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Blender Example

Get Prepared

If you haven't already done so, Download the Companion App.

Navigate to the Submission Kit page and log in if asked.

For convenience, we have included a Blender submission preset and blend file. The scene contains a camera flying 180 degrees around a pair of BMWs and is based on the popular BMW demo by Mike Pan from the Blender demos site. You do not need to have Blender installed for this tutorial, and there are no textures or other dependencies.


Load the preset

  • Use the Kabob menu and choose Load Example to load blender_bmw.json. You'll see all fields in the submitter are populated with new values.


Use your own blend file.

To use your own Blend file instead of the BMW scene:

  • Open the Files tab.
  • Use the Browse Files button to add your file asset.
  • Select bmw_half_turn_low.blend file and press the X button to remove it.
  • Select your file asset and press the Tag as Scene button.

You can tag one asset as the scene asset and then refer to it with the <scene> token on the General tab.

Edit the task template.

On the General tab, the large text area is the Task Template. This is where you define the command to run on the render nodes.



You should familiarize yourself with the Blender command line syntax here or type blender --help in a terminal or command prompt.

The template contains several tokens in angle brackets. To understand how these tokens are resolved and to see a list of other available tokens, go to the reference documentation.

You can also open the Preview tab, which shows the resolved JSON payload. Look at the tasks_data section.

The template, as set in the BMW example, can only render one frame per task since it uses Blender's --render-frame argument. This means it won't render all frames if you set the chunk size above one. To render a range of more than one frame per task, you need to use the --frame-start and --frame-end arguments with the <chunk_start> and <chunk_end> tokens respectively.

It's also likely you'll want to render to a different format than EXR. If you have several AOVs for example you may want the OPEN_EXR_MULTILAYER format. If you don't specify the format, the command will use the value in the blend file.

With the above changes, your task command would be as follows.

blender "<scene>" -E CYCLES --render-output "<output_path>/render_" --render-format OPEN_EXR_MULTILAYER  --frame-start <chunk_start> --frame-end <chunk_end> --background -noaudio 

Output folder

You must let Conductor know the folder where your renders are to be written so that it can be marked writable. Some things to be aware of:

  • The Output folder must not contain any of the assets listed in the Files tab, since those assets and their containing directories are set to be read-only.
  • The Output folder does not tell Blender where to write files. You must use Blender's --render-output argument in the template to tell blender to write into this folder. We provide an <output_path> token to help you avoid making errors here.
  • You may write any file hierarchy you like under the Output folder.
  • If your render relies on intermediate files, for example GI caches, then they must also be written somewhere below the Output folder.


Windows paths

In the task template, there are two tokens that represent paths: <scene> and <output_path>. As mentioned, the scene is derived from the tagged scene in the Files tab, and the output_path is derived from the Output folder field. In both cases, the paths are converted to Posix paths, since the renders take place on Linux render nodes. Drive letters are stripped away, and backslashes are converted to forward slashes. You can check in the Preview tab to see how these paths are resolved.

Check the software version.

It's possible that we've added newer versions of Blender since the preset file was created. Head over to the Software tab and make sure you have an appropriate version of Blender selected from the list, especially if you are using your own blend file.

Save the state of the submission.

  • Choose Save As from the Kabob menu. Make sure you are not in the presets folder and save the file.


You can now press Submit. You should see some activity in the status bar. If you click the small icon in the status bar, you'll see the complete log where you can identify submission errors, if any. If the submission is successful, a popup appears with a link to the jobs page.