I would like to be able to render several files one after the other, when I am not using my computer, e.g. at night. Is there a way of doing this?
Sounds like a job for Command Line Rendering. Sounds intimidating if you've never done it, but it's a simple matter of stealing someone's template and adjusting the parameters:
blender -b "C:\path\to\file.blend" -x 1 -a
blender -b "/path/to/file.blend" -x 1 -a
That's the simplest form of it which will use all the settings in the blend itself. To make a cue of it, simply put '&&' between the commands:
blender -b "C:\path\to\file.blend" -x 1 -a && blender -b "C:\some\other\project.blend" -x 1 -a && blender -b "C:\yes\another\one.blend" -x 1 -a
To adjust settings like start and end frames, path of the outputed images/video, whether to render the animation or a single frame, check out the wiki page on Command Line Rendering.
It's also useful to tell it to shutdown your computer when it's finished simply by adding this at the end:
&& shutdown /s /t 0
&& sudo shutdown -h now
And here's one with start/end frame set, output path and format and shutdown when done:
blender -b "C:\En Passant\08-08\shots\s1\awake\awake.blend" -x 1 -o "C:\En Passant\bear_render\awake\img_#" -F PNG -s 119 -e 150 -a && shutdown /s /t 0
Note that if it doesn't recognize the 'blender' command, you just need to cd into the directory of the blender executable before it'll understand you. E.g:
cd "C:\Program Files\Blender Foundation\Blender"
The installation procedure is a little complicated, but once you have it set up, all you have to do is press the "New Job" button in the Render menu.
First see documentation on Blender from the command line
Once you can run
blender --version. You can then setup a queue.
You only have to launch blender once, then pass it all the files you want to render.
blender --background foo.blend -a bar.blend -a baz.blend -a
This renders (
You can pass other arguments such as setting the output path or number of threads, be sure to position these after the
blend file and before the
This example uses the number system threads and reads to
blender --background foo.blend -t 0 -o //path_to_render -a
I just finished writing a little Python app because I got sick of writing the same command line options over and over again to accomplish this. Feel free to use it.