Stamp the timeline markers as cut number

Blender 2.66

I’m getting to know Blender VSE. It’s quite capable of making an animatic.

There are really helpful addons that make editting in Blender easier:



Making animatic, you’ll need to imprint cut number or frame number on the video itself for easy referencing later. In other editting software, like Premiere, you have to create titles one by one, but in Blender, you can use stamp to imprint these information with less effort.


I put markers at every cut, rename them to cut number, the ‘Marker’ stamp then would indicate the cut number.


Using mouse to position the playhead at the exact cutting point could be cumbersome, I end up assigning a shotcut key of the ‘Cut previous’ / ‘Cut next’ of the Jump-to-cut addon to the < and > keys respectively.


Then my process of putting markers at the cutting point would be pressing keyboard

>  m > m > m > m …and so on

After every markers is put in place I rename them all at once with this script

import bpy
i = 1
for Marker in bpