Render Animation Backward

How do I render an animation backward? I want to be able to render an animation faster. I have two cheap laptops. I want laptop 1 to be rendering forward starting at the beginning of the animation, and laptop two to be rendering backward starting at the end. When they meet in approximately the middle it’s done. I’m not simply interested in getting a Blender animation to play backward. Also, I realize I can move keyframes around and render forward, but for me there is a high chance of messing something up if I do that. I’m looking for an automated solution. Thanks for your time!

Instead of one machine rendering forward and the other rendering backwards you could:

Output to a shared network folder (or something like a dropbox or google drive folder), in Render / Output disable ‘Overwrite’ and enable ‘Placeholder’.
Each machine will then render the next available frame that is not being rendered by the other machine.

Alternatively, set different start/end values for each computer so that one renders, for instance, frames 1-50 and the other renders 51-100. But Richard’s suggestion is cooler.

That sounds just like what I need, I didn’t know about that feature. Thanks for the reply!

That sounds great too, for some reason I never thought of setting the Start frame to be greater than the End frame. Thanks for your answer!

Thanks for the fast replies, rendering in the next project will definitely be more streamlined now!

You can’t set the start frame later than the end frame. I’m talking about two computers having two versions of the same file. One file starts at 1 and ends at 50. The other starts at 51 and ends at 100. They are otherwise identical files.

Right, after trying that and seeing that it didn’t work I figured I didn’t understand correctly. If that’s really what I wanted to do now that I think of it I suppose I could write a Python script for it anyway. Thanks!

If you need for an animation to play backward, that’s easily done: when you (say, in the NLA editor) specify that a certain range of frames should be displayed, you can specify that they should be played in reverse order. (You can even emulate a very bad cat-food commercial by going both ways.)

“I’d like to see frames 1-100, then 100-1, then 1-100 again … ‘chow chow chow.’” The strip seems to go forward, then backward (at the same speed, or not, you choose), then forward again.

Likewise, when you are rendering things, you can render any frame-number “next” that you prefer. As long as each frame is going into a separate file and two-or-more computers aren’t fighting over the same frame-numbers (thus doing redundant work, or trashing frame-files), and as long as all of them eventually do get done, you’re good to go.