27 – Blender Video Editing (Super Fast Video Rendering with Render Script.)

27 – Blender Video Editing (Super Fast Video Rendering with Render Script.)

Learn to Video Edit with Blender
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Video Description

I spent the last couple months writing a cross platform python script that renders non-3D blender projects 2X faster, and gives us access to additional FFmpeg features.

Here is a link to the script and Setup Guide:


I consider this a work in progress. Thanks for your support.

Here is a sample of the features:

1) Perform non-3D renders in HALF the time on multi-core CPUs.
Speed up rendering of:
– Image Sequences
– Node Based effects using the following node groups: Distort, Matte, Map, Vector, Filter, Converter, and Color.

2) Create high quality animated GIFs.

3) Fully cross platform (Windows, Mac, Linux and more…)

4) Wider range of audio bitrates supported

Windows 10 users:
I noticed that that the Windows 10 (Creators Update) changed the fonts in cmd.exe. I would recommend that you alter the cmd.exe defaults by opening cmd.exe, right clicking on the Title Bar and clicking on “Defaults”. I switched it to Font size 16, Font: Source Code Pro in the Font Tab. The banner is much easier to read with those settings.

50 replies
  1. Ovidiu Butnariu
    Ovidiu Butnariu says:

    I get SyntaxError invalid syntax, probably on Traceback line 97
    if my_platform == Windows

    I am using Windows 7 64 bit, Blender v2.79 and 2.78c (from zip), FFmpeg 3.3.3
    Exporting to ffmped with mp3 codec, 29.97 fps

    I have no idea how to fix it

  2. Stale
    Stale says:

    is the render script outdated or what ? it is not working it says ( windows cant open the file ) pleas help me i really need this

  3. Fei JoA
    Fei JoA says:

    Hi Mikey – appreciate your excellent tutorials and followed them all. I’ve run into an issue when trying to render for test finish product and Blender keeps coming up with ‘could not open file for writing’. Ive scoured the net and blender forums and it seems to be a permission or output issue but trying all the fixes hasnt worked. Any help would be appreciated. Keep up the good work! Cheers.

  4. Petch85
    Petch85 says:

    Thanks a lot for this. I use it when I have rendered all by PNG files, or to combining jpg files from timelaps.
    I have changed the windows path to blender and ffmpeg (i do not use the standard paths on my system.) and reduced the starting time from 15s to 0s. And it works great.
    I do not get the exact same file when using blend and video_editors_render_script_v1.py to combine PNG images created by blender, but I cannot see the difference in the videos.
    For a short 101 frame test I went from 16s to only 8s on a OC’ed old i5-2500K, my guess is that the benefit is even larger if you have a CPU with more cores. (I might just try et out on my work pc. 6 cores 12 threads if I get the time at some point)

    I suspect that Blender will add this ideer at some point in time thus your script might be short lived, but for now it will quickly save many people the time you spend creating the script. Thanks for putting in the time, you earned many subscribers for this.
    I will take a look at you back catalog.

  5. Half-Baked Media
    Half-Baked Media says:

    I cant get my title screens (scene overlays) to render with the script. What is wrong? Or is it supposed to do that?

  6. Marcelo Vaz
    Marcelo Vaz says:

    Hi Mikeycal, following your channel and learning a lot, thanks! trying to run your script on Ubuntu 16.04 I got this message: "Traceback (most recent call last):
    File "/home/celo/Programas/Blender/video_editors_render_script_v1.py", line 505, in <module>
    if blender_file_format in ("BMP","IRIS","PNG","JPEG","JPEG2000","TARGA",
    NameError: name ‘blender_file_format’ is not defined"

    Any tip?

  7. landwolf00
    landwolf00 says:

    Thanks again Mikeycal. I bought the 1700 and rendering video on blender was wasting 15 threads. This cuts the render time by ~ 40 minutes on a 4k hevc 2 minute file from my camera. Thanks!

  8. inthere2it
    inthere2it says:

    Every time the script finishes rendering the clip, it tells me twice that the system cannot find the path specified after 3 lines of blender quit. So, it doesn’t actually output any files. I’m very confused.

