Command-Line Rendering Switches
 
 
 

In order to use command-line rendering, you should be familiar with DOS and understand the structure of command lines.

Command-Line Switches

You can use the following switches after 3dsmaxcmd on the command line of a command prompt window, or as entries in a text file. The following tables show switches and their effects.

NoteSwitches are not case sensitive.

At Verbosity level 5, the output message from command-line rendering includes both a timestamp and a date stamp. The timestamp is separated from the main message by a semicolon, and the elapsed time message is separated from the Frame Completed message by a semicolon. This lets you pipe the message to a file, and then open it in a spreadsheet program with appropriate columns by setting the delimiter character.

Separators

Many switches are displayed in the following charts with trailing colons, such as -w: or -h:. The use of a colon separator is optional, and can be replaced with a space or an equal sign (=). Therefore, command lines such as:

“c:\program files\autodesk\[program folder name]\3dsmaxcmd” -outputName:“c:\program files\autodesk\[program folder name]\renderoutput\myImage.jpg” -w:640 -h:480 “c:\program files\autodesk\[program folder name]\scenes\myscene.max”

“c:\program files\autodesk\[program folder name]\3dsmaxcmd” -outputName “c:\program files\autodesk\[program folder name]\renderoutput\myImage.jpg” -w 640 -h 480 “c:\program files\autodesk\[program folder name]\scenes\myscene.max”

“c:\program files\autodesk\[program folder name]\3dsmaxcmd” -outputName=“c:\program files\autodesk\[program folder name]\renderoutput\myImage.jpg” -w=640 -h=480 “c:\program files\autodesk\[program folder name]\scenes\myscene.max”

will give you the same results. The use of the equal sign can give your command-line files more of an INI file appearance.

NoteThe switch -submit:[manager_name] is the only case where a colon is necessary.

On/Off Command-Line Switches

Many of the switches you'll use are simple on/off toggles, such as the -rfw: and -renderFields: switches. If you prefer, instead of using a 1 or 0 to designate their states, you can use True or False. For example, to render a scene to a specified file type and display the Rendered Frame Window, your command line might look like this;

“c:\program files\autodesk\[program folder name]\3dsmaxcmd” -outputName=“c:\program files\autodesk\[program folder name]\renderoutput\myImage.jpg” -rfw=true “c:\program files\autodesk\[program folder name]\scenes\myscene.max”

Basic Options

Switch Effect
-? Displays a list of these switches in the DOS window.
-x Shows a list of example command lines.
-v:# Sets the verbosity level, where # is an integer from 0 (least verbose) to 5 (most verbose).
@command_file or -cmdFile:command_file Points to a separate file containing command-line options.
-preset:<filename> or -rps:<filename> Uses a render preset file where <filename> is the name of the preset file.
-sceneState:<scene-state-name> Loads the specified scene state file before rendering the image.
-batchRender Renders all enabled tasks in the Batch Render dialog.
-batchRender:<batch-render-name> Renders batch renders in the file named batch-render-name.
-preRenderScript:<filename> or -script:<filename> Uses a pre-render script where <filename> is the name of the script file.
-postRenderScript:<filename> Uses a post-render script where <filename> is the name of the script file.
-workPath:<pathname> Root location for job data folders.
-pathFile:<pathname> Path configuration file (MXP format).
-bitmapPath:<pathname> (obsolete) Provides an extra bitmap path. Multiple paths can be entered and UNC naming conventions can be used.
-xrefPath:<pathname> (obsolete) Lets you specify extra XRef paths. Multiple paths can be entered and UNC naming conventions can be used.
-split:<strips, overlap> Split render: number of strips, overlap amount.
-strip:<strips, overlap, strip> Split render: number of strips, overlap amount, strip number (starting with 1). This is similar to the -split switch, but lets you render a specific, individual strip.
NoteThe strip value has no effect when submitting the job to Backburner. The job will still render all strips. Split and Stitch functionality is intended for local rendering only.
-stitch:<strips, overlap> Stitches strips (see above), combining them into a single image: number of strips, overlap amount. Stitch functionality is intended for local rendering only.
-dateFormat:<dateformat> Specifies a date format to be used in message timestamp, at verbosity level 5. Defaults to locale-dependent format. For details, use the 3dsmaxcmd3dsvizcmd -x option.
-timeFormat:<timeformat> Specifies a time format to be used in message timestamp, at verbosity level 5. Defaults to locale-dependent format and 24–hour clock. For details, use the 3dsmaxcmd -x option.

