It seems that Cycles is mainly built in the form of Python scripts (as far as I can tell). Is it still possible to use Cycles to render a .blend file from the command line?

  • $\begingroup$ The current tag is actually wrong.. temporarily changed it. It should be command-line with a dash, will retag when it is ok to, the old tags take a while to disappear.. $\endgroup$
    – iKlsR
    Commented May 31, 2013 at 12:57
  • $\begingroup$ update, fixed it, the old one has been deleted. $\endgroup$
    – iKlsR
    Commented Jun 3, 2013 at 17:50

2 Answers 2


Yes you can, This will render a single frame

blender --background filename.blend --render-output //test_ --engine CYCLES --render-format PNG --use-extension 1 --render-frame 5

This will output a file named test_0005

While experimenting, I more or less substituted CYCLES with the parameters I found here. You can check the link to see what they mean and or do.

  • 7
    $\begingroup$ Tip - to list available rendering engines: blender --background --engine help $\endgroup$
    – ideasman42
    Commented May 23, 2013 at 3:47
  • 5
    $\begingroup$ The --engine switch is almost never necessary, you will have already saved the .blend file with Cycles set as render engine while editing it, and it will use that for rendering from the command line too. And this works for render engines like Luxrender or Yafaray too. $\endgroup$
    – brecht
    Commented May 30, 2013 at 19:13

Here is an overview of (near) all command line options for Blender:


blender -b file.blend -o //file -F JPEG -x 1 -f 1

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