I have a scene with a lot of physics, and in some cases hitting 'play' means each frame takes a couple of minutes to calculate.

The play button becomes a pause button, but since the UI is locked up, there is no feedback on whether the click on the pause button is successful. Any even number of registered clicks would reasonably stop and restart the animation. Is there an absolute way to stop animation playback?

The space bar maps also to stop/play depending on the current mode, and can only toggle the mode rather than being an absolute stop.

  • $\begingroup$ Space bar is an option, one hit to play and a second hit to stop $\endgroup$
    – Emir
    Jun 30, 2021 at 14:33
  • $\begingroup$ I suppose if you bake the animation, it would be easier on system resources and thus make the UI more responsive. This may be no good, however, if your purpose of pausing is to "tweak it on the go". $\endgroup$ Jun 30, 2021 at 14:39
  • $\begingroup$ I guess it is just a matter of it being one of a few trapdoors that I have found in blender lately. Up to now the animation has been quite fast, with say 2-5 seconds per frame. This time I imported a finer resolution mesh and the physics calculation has choked. I hoped there was a cleaner solution to 'stop' than kill process>restart blender>recover project. The alternative was patiently waiting 45 minutes for the UI to respond and for luck to allow that I've asked for stop an odd number of times..! It's just a UI oversight that could do with a better solution. $\endgroup$
    – J Collins
    Jun 30, 2021 at 14:49
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ Press the Esc key. It can take a while until Blender stops when the UI is locked. But you can press it multiple times and don't have to worry that it restarts the playback like the Space key does. $\endgroup$
    – Blunder
    Jun 30, 2021 at 15:05
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ ... which makes me think could make a handler to cancel animation on frame change if it exceeds some lag time. $\endgroup$
    – batFINGER
    Jun 30, 2021 at 16:52

1 Answer 1


As per user Blunder's suggestion the Esc key appears to be the best solution to stopping any long process in Blender, animation playback included.


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