renderdl reads a file containing scene description commands and “executes” them to produce an image. renderdl also has some auxiliary usage as explained in the parameters description below.

In the simplest form, to render a file named file.nsi, just type:

renderdl file.nsi 

Command Line Options

Option                               Description
-displayDisplay the images in 3Delight Display while rendering instead of writing them to file (as specified in the NSI file).

Render the file using 3Delight Cloud instead of locally.

Typically (depending on cloud ressources available), rendering will occur using around 96 cores per image for images up to 2K in resolution and proportionally more for higher resolutions.

You will need to be signed in to your 3Delight account through 3Delight Display before launching the render command. Alternately, you can specify your login credential in the 3delight.config file.

-cloudspeed n

Boost the number of cores used when rendering by a factor of "n". The default value is "1" when rendering multiple images to file or "5" in the case when the -display option is used and there is only one image to render. The maximum value is 30.

When rendering multiple images we recommend using the default value. This is because additional cores are used more efficiently by rendering several images simultaneously. How many depends on your internet speed and your Spending Rate Limit (for Batch Renders). You can read more about this in Cloud Rendering Speed.

Note: When rendering a 4K resolution image, approximately 280 cores will be used at the "cloudspeed" of "1". Proportionally more or less cores for higher or lower resolution. Refer to the table in this page for more details on how many cores are used at various resolutions for "cloudspeed" of 1, 3, 9 and 27.

Faster cloud speed are more expensive due to efficiency degradation when using a large number of cores on a single image. This is especially true when the initialisation phase (time to first pixel) takes a fair proportion of the render time.

-collective nameRender the file using the network collective "name" instead of locally. For this option work, you must have pre-defined your collectives as explained in 3Delight Collective.
-lowpriorityLaunch the render using a lower system priority. This is useful when using the same machine for batch renders and 3Delight Collective renders.


Launch 3Delight Display to display the image while rendering instead of writing images to files (as specified in the NSI file).

(Obsolete option. It is replaced with the -display option.)

-t n

Controls the number of cores/threads to use when rendering.

If "n" is a whole number it implies:

n > 0 : Use exactly "n" threads.
n < 0 :  Use all but "n" threads.

If "n" is a fraction between 0 and 1, then a fraction of the available cores will be used (eg. -t 0.5 specifies to use half of the available cores.

By default, renderdl use as many threads as there are available cores (including virtual/logical cores).

This option is ignored when the option -cloud or -collective is used.


Embed statistics in rendered images. This is supported for EXR and TIFF files only. Statistics are explained in more detail in Detailed Statistics.

-progressPrints a progress status after each rendered bucket.

Print the NSI commands in human readable ascii format instead of processing them for rendering. This can be used to convert a binary (or compressed) NSI file into an human readable ASCII file:

renderdl -cat binary.nsi.gz > ascii.nsi
-cat -binary

Outputs the NSI commands in binary format. For example:

renderdl -cat -binary ascii.nsi > binary.nsi
-cat -gzip

Outputs the NSI file in compressed form. For example:

renderdl -cat -gzip ascii.nsi > ascii.nsi.gz
-cat -callprocedurals expand all procedurals and archives. This is very useful when packaging an NSI file.
-cat -o filenameoutput NSI stream to filename instead of stdout.
-lua Interpret input file as a LUA file.
-vPrints the current version of the renderer.

Prints the help.

No File Name Specified

If no file name is specified, renderdl reads scene description commands from the standard in. This feature enables piping commands directly in renderdl. For example, to enter scene description commands interactively (which is not really practical), do the following:

Reading (stdin)
<enter commands here>

If you wish to pipe the content of file.nsi in renderdl, type: 

cat file.nsi | renderdl

Shell Return values

The renderdl executable will return one of the following values:

Return ValueDescription
0No error.
1Bad combination of parameters. An error message will explain why.
199Option "licensing" "waitforlicense" 0 was used and no license was available.
255The NSI file specified on the command line could not be read.

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