Sequencer Batch Rendering


Rendering Movies/Image Sequences from Command Line

This is a simple guide to the command line arguments that you may be interested in when rendering out cinematics from the command line. These will only work with Sequencer.

A common use of these commands is batch rendering. You can string these commands together in a batch file to render multiple Sequences in a row. While this wiki isn't a tutorial on how to create a batch file, it is a guide on how to format in CMD and what arguments to use to render out a Sequence

Basic Formatting

For those of you who have never used the command line to launch the editor, here is the basic formatting with only the -game argument (leave quotes when using absolute paths or a path that uses spaces):

 "FullPathToEngineInstallFolder\4.##\Engine\Binaries\Win64\UE4Editor.exe" "FullPathToProjectFolder\TestProject.uproject" MapName -game

Depending on your file structure, you can use relative paths or in some cases the project name alone, but the above format covers any case.

Command Line Arguments

Command Line Arguments reference

Some definitions below will mirror these: https://docs.unrealengine.com/latest/INT/Programming/Basics/CommandLineArguments/index.html

All arguments require a hyphen before them. I.E. -game

Required

These are the basic arguments to render out an image sequence:

Arg. Desc.
-MovieSceneCaptureType="/Script/MovieSceneCapture.AutomatedLevelSequenceCapture"
References MovieSceneCapture.cpp, which defines many of the command line arguments listed here
-LevelSequence="/Game/PathToSequence/SequenceName"
Tells the editor which sequence to play
-NoLoadingScreen
-game instance of the editor will fail to render properly without this

Secondary

These are some of the recommended command line arguments to give you full control over image quality, rendering parameters, and file naming/type. Final column includes recommendations on when to use the cmd argument:

Arg. Desc. Notes When to use
-ResX=####
Set horizontal resolution for game window Eg: -ResX=1920 Lower res for previews, Higher for final
-ResY=####
Set vertical resolution for game window Eg: -ResY=1080 Lower res for previews, Higher for final
-ForceRes
Forces the window to the specified resolution, even when larger than the screen resolution
-VSync
Activate the VSYNC via command line High Perf cost, but doesn't hurt us since we aren't rendering in real-time Final Renders
-NoVSync
Deactivate the VSYNC via command line See Above Preview Renders
-MovieFrameRate=30
Sets the frame rate of the output Overrides the default of 30fps Depends on the needs of your cinematic (i.e. rhythmic movement suffers when using a low FPS, could be unwanted even in Previews)
-NoTextureStreaming
Disables texture streaming Will take longer to render, but worth it for final renders. Final Renders
-MovieFolder="PATH"
Destination folder for rendered images Defaults to Project/Saved/Screenshots Recommended when batch rendering. Otherwise all image files dump into the same folder.
-MovieFormat=ASD
Media format. JPG, BMP, PNG, or Video Defaults to PNG
-MovieQuality=##
Sets the compression quality Expressed in a percentage, defaults to 75
-MovieName="Example.{frame}"
Sets the naming format for the output files * {fps}, {frame}, {width}, {height}, {world}, {quality}, {material} Definitely recommended for batch rendering. Gives the files a unique name corresponding to the map name, render pass, etc.
-MovieCinematicMode=Yes/No
Enables Cinematic Mode Hides Player Character and disables Player Character Movement. Also disables HUD. Usually a good idea to enable this all the time
-MovieWarmUpFrames=##
Number of frames to run the scene before playing the sequence. This will not play out in real-time Default of 0 frames. This will also run the frames before the beginning of your sequence's play range. Useful when you have Particle Systems or physics that need to simulate before you begin recording.
-MovieDelayBeforeWarmUp=#
Number of seconds before the Warmup Begins. Runs in real-time If you need to do anything with your pawn before the sequence starts.
-MovieStartFrame=###
Overrides the start frame of your sequence Defaults to the in and out markers in Sequencer
-MovieEndFrame=###
Overrides the end frame of your sequence Defaults to the in and out markers in Sequencer
-NoScreenMessages
Hides on screen messages like "Rebuild Lighting" or "Pring String" outputs


* MovieName Descriptions

  • {fps} - The captured framerate
  • {frame} - The current frame number (only relevant for image sequences)
  • {width} - The width of the captured frames
  • {height} - The height of the captured frames
  • {world} - The name of the current world
  • {quality} - The image compression quality setting
  • {material} - The material/render pass

Custom Render Passes

Requires -MovieFormat=CustomRenderPasses and {material} in the -MovieName.

