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How can the current viewport view be rendered as a preview?

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Quickly Previewing the Current View

If you don't need to save the image file but you want a very fast way of previewing the render, position the viewport how you like it and hit ShiftZ. Hit the key combination again to leave the view.

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    $\begingroup$ Note: this will not use any compositing you may have. $\endgroup$ – Garrett Apr 6 '14 at 0:12
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    $\begingroup$ Note: this shortcut was added in 2.69. For older versions you can setup this shortcut manually. $\endgroup$ – sambler Apr 6 '14 at 7:51
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Rendering the Current View

The easiest way to do this is this:

  1. Set the camera's view to your current viewport's view:
    CTRLALTNumpad 0

  2. Then render the image with one of these methods:

    • Info header -> Render -> Render Image

    • Object Properties window -> Render tab -> Render section -> click the Render button

You can read more about rendering in Blender here on the Blender Wiki.

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    $\begingroup$ Useful for doing an actual render, but the purpose of this question was to make people aware of Shift + Z to preview render the current view. $\endgroup$ – Keavon Apr 6 '14 at 0:01
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    $\begingroup$ Oh, I didn't realize you only wanted to talk about the Rendered View mode for the 3D Viewport. $\endgroup$ – Thom Blair III Apr 6 '14 at 0:05
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    $\begingroup$ It's a useful answer if people are looking to do a real render so you may want to label the answer as such and keep it. $\endgroup$ – Keavon Apr 6 '14 at 0:06
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    $\begingroup$ If you don't want the camera to permanently move to your current view, make sure to keyframe it first. $\endgroup$ – Garrett Apr 6 '14 at 0:12
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    $\begingroup$ Or make another temporary camera. Or just use Ctrl + Z after rendering to undo it. Not to be confused with Shift + Z, the other solution. $\endgroup$ – Keavon Apr 6 '14 at 6:30
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For people using a custom input setup (I'm using the packed-in 3ds max settings with a few modifications) the keyboard shortcut alone isn't very useful. For anyone wanting to find, change, or add these settings in File -> User Preferences -> Input, their names and values are:

For "Quickly previewing the current view" (Shift Z): Toggle Rendered Shading
(in 3D View -> 3D View (Global) with the value view3d.toggle_render)

For "Rendering the current view" (Ctrl Alt Numpad0): Align Camera To View
(in 3D View -> 3D View (Global) with the value view3d.camera_to_view)

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