How do you render animations as 'video to png sequence' and 'audio to wav'

Up to this day, I always rendered my animations directly to video format. Animations take notoriously long, and so far I managed by starting renders before bedtime and having them finish when I wake up. But with increasing detail, not even a night is enough, and renders take over 48 hours. I only have my main computer, and since I need the CPU and memory during the day, it’s clear I require pause / resume support and image sequence output for that.

But there’s a big issue: My animations also have sound. Not just audio strips in the sequencer, but 3D sounds via Speaker objects, synced with the animations. In order to render the video as an image sequence, I also must render the audio to a sound file (wav) which I later combine using ffmpeg or another tool.

So far, I found that the Render panel offers the possibility of rendering into wav or mp3. But even if I choose that, Blender still processes the visual scene which means the huge render times again. Oppositely, I’d also like to shut down any audio processing when rendering the image sequence to further save time.

Firstly, I’d like to know if there’s an option to disable visual rendering entirely, so I can generate just the audio at maximum speed. Second, I’d like to know if there are other tips and suggestions on rendering animations as video to png and audio to wav, as two different actions. Please don’t suggest doing the audio outside of Blender… I need the 3D sounds, precise lip-syncing, etc.

Sorry for solving my own thread an hour after making it. I found that the way to do this is going to Scene -> Audio -> Mixdown. Haven’t tested it closely, but that’s said to export only the audio of the scene. Hopefully it works for all sounds and will match the image sequence properly. I noticed there’s an Accuracy field when exporting the audio… wonder what that should be set to and if it risks causing lack of sync between video and audio.

Anyway, I’d like to know if there are other tips and suggestions for this approach of rendering animations.