Arg. Desc. Notes
-CustomRenderPasses="RenderPassName"
Sets the custom render Pass

Options are (exclude parenthesis):

AmbientOcclusion, BaseColor, CustomDepth, CustomDepthWorldUnits, CustomStencil, FinalImage, MaterialAO (Ambient Occlusion), Metallic, Opacity, PostTonemapHDRColor, Roughness, SceneColor, SceneDepth, SceneDepthWorldUnits, SeparateTranslucencyA (Alpha), SeparateTranslucencyRGB, ShadingModel, Specular, SubsurfaceColor, WorldNormal

-CaptureFramesInHDR
Renders with HDR in the .exr format
-HDRCompressionQuality=##
Compression Quality for HDR Frames (0 for no compression, 1 for default compression which can be slow). Dependent on -CaptureFramesInHDR
-CaptureGamut="HCGM_Name"
The color gamut to use when storing HDR captured data. Dependent on -CaptureFramesInHDR

* HCGM_Rec709, HCGM_P3DCI, HCGM_Rec2020, HCGM_ACES, HCGM_ACEScg, HCGM_MAX

-PostProcessingMaterial="MaterialPath"
Custom Post Processing Material to use for rendering Format looks like: "Material'/Engine/BufferVisualization/SceneDepth.SceneDepth'"

Easy way to get that path is to right click the material in the Content Browser and Copy Reference

* Capture Gamut Descriptions

  • HCGM_Rec709 - Rec. 709 / sRGB
  • HCGM_P3DCI - P3 D65
  • HCGM_Rec2020 - Rec. 2020
  • HCGM_ACES - ACES
  • HCGM_ACEScg - ACEScg

Console Variables

There are some console variables that can be useful for the quality of your renders. ïYou'll want to add these to your //Game/Config/defaultEngine.ini.

All the listed values are for highest quality

Variable and Recommended Value Desc.
r.ForceLOD=0 Forces all LODs to 0. -1 is off.
r.MotionBlurQuality=4

Defines the motion blur method which allows to adjust for quality or performance.
0:off, 1:low, 2:medium, 3:high (default), 4: very high

r.MotionBlurSeparable=1

Adds a second motion blur pass that smooths noise for a higher quality blur. 0:off, 1:on
r.DepthOfFieldQuality=4

Allows to adjust the depth of field quality. Currently only fully affects BokehDOF. GaussianDOF is either 0 for off, otherwise on.
0: Off
1: Low
2: high quality (default, adaptive, can be 4x slower)
3: very high quality, intended for non realtime cutscenes, CircleDOF only (slow)
4: extremely high quality, intended for non realtime cutscenes, CircleDOF only (very slow)

r.HLOD=0

Single argument: 0 or 1 to Disable/Enable HLOD System
Multiple arguments: force X where X is the HLOD level that should be forced into view

r.SSR.Quality=4

Whether to use screen space reflections and at what quality setting.
(limits the setting in the post process settings which has a different scale)
(costs performance, adds more visual realism but the technique has limits)
0: off (default)
1: low (no glossy)
2: medium (no glossy)
3: high (glossy/using roughness, few samples)
4: very high (likely too slow for real-time)

r.ViewDistanceScale=30

Controls the view distance scale. A primitive's MaxDrawDistance is scaled by this value.
Higher values will increase view distance but at a performance cost.

r.MipMapLODBias=-1 Apply additional mip map bias for all 2D textures, range of -15.0 to 15.0
r.Shadow.MaxResolution=4096 Max square dimensions (in texels) allowed for rendering shadow depths. Range 4 to hardware limit. Higher = better quality shadows but at a performance cost.

Examples

Here are some full cmd arguments for different situations. In the examples, these are the specifics of the project:

  • Build Location = C:\Program Files (x86)\Epic Games\4.##\Engine\Binaries\Win64\UE4Editor.exe
  • Project Location = D:\Unreal Projects\SequencerTestBed\SequencerTestBed.uproject
  • Map Name = TestRender_Map.umap
  • Sequence Name = Test_Render_SQ

Preview Render

This is for a 16:9 preview render at 30fps with a resolution of 1280x720 in the jpg format

"C:\Program Files (x86)\Epic Games\4.##\Engine\Binaries\Win64\UE4Editor.exe" "D:\Unreal Projects\SequencerTestBed\SequencerTestBed.uproject" /Game/TestRender/TestRender_Map -game -MovieSceneCaptureType="/Script/MovieSceneCapture.AutomatedLevelSequenceCapture" -LevelSequence="/Game/Test_Render/Test_Render_SQ" -MovieFrameRate=30 -noloadingscreen -resx=1280 -resy=720 -MovieFormat=JPG -MovieQuality=75

Final Renders

This is for final, full quality renders. Aiming for 16:9 at 30fps, 3840x2160 resolution, BMP format

"C:\Program Files (x86)\Epic Games\4.##\Engine\Binaries\Win64\UE4Editor.exe" "D:\Unreal Projects\SequencerTestBed\SequencerTestBed.uproject" /Game/TestRender/TestRender_Map -game -MovieSceneCaptureType="/Script/MovieSceneCapture.AutomatedLevelSequenceCapture" -LevelSequence="/Game/Test_Render/Test_Render_SQ" -MovieFrameRate=30 -noloadingscreen -resx=3840 -resy=2160 -forceres -MovieFormat=BMP -MovieQuality=100 -notexturestreaming -MovieCinematicMode=yes -MovieWarmUpFrames=60