blender [args ...] [file] [args ...]


blender is a 3D modelling and rendering package. Originating as the in-house software of a high quality animation studio, Blender has proven to be an extremely fast and versatile design instrument. The software has a personal touch, offering a unique approach to the world of Three Dimensions.

Use Blender to create TV commercials, to make technical visualizations, business graphics, to create content for games, or design user interfaces. You can easy build and manage complex environments. The renderer is versatile and extremely fast. All basic animation principles (curves & keys) are well implemented.


Blender 2.72 (sub 0) Usage: blender [args ...] [file] [args ...]

Render Options:

-b or --background

Run in background (often used for UI-less rendering)

-a or --render-anim

Render frames from start to end (inclusive)

-S or --scene <name>

Set the active scene <name> for rendering

-f or --render-frame <frame>

Render frame <frame> and save it.

+<frame> start frame relative, -<frame> end frame relative.

-s or --frame-start <frame>

Set start to frame <frame> (use before the -a argument)

-e or --frame-end <frame>

Set end to frame <frame> (use before the -a argument)

-j or --frame-jump <frames>

Set number of frames to step forward after each rendered frame

-o or --render-output <path>

Set the render path and file name.

Use // at the start of the path to

  render relative to the blend file.

The # characters are replaced by the frame number, and used to define zero padding.

  ani_##_test.png becomes ani_01_test.png
  test-######.png becomes test-000001.png
  When the filename does not contain #, The suffix #### is added to the filename

The frame number will be added at the end of the filename.

  eg: blender -b foobar.blend -o //render_ -F PNG -x 1 -a
  //render_ becomes //render_####, writing frames as //render_0001.png//

-E or --engine <engine>

Specify the render engine

use -E help to list available engines

-t or --threads <threads>

Use amount of <threads> for rendering and other operations

[1-64], 0 for systems processor count.

Format Options:

-F or --render-format <format>

Set the render format, Valid options are...


(formats that can be compiled into blender, not available on all systems)


-x or --use-extension <bool>

Set option to add the file extension to the end of the file

Animation Playback Options:

-a or --render-anim

Render frames from start to end (inclusive)

Window Options:

-w or --window-border

Force opening with borders (default)

-W or --window-borderless

Force opening without borders

-p or --window-geometry <sx> <sy> <w> <h>

Open with lower left corner at <sx>, <sy> and width and height as <w>, <h>

-con or --start-console

Start with the console window open (ignored if -b is set), (Windows only)


Do not use native pixel size, for high resolution displays (MacBook 'Retina')

Game Engine Specific Options:

-g Game Engine specific options

-g fixedtime Run on 50 hertz without dropping frames

-g vertexarrays Use Vertex Arrays for rendering (usually faster)

-g nomipmap No Texture Mipmapping

-g linearmipmap Linear Texture Mipmapping instead of Nearest (default)

Python Options:

-y or --enable-autoexec

Enable automatic python script execution

-Y or --disable-autoexec

Disable automatic python script execution (pydrivers & startup scripts), (compiled as non-standard default)

-P or --python <filename>

Run the given Python script file

--python-text <name>

Run the given Python script text block


Run blender with an interactive console


Comma separated list of addons (no spaces)

Debug Options:

-d or --debug

Turn debugging on

  • * Prints every operator call and their arguments

    * Disables mouse grab (to interact with a debugger in some cases)

    * Keeps python sys.stdin rather than setting it to None

--debug-value <value>

Set debug value of <value> on startup


Enable debug messages for the event system


Enable debug messages from FFmpeg library


Enable debug messages for event handling


Enable debug messages from libmv library


Enable fully guarded memory allocation and debugging


Enable time profiling for background jobs.


Enable debug messages for python


Enable debug messages from dependency graph


Enable debug messages for the window manager


Enable all debug messages (excludes libmv)


Enable floating point exceptions


Disable the crash handler

Misc Options:


Skip reading the "startup.blend" in the users home directory


Set the BLENDER_SYSTEM_DATAFILES environment variable


Set the BLENDER_SYSTEM_SCRIPTS environment variable


Set the BLENDER_SYSTEM_PYTHON environment variable


Disable joystick support


Disable GLSL shading


Force sound system to None


Force sound system to a specific device


-h or --help

Print this help text and exit

-v or --version

Print Blender version and exit


Ends option processing, following arguments passed unchanged. Access via python's sys.argv

Other Options:


Print this help text and exit (windows only)

-a <options> <file(s)>

Playback <file(s)>, only operates this way when not running in background.

  -p <sx> <sy>  Open with lower left corner at <sx>, <sy>
  -m    Read from disk (Don't buffer)
  -f <fps> <fps-base>    Specify FPS to start with
  -j <frame>  Set frame step to <frame>
  -s <frame>  Play from <frame>
  -e <frame>  Play until <frame>


Enable debug/profiling messages from Freestyle rendering

--verbose <verbose>

Set logging verbosity level.


Register .blend extension, then exit (Windows only)


Silently register .blend extension, then exit (Windows only)

Argument Parsing:

  arguments must be separated by white space. eg
    "blender -ba test.blend"
  ...will ignore the 'a'
    "blender -b test.blend -f8"
  ...will ignore 8 because there is no space between the -f and the frame value

Argument Order:

  arguments are executed in the order they are given. eg
    "blender --background test.blend --render-frame 1 --render-output /tmp"
  ...will not render to /tmp because '--render-frame 1' renders before the output path is set
    "blender --background --render-output /tmp test.blend --render-frame 1"
  ...will not render to /tmp because loading the blend file overwrites the render output that was set
    "blender --background test.blend --render-output /tmp --render-frame 1" works as expected.


  $BLENDER_USER_CONFIG      Directory for user configuration files.
  $BLENDER_USER_SCRIPTS     Directory for user scripts.
  $BLENDER_SYSTEM_SCRIPTS   Directory for system wide scripts.
  $BLENDER_USER_DATAFILES   Directory for user data files (icons, translations, ..).
  $BLENDER_SYSTEM_DATAFILES Directory for system wide data files.
  $BLENDER_SYSTEM_PYTHON    Directory for system python libraries.
  $TMP or $TMPDIR           Store temporary files here.
  $SDL_AUDIODRIVER          LibSDL audio driver - alsa, esd, dma.
  $PYTHONHOME               Path to the python directory, eg. /usr/lib/python.

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This manpage was written for a Debian GNU/Linux system by Daniel Mester <[email protected]> and updated by Cyril Brulebois <[email protected]> and Dan Eicher <[email protected]>.