I am new to Blender. I tried making a simple animation of a bouncing ball just to get the feel of it, and now I am trying to render that animation. In the video tutorial I am following, it says to make the file format an FFmpeg and the container an MPEG-4, then click "Render --> Render Animation". But when I do that, I get a blank screen in the rendering window:

enter image description here

I then tried to follow this thread's advice and export the images as PNGs and then use the video editor to compile them but 1. That seems incorrect as that would be so timeconsuming and 2. I am not seeing my exported images in the editor, although they do exist in the folder:

enter image description here

Here is an image of my settings when I tried to render the animation as a video:

enter image description here

Any ideas why I can't render the video?

I am also running this on a Fedora system so I am wondering if it's somehow incompatible with that?


1 Answer 1


You cannot render the animation as MPEG-4 because you have disabled Saving > File Extensions in your Output Properties (usually this is enabled by default):

saving extensions

This should result in an error message "Could not open file for writing" in the bottom status bar when you try to render the animation, but it is only shown for a short while:

error message

The images get rendered, but are missing the PNG extension. So when you try to import them in the Video Sequencer or Compositor they will not show up, because trying to add images opens a dialogue box automatically filtering for Image Files (you can see it in the drop down menu of the funnel symbol, i.e. the filtering options). Of course you can disable filtering to see the files, but it would be best to simply enable the extensions.

filter options

By the way, rendering as an image sequence is not "incorrect" if you want to render an animation. For just a quick simple animation you can directly render to a video file, but most people prefer to render image sequences for longer animations and especially projects where rendering a frame takes a while and Blender might even crash for whatever reason - with an image sequence, you are usually able to carry on where it stopped and just render the missing frames. A video file always has to be rendered completely from start to finish. If it crashes or anything goes wrong, you will always have to start rendering on frame 1 again.

  • $\begingroup$ Thank you, that was helpful! I was able to get it working with the advice above and in addition had to change Video Codec from H.264 to MPEG-4: i.sstatic.net/LiukW.png $\endgroup$
    – Jo Rocca
    Jan 2 at 9:15
  • $\begingroup$ Just a quick addition to your comment about using seperate PNG files being time consuming. This is not correct. You just select the whole sequence of png files in the file selector when importing in to the video editor and they're imported very fast. Similarly creating the final video file is fast because the images have already been rendered and just have to be added to the output file. $\endgroup$
    – John Eason
    Jan 2 at 10:10
  • $\begingroup$ @JohnEason Well, about time consumption: PNG files are actually a quite slow format when it comes to saving, so having to save 100 or 500 or even more images might be slower than just saving one video file. Apart from that, rendering once and having it as a video already does not take the additional time to import the images in the sequencer and then rendering them again as a video file. So it is more time consuming. But as I explained to her in the last paragraph it still often makes more sense to render images. I guess your comment would fit better under her question anyway. $\endgroup$ Jan 2 at 12:07
  • $\begingroup$ Oops. Yes. That should have been a direct comment to the original question. Overall though, it's not going to make a vast difference to the time taken and as you say makes more sense to render individual frames in case of creashes. $\endgroup$
    – John Eason
    Jan 2 at 15:17
  • $\begingroup$ @JohnEason Depends on what you consider a vast difference. I personally prefer image sequences because you are more flexible with what you can do after rendering. But if your goal is just to get a video and you see no risk of it going wrong, still you would have to render twice with images, even if rendering the sequence would be significantly faster. $\endgroup$ Jan 2 at 15:40

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