously located in the Render Properties panel are no longer available. Instead all rendering is initiated from Blenders main Header (Info editor Header). To start a render, static image, animated sequence or audio clip, click the Render menu option and select Render Image (F12), Render Animation (Ctrl + F12) or Render Audio depending on requirements, e.g. Render » Render Image.

Design note: to enable/disable objects being rendered click the Disable in Renders and/or Disable in Viewports icons in the Outliner. If the options themselves are not visible (may not be depending on the file loaded in or being used), from the Outliner click the Filter drop-down menu and click the Disable in Renders and/or Disable in Viewports button(s), they will then appear in the Outliner ready for use.

Simple scene set up and ready for rendering to an image in Blender
A simple scene in Blender ready for rendering (some objects shown hidden above will be rendered unless that option is specifically disabled, per item, in the Outliner Editor – if the options are not shown click the Filter menu and select).

Rendering is now initiated from the main Header
Render is now initiated from the Info editors Header and the Render menu…

Render options within the Render menu
… from which the options to Render Image, Render Animation (and Render Audio) are accessible.

Render Window

Once rendering is initiated the Blender Render window will appear, essentially a stand-alone instance of the Image Editor dedicated to the monitoring of render output (Render Result). Here the static (single) image or animated sequence will be displayed as the scene or frames are gradually or sequentially processed.

Design note: depending on the output type selected the render window will display a single image as its processed and/or each frame of a sequence, both determined by the Engine selection (Render Properties) and Output settings (Output Properties), size etc.

The Render Window displays output as its being processed
The Blender Render (render) window displays output as its being processed, a means to monitor progress.

Save Render (Images)

For (static) renders a single image will be stored temporarily in Blenders image memory/data buffer so whatever is shown in the Image Editor window will need to be saved manually. To do this, in the Blender Render window click the Image menu upper-left and select Save, Save As… or Save a Copy…, e.g. Image » Save As….

Design note: temporary render data is not saved with the project (*.blend), if Blender is closed and/or the project re-opened the scene will need to be re-rendered.

To save the rendered image click the Image menu
Rendered images are saved temporarily into memory so to save in an externally editable format click the Image menu and select an option, e.g. Image » Save As….

Depending on the save option selected from the Image menu the File Browser opens where the save location and format of image can be set. Select a location and change the file name if necessary then in Save As Image options lower-left (cf. note below) select a File Format, for example BMP or TIFF, before then clicking the Save As Image button upper-right of the window.

Design note: generally speaking the options presented when selecting Save, Save As Image or Save a Copy are the same differing only in the immediacy of action – if Save is selected Blender will overwrite any previous version(s) unless the image is being saved for the first time, in which case the File Browser appears, whereas with Save As Image… and Save a Copy the File Browser appears because Blender assumes an iterative save is being carried out.

Selecting the image format in Save As Image options in the File Browser
In Save As Image options lower-left, the File Format can be selected before clicking the Save As Image button upper-right (cf. note above).

Save Render (Animations)

For rendered animations and other sequences Blender writes data generated to /tmp\ as a series of individual images, e.g. *.png, or a movie file, e.g. *.mp4, whilst simultaneously showing progress in the Blender Render window (as each frame is produced individually). In other words as the nature of the process means each frame is written to a specific location on the fly, it may not need to be manually saved once render has completed what its doing (subject to format). To access, use the system explorer (e.g. Windows 10 File Explorer) to view the folders contents independently of Blender.

Design note: the tmp folder is generated during installation of Blender and typically on the same drive as the application, for example C:\tmp\ would be created were Blender installed to the C:\ drive (typically C:\Programs Files (x86)\Blender\). The location can be changed in Output Properties (cf. below).

Rendered animations are saved automatically
Rendered animations and other sequences tend to be saved automatically as a consequence of the process to a specified location that can accessed externally from Blender, typically the /tmp\ folder.

Render Format

The settings associated with rendering images and animations can be set in Output Properties. Here under Dimensions and Output, the size and format of the file (alongside others) can be set, for example a movie rendered as a *.mov at 1920 by 1080 pixels (1080p) and to a specific project location that’s not /tmp\. To do this simply edit the appropriate setting (click-select and amend) and then render. To change the render output destination click the folder icon to the right of the input field, browse and select a folder to set.

Design note: when rendering animated sequences pay attention to Frame Rate, especially with regards to animated characters – a walk cycle posed at 30 fps will acquire a slight speed increase if rendered and played back at 24 fps (and vice versa, will slow down posed at 24 but rendered and played back at 30).

Changing the properties of the render
In Output Properties the the renders settings can be changed, its size, format, frame rate, frame range and so on.

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