Render Parameters

NoteAny command-line switches that are on/off toggles can be switched by entering either 1, 0, on or off.
Switch Effect
-outputName:<filename> or -o:<filename> Sets an output file name and format.
-camera:<string> or -cam:<string> Specifies a camera name.
-width:<integer> or -w:<integer> Sets the output width in pixels.
-height:<integer> or -h:<integer> Sets the output height in pixels.
-pixelAspect:<number> Sets the pixel aspect ratio.
-start:<integer> Sets the rendering sequence start frame.
-end<integer> Sets the rendering sequence end frame.
-nthFrame<integer> Sets the Every Nth Frame value.
-frames<string> Lets you specify a frame list; for example, (1,3,5-12) or all.
-stillFrame or -sf Indicates that this is a still-frame render; no frame suffix will be added.
-imageSequenceFile:<0/1/2> Image-sequence file creation: 0=none; 1=.imsq; 2=.ifl
-gammaCorrection:<1/0> Toggles gamma correction. “1”=On, “0”=Off.
-gammaValueIn:<number> Sets the Input Gamma value.
-gammaValueOut:<number> Sets the Output Gamma value.
-continueOnError If an error is encountered, 3ds Max attempts to continue rendering.
-videopostJob:<1/0> Turns Video Post on or off for the job.

Render Flags

Switch Effect
-showRFW:<1/0> or -rfw:<1/0> Toggles the Rendered Frame Window. “1”=On, “0”=Off.
-skipRenderedFrames:<1/0> Toggles Skip Existing Images. “1”=On, “0”=Off.
-videoColorCheck:<1/0> Toggles Video Color Check. “1”=On, “0”=Off.
-force2Sided:<1/0> Toggles Force 2-Sided. “1”=On, “0”=Off.
-renderHidden:<1/0> Toggles Render Hidden. “1”=On, “0”=Off.
-atmospherics:<1/0> Toggles Atmospherics. “1”=On, “0”=Off.
-superBlack:<1/0> Toggles Super Black. “1”=On, “0”=Off.
-renderFields:<1/0> Toggles Render Fields. “1”=On, “0”=Off.
-fieldOrder:even or odd Toggles Field Order. Default=”Odd”.
-displacements:<1/0> Toggles Displacement Mapping. “1”=On, “0”=Off.
-effects:<1/0> Toggles Render Effects. “1”=On, “0”=Off.
-useAreaLights:<1/0> Toggles area lights/shadows. “1”=On, “0”=Off.
-useAdvLight:<1/0> Toggles use advanced lighting. “1”=On, “0”=Off.
-computeAdvLight:<1/0> Toggles compute advanced lighting. “1”=On, “0”=Off.
-ditherPaletted:<1/0> Toggles Output Dithering (paletted). “1”=On, “0”=Off.
-ditherTrueColor:<1/0> Toggles Output Dithering (true-color). “1”=On, “0”=Off.
-renderElements:<1/0> Toggles render elements (true-color). “1”=On, “0”=Off.

Backburner Job Submission

These switches concern submitting a rendering job for network rendering. For further information, see Network Rendering. Also, for a different method of network rendering via the command line, see Backburner Command Line Control.

Switch Effect
-submit[:manager_name] or -s[:manager_name] Submits the scene, <filename> to a specific manager system for network rendering.
NoteThis is the only switch that requires a colon separator.
-port:<integer> Specifies a manager port number.
-netmask:<string> Lets you specify a network mask other than 255.255.255.0.
-jobName:<string> Lets you specify a job name to render.
-priority<integer> Sets job priority.
-suspended:<1/0> Toggles initially suspended. “1”=Yes, “0”=No.
-writeJobFile Writes all job settings to an XML file. The file uses the same name as the MAX file, so, for example, test.max produces test.xml.
-readJobFile:<filename> Reads all job settings from an XML file.
-waitLoad:<integer> The amount of time to wait for 3ds Max to load, in minutes. Default=20.
-waitRender:<integer> The amount of time to wait for 3ds Max to render, in minutes. Default=600.
-waitUnload:<integer> The amount of time to wait for 3ds Max to unload, in minutes. Default=10.
–platform:32 or 64 The platform (either 32– or 64–bit) that your scene will be rendered on. Use this switch when you want to render your scene on a different platform from the platform where you created your scene.

