Render when idle

Blender addon: Render when idle

You dream to be able to pause Blender animation render?
Your GPU rendering take away too many PC’s resources?
You would like to use computer and don’t stop render manually?
Your dream comes true!

“Render when idle” is an addon for Blender that can start render animation when OS is idle (the mouse is inactive)

Render when idle don’t support Linux and OS X for now!
Please, try to install PyAutoGUI on OS X or Linux manually!
More: https://pyautogui.readthedocs.io/en/latest/install.html

Note! This addon doesn’t pause rendering process!

This addon stops rendering via pyautogui module if Blender detects mouse activity or continue it if Blender detects mouse inactivity

How it works:

1) After click the Render button the addon will start waiting when the mouse will be inactive
2) Render will start if Blender detects mouse inactivity within 3 seconds
3) Render will be stopped if Blender detects mouse activity
4) Render will be continued from the stop frame if Blender detects mouse inactivity again
5) Render will be not started if mouse will be placed on Blender window edge
6) To stop the addon make it “not watching” (click corresponding button)

How to install:

1) install “Render when idle” addon on the Add-ons tab in the Blender User Preferences from downloaded archive;
2) enable “Render when idle” addon;
3) use “Render when idle” addon panel on the Render tab on the Properties area


1) If the user will click window minimize button than render process will be RWI-paused. The render will be continued after blender window will be showed. For this feature was developed the “backlash zone” – if the cursor will be placed on blender window edge then render process will not start
2) If blender window will cease to be active and will not be minimized, then the RWI can’t watch for the cursor, so the user will have to stop the RWI and click RWI “Render” button again
3) The users can setup the idle time on the RWI preferences in the Blender User Preferences (“Waiting times” field)

Render when idle addon panel:


Render when idle addon preferences in the Blender User Preferences:


Example of workflow:

You can download the addon here:
Download “Render when idle” addon for Blender

  • blazer003

    This is a cool addon, now if only we could actually pause a render with this. (I know, Blender doesn’t have that functionality.) It seems like it would be a simple enough feature to devs to add to Blender, you can pause the viewport render. Anyway, for long renders (2-5+ minutes per frame) I would really love it if whenever I was idle for a bit it would sneak in a few samples.

    As for something doable that you could change, I would like to sometimes set the seconds of inactivity before activation to something like 180 or even 300. Again, with 5 min per frame rendering, I don’t really want it turning on and off repeatedly if it can’t get a frame done. With 180-300 seconds, I activate the addon and keep working, but it will render if I’m actually away from my computer, instead of 15 seconds where I could be just reading a document or something. Keep up the great work! It’s ingenuity like this that makes me love Blender all the more!

    • Alexey

      Thank you for the comment!
      You can set the seconds of inactivity (“waiting times” field on the addon-Blender preferences panel) in 1-15 range, but if you would like to set bigger range you have to open “init” add-on file and edit 61 line max value (restart Blender after edit the file).
      Or you can minimize Blender window, then render process will not start while Blender window is minimized! And you will be able to read documets or something 🙂
      Best regards!