Trying to composite multiple scenes into a single output animation

I would have expected this to be a fairly common use-case, but the help guides I find for it seem to be about rendering multiple ‘layers’ at the same time (such as a standard scene and a transparency mixed on top of each other).

What I have, is 8 ‘scenes’ which are all separate sections of an animation. Actual scenes, if you will. Which is why I would have expected it to be possible to render out ‘scenes’ as individual scenes in a single animation, considering … y’know… they’re called scenes!

However I only seem to be able to render them one at a time? I have to go into compositor, change the current ‘layer’ to the next scene, and render it out, rinse and repeat.

There must be a way for me to queue up the scenes into one animation, so that they can all render out in one batch and result in a single output file. (or a single folder of pngs, so that I can then post process if necessary before encoding them into a video).

Can’t see the methodology for it though. Any help?

Edit: version 2.8

It will be extremely helpful if you note which version of blender you are using. This forum is alive in versions 2.79 and all versions of 2.8x.

You can put two render layer nodes into one scene.
In the render layers node you can chose the scene.

Then you can plug them into seperate sockets of an output node.

added 2.8 to the op

The output nodes only have a single socket for an input. I have seen pictures of a node with two inputs, but that doesn’t seem to be in 2.8 anywhere (that I can find).

You can add another socket in the right panel:

Ahha, that’s what I was missing. Do they then render sequentially? Thanks for pointing that one out to me :slight_smile:

No, they don’t. I am not sure if it possible to set it up sequentially.
I seem to remember that I read that it was possible to do that with the batch renderer and command line rendering but memory is a bit hazy.

Weirdly, they seem to render frame1 for each scene, then frame2 for each scene, etc etc. Which is odd. But the file names seem to end up working ok, so I think it might still be easier than rendering each scene seperately.

Yes it works but if you have one very long scene and one very short scene you will render a lot of useless frames.

Here is a link to a batch render setup:

I’m a bit confused here … what’s your intended workflow here?

Ordinarily, the output of a render corresponds more-or-less to “a strip of film,” which once exposed is then taken to the editing room – say, Blender’s VSE – to undergo what Alfred Hitchcock referred to as the process of “assembly.”

For the final renders, outputting them as separate files for assembly in Ae/Pr is fine. But when it comes to outputting test/draft renders just to see how they look, it would be nicer to be able to just spit out a complete file.

Alternatively, being able to hit render and leave it to output all 10 files in one go, for quick assembly later, is the next best thing. But blender doesn’t seem to allow this, not internally anyway. I’ve seen an option for doing it in batches via a command prompt, but that’s less than ideal.

You can use the Video Sequence Editor to edit scenes/shots.
Create a new empty scene called edit, switch to VSE and do shift-A -> Scene.
I’m not sure it’s the best way to work but it can come handy in some situations.

Honestly, Neil … “that’s just not how it is actually done!” Shots are rendered one at a time, then they are assembled.

But, it is easy enough to create another Blender project which consists of a VSE pass which references each of the output-files produced by the other individual renders. This project, which you will probably “simply view” instead of render, will give you the preview that you’re looking for.

Also – a very-key advantage to this approach is that now you don’t have to re-render “everything.” You only need to re-render the parts that have actually changed, thereby refreshing the set of output-files which represent the produce of those renders. (The rest can just remain as they now are …) Having done this, you can switch to the “VSE project” and very-immediately see how the project now looks.

Best rule-of-thumb: “render” == "individual shot." (Not “project!”)