Bitmap Parameters

Switch Effect
-BMP_TYPE:2 or 8 Sets the type of BMP file being rendered. “2”=paletted, “8”=true 24-bit.
-JPEG_QUALITY:1 to 100 Sets the JPG quality value. Ranges from 1 to 100.
-JPEG_SMOOTHING:1 to 100 Sets the JPG smoothing value. Ranges from 1 to 100.
-TARGA_COLORDEPTH:16, 24 or 32 Sets the color depth for TGA files.
-TARGA_COMPRESSED:<1/0> Toggles TGA Compression. “1”=On, “0”=Off.
-TARGA_ALPHASPLIT:<1/0> Toggles TGA Alpha Split. “1”=On, “0”=Off.
-TARGA_PREMULTALPHA:<1/0> Toggles TGA Pre-Multiplied Alpha. “1”=On, “0”=Off.
-TIF_TYPE:<0/1/2/3/4> Sets the TIF type. “0”=mono, “1”=color, “2”=logl, “3”=logluv, “4”=16–bit color.
-TIF_ALPHA:<1/0> Toggles TIF file alpha. “1”=On, “0”=Off.
-TIF_COMPRESSION:<1/0> Toggles TIF Compression. “1”=On, “0”=Off.
-TIF_DPI:<number> Sets the dots-per-inch value for TIF files.

For each of the following -RLA_xxxx switches, there is a corresponding -RPF_xxxx option.

Switch Effect
-RLA_COLORDEPTH:8, 16 or 32 Sets the RLA color bitdepth.
-RLA_ALPHA:<1/0>: Toggles RLA Alpha. “1”=On, “0”=Off.
-RLA_PREMULTALPHA:<1/0> Toggles RLA Premultiplied Alpha. “1”=On, “0”=Off.
-RLA_DESCRIPTION:<string> Lets you specify an RLA description (in quotes).
-RLA_AUTHOR:<string> Lets you specify an RLA author name (in quotes).
-RLA_ZDEPTHCHANNEL:<1/0> Toggles RLA Z-Depth Channel. “1”=On, “0”=Off.
-RLA_MTLIDCHANNEL:<1/0> Toggles RLA Material ID Channel. “1”=On, “0”=Off.
-RLA_OBJECTIDCHANNEL:<1/0> Toggles RLA Object Channel. “1”=On, “0”=Off.
-RLA_UVCHANNEL:<1/0> Toggles RLA UV Coordinates Channel. “1”=On, “0”=Off.
-RLA_NORMALCHANNEL:<1/0> Toggles RLA Surface Normals Channel. “1”=On, “0”=Off.
-RLA_NONCLAMPEDCOLORCHANNEL:<1/0> Toggles RLA Non-Clamped Color Channel. “1”=On, “0”=Off.
-RLA_COVERAGECHANNEL:<1/0> Toggles RLA Coverage Channel. “1”=On, “0”=Off.

The following -RPF_xxxx switches do not have corresponding -RLA_xxxx options.

Switch Effect
-RPF_NODERENDERIDCHANNEL Turns on RPF Node Render ID Channel.
-RPF_COLORCHANNEL Turns on RPF Color Channel.
-RPF_TRANSPCHANNEL Turns on RPF Transparency Channel.
-RPF_VELOCCHANNEL Turns on RPF Velocity Channel.
-RPF_WEIGHTCHANNEL<1/0> Turns on RPF Sub-Pixel Weight Channel.
-RPF_MASKCHANNEL Turns on RPF Sub-Pixel Mask Channel.
Switch Effect
-EXR_USEEXPONENT EXR use exponent on/off
-EXR_EXPONENT EXR exponent value (decimal)
-EXR_PREMULTALPHA EXR premultiplied alpha on/off
-EXR_ALPHA EXR save alpha component on/off
-EXR_RED EXR save red component on/off
-EXR_GREEN EXR save green component on/off
-EXR_BLUE EXR save blue component on/off
-EXR_BITDEPTH EXR bit depth: 0=8–bit integers; 1=half float; 2=float
-EXR_USEFRAMENUMDIGITS EXR use number of frame digits on/off
-EXR_FRAMENUMDIGITS EXR number of frame digits (integer)
-EXR_COMPRESSIONTYPE EXR compression type: 0=no compression; 1=RLE; 2=ZIP (1 scanline); 3=ZIP (16 scanlines); 4=PIZ
-EXR_USEREALPIX EXR use RealPix RGB data on/off