Learn to Animate


Rendering is the animation term for converting your animation resources into a specific image or video format. This is similar to exporting.
  1. In Preferences, go to "Import/Export"
  2. set FFmpeg path (to enable video import and export)
    1. download FFmpeg and move to "Documents"
    2. under Import/Export, click on the ... next to "FFmpeg path"
    3. use the "File Browser" to find the correct folder

  3. change FFmpeg Timeout to at least 600
The render settings are available in the program menu under "Output Settings".
  1. Open "Output Settings" (File → Output Settings or CMD-O)
  2. In Output Settings:
    1. Camera Settings:
      1. Choose the Frame Start (most often 1, unless you are rendering only part of the scene)
      2. Choose the End Frame (usually the last frame with a drawing, unless you are rendering only part of the scene)
      3. You can change other camera settings for size & resolution but keep in mind they may change what is visible in the camera
    2. File Settings:
      1. Choose a name for the scene (this is important if you want to render multiple parts of your scene separately)
      2. Choose the output location (click on the 3 dots next to output)
      3. Choose the file type (default is .tif - an image format)
      4. Change the "Resample Balance" to change the quality of the output video or image
  3. You can render directly from the output settings by pressing the render button


  1. File → Render (Shift-CMD-R)
    1. When rendering images (except for animated gif's, the finished render will open in OpenToonz
    2. When rendering video, the finished render will not open in OpenToonz - you can open it from your output location (there is also a preference you can enable to open the new video in the computer's default player

Fast Render to MP4

  1. "Fast Render to MP4" automatically renders a .mp4 video file using your Desktop as the location - but otherwise follows the Output Settings
  2. File → Fast Render to MP4 (Alt-R)

Working with multiple scenes:

For the most customization and creative control of your animation, your scenes can be loaded and arranged in a single scene.

  1. Create and save a new scene
  2. Load each scene as a sub-xsheet
  3. Reposition the sub-xsheets as necessary by dragging and dropping into the desired position in the Xsheet/Timeline
  4. Use FX to create transitions if desired
  5. Set output settings and increase FFMPEG timeout in preferences before rendering
  1. Render each scene as an image sequence (tif's or png's)
  2. Export your soundtrack (if necessary)
    1. File → Export Soundtrack
  3. Create and save a new scene
  4. Load each image sequence as a level
  5. Reposition the levels as necessary by clicking on very left of the column and dragging into the desired position
  6. Add audio as necessary
  7. Use FX to create transitions if desired
  8. Set output settings and increase FFMPEG timeout in preferences before rendering
  9. Render video

Using a video editor to combine your scenes together is sometimes easier and less laggy but also results in a loss of creative control.

  1. Render each scene as a video file
  2. Open iMovie
  3. In the Media tab, use one of the following techniques to import your video files:
    1. File → Import Media
    2. Click on the Import icon (or drag files over the icon)
    3. Right-click on the date in the sidebar and select "Import Media"
  4. Create a Project
    1. Select the "Project" tab
    2. Click the "Create New" icon
    3. Select "Movie"
  5. Add your media clips
    1. With My Media active, drag and drop your video clips into the timeline
  6. Add transitions if necessary (planning the transitions in OT gives you better control)
    1. Select "Transitions"
    2. Drag and drop any transitions you want to use into the timeline
    3. Right-click the transition (in the timeline) to adjust the length of the transition
  7. Add Titles and/or Credits (if not already made in OT)
    1. Select "Titles"
    2. Drag and drop the titles and/or credits you want to use into the timeline
    3. If you drop directly on top of a video clip, the title text will display on top of the video
    4. With the title selected in the timeline, double-click in the preview window to edit the text
    5. In the timeline, click and drag the edge of the title to extend or shorten the length of the title sequence
  8. Export the video
    1. Go to File → Share → File
    2. Select your export settings and click on "Next..."
    3. Select your export location and click on "Save"
    4. A notification will pop-up in the top right of your screen when the export is complete
It is possible to render scenes from multiple cameras — but only one at a time. This means that when the image sequence or video for more than one camera is rendered, it is like rendering multiple scenes.

For each camera:
  1. Open the Output Settings
    1. File → Output Settings
  2. Adjust the Output Settings:
    1. Select the camera
    2. Specify the frames you are rendering
    3. Choose a name, file type and location
  3. Render your video or image sequence
  4. Repeat for each camera
    1. Change the Output Settings as necessary
    2. Make sure to change the name each time
  5. Combine the rendered sequences/videos together by following the directions on the "Scenes" tab