External Render Tool

While it's possible to render images directly in the Filmmaker, it is not recommended. You can use an external rendering tool instead, which has the following advantages:

  • It's much faster than rendering directly in Pragma (since more GPU resources are available if Pragma is not running)
  • You don't have to keep Pragma running in the background during the render process
  • You can keep working on projects without affecting the rendering
  • It's specialized for a single task and therefore less likely to crash than Pragma
  • You can use both your CPU and GPU simultaneously when rendering animations
  • You can cancel it any time, frames that have already been rendered will not be lost (except for the current one)

To use the external rendering tool, follow these instructions:

  1. Launch PFM like usual and load your project
  2. Switch to the "Cycles-renderer" tab
  3. Instead of clicking "Render Image(s)" to render your images, click the "Create render job(s)" button

This will create a snapshot-file (".prt") for each frame, which contains all of the scene data required to render them. Once complete, a new explorer window should appear with a "render.bat" (or "render.sh" on Linux systems) file. Executing this file will start the actual rendering process, for which Pragma is no longer required (i.e. you can close it).

The external render tool currently has different tone mapping behavior than Pragma. The tone mapping options you have specified in Pragma will be ignored, and it will always use the "filmic-blender" tone mapper instead.
You can add "-tone_mapping=none" to the arguments in the batch script to render HDR-images without tone-mapping instead.

The images will be rendered one after the other and placed in the same directory as the ".prt"-files. Once all images have been rendered you can remove all of the .prt-files as they are no longer required.