  9. Len Firewood
    Len Firewood says:

    In the Render settings there is a "Performance" set of options – one of these is a setting for Threads which you can have set to Auto or Fixed (in fixed you can specify the number of threads yourself). Mine is set to Auto and thereby sets it to 8 threads ( I have an i7 cpu which has four physical cores but 8 virtual ones so it is set correctly). Does your script still improve rendering times even when I have the threads setting to it’s maximum value for my system?

  10. David_From_TheDVIChannel
    David_From_TheDVIChannel says:

    Wow. Just Wow. I went from a 9m30s render too about 2 min on my r7 1800x @4Ghz! That is a 78.94% DECREASE IN TIME!! Wow. Just wow.

  11. Bobo91ism
    Bobo91ism says:

    This is simply awesome I have a r7 1700x and I am getting am able to render 1080p60 at faster than real time so I would say that this is way more than a 2x as fast depending on the system.

  12. Prashanth prashu
    Prashanth prashu says:

    after i edited video in VSE the preview is good, but after rendering the video lost its quality , can you help me

  13. alc59
    alc59 says:

    Thank you for these great VSE tutorials
    Is there a way to take a screen shot/grab from a video and add it to the video

  14. Scotland Dobson
    Scotland Dobson says:

    Neat that you figured out how to do multicore rendering! You know what’d be even cooler? GPU encoding. Most modern GPUs have a dedicated video encoder, capable of encoding video faster than realtime. I think that Nvidia already contributed some code to ffmpeg to enable it, if you’re already using ffmpeg anyway. I was starting to look into that earlier today when my video took longer to render than it did to make…

  15. coretype
    coretype says:

    Love the idea. About to test it out. Quick question suggestion. Is it not possible to for the script after running it the first time to ask the user the file name of their blend file and put that into a variable to use so one doesn’t have to save a new blend file to 1.blend, just for user friendliness? Thanks for you effort in all the tutorials, I’m just starting out with video editing and this is looking to be pretty good.

  16. bfestevao
    bfestevao says:

    Thank you Mikeycal Meyers! awesome script, and great documentation on github! I followed the instructions and work a treat.
    A piece of multicam video with about 10000 frames, took 37min without script, with the script took 17min!

    Just for you to know, my system:
    Intel i5
    Manjaro Linux 4.9.43-1
    ffmpeg 3.3.3
    Blender 2.78c

  17. Ken Barber
    Ken Barber says:

    been wanting gif output for ages. i knew ffmpeg could do it but i dont have the capacity to make it happen. thanks for this

  18. Rye's Gameroom
    Rye's Gameroom says:

    Hey Mikeycal, your Blender series for video editing was a great help to me for many months. I used Isti115’s script (well, a fork of it by RedRaptor93 with tons of improvements) for that time. Using multiple threads like this is absolutely the way to go if you’re sticking with Blender. The speedup is insane. I hope that Blender will make their VSE render multi-threaded soon.

    There seem to be consequences with this workaround (not just yours, but the whole idea of rendering in parts and stitching it back together). I get audio glitches at almost every seam – this is because blender’s timing is only as precise as the framerate you set. If you cut an audio file into two pieces at 30 fps, the join won’t be seamless. Depending on your audio, you may not hear the problem, but it’s there. The fix is to render a mixdown in Blender, then use ffmpeg to replace the audio with the mixdown. I also had to use Audacity for even the simplest of audio edits (hard limiting, normalization, noise reduction, etc) that aught to be built in to a video editor. Then I discovered the blender video rendering wasn’t particularly good, and started using Handbrake (as per your tutorial on that). The overhead began to really pile up.

    I’ve switched to Premiere Pro. I don’t like the idea of subscription based software, but the workflow is so much more improved that it’s cut the time required for video editing + rendering in half. I still prefer Handbrake’s "constant quality" rendering system, but Premiere Pro works OK with 2-pass encoding and VBR. I don’t know if I’ll stick with Premiere Pro in the long term, and would consider switching back to blender if all of these issues are fixed. It’s certainly promising software.

    In any case, thanks a ton for your series. It really helped get the most out of Blender, and I definitely recommend it for many jobs where people just don’t want to pay the Adobe/Apple tax.

  19. Filip Mond
    Filip Mond says:

    I get it work (probably). At the moment I just can’t "get auto_overwrite_files = False" works. It still overwriting existing file without any asking. Tested on iMac OS X 10.11.6 Blender 2.78c official and script version for 2.79 from today build boot.
    Anyway would be faster for me if script can increase version number instead of asking.Thanks for help.

  20. Paul Tice
    Paul Tice says:

    Thanks for the great videos! I’ve certainly learned a lot – I just ran your script and I get an error message in the command line (Windows 10) "There was an error compressing your audio. Please change your render settings." I’ve tried MP3 and AAC codec’s so far… Thoughts? It is creating the Full_Audio.wav file in the Script_Working_Folder however.

  21. Heg
    Heg says:

    Thanks a lot for the script, there’s an insane rendering time drop. But personally I have a problems: script fails to merge segments into one video file & the common error it outputs regarding audio is "there was a problem compressing your audio" . Hopefully someone will be able to help me.
    Best regards & thanks once again :).

  22. James Keller
    James Keller says:

    Thank you Mikeycal, It took me a while, but I finally got your script to work and It’s so great to see all the cores processing. I also, as many others, have greatly appreciated and benefited from your blender tutorials and the time that you have taken in making them.

  23. DTD+
    DTD+ says:

    You are a genius !!!! thanks. I got a youtube channel and edit my videos in blender, but the rendering time was terrifying long …. now in my first test of this addon, it took almost a quarter of time compared to the normal blender rendering (25 seconds vs 90 seconds).

  24. unfa
    unfa says:

    Is there a way to control how many processes will work, or is it always using the CPU thread count?

    I hoped you managed to fix Blender’s poor CPU utilisation, but unfortunately VSE would probably need a rewrite for that. I recently made a video about this issue:

    I’m using a script called Pulverize that essensially does the same thing, but yours has some additional cool features 🙂

    Anyway… I’m still waiting for an opensource GPU-based video editor that’ll deliver the performance.

    Thanks for your video 🙂

  25. Luis Troche
    Luis Troche says:

    I used the script to render a video with a 1:20 duration and It rendered it in 49 secs. AMAZING! ( without the script the time was 2:18). Thanks Mikeycal for your generosity.

  26. miceblue425
    miceblue425 says:

    I’m using Windows 10, I have the Blender.exe (2.79) and ffmpeg.exe (3.3.3 or 3.4) folders all set up according to the instructions. When I execute the Python script, everything works up until the very end where I get a "no such directory" message and the concacted final video, its source videos, and the audio clip the script creates all disappear from my computer. It’s weird because this script used to work perfectly fine for me, and it still makes my CPU load 100% and it still says it rendered the project in blah hours and some minutes.

  27. Chess of Confusion
    Chess of Confusion says:

    can you an up to date video on this.. since i’ve noticed by clicking on your links to this video things have changed. I’m a simple man with a simple intellect of intelligence. 😂 And thanks for making this script i just hope Blender would add something down the line.

  28. Chess of Confusion
    Chess of Confusion says:

    There must be reason why you had to do it this way.. I’m pretty sure you tried to make a script that blender did both video and audio and render fast. but I guess it was impossible to do so that’s why you have to separate them.

  29. Kirill Alferof
    Kirill Alferof says:

    Using Blender 2.76b. Started getting an error:

    File "video_editors_render_script.py", line 358, in <module>
    blender_constant_rate_factor = scene.render.ffmpeg.constant_rate_factor # (HIGH)
    AttributeError: ‘FFmpegSettings’ object has no attribute ‘constant_rate_factor’

    Mikey, do you have an idea of what this might be? I am on Ubuntu 16.04 and having problems with latest Blender, so picked up an older version. The script works fine on another computer, but on this machine I get this strange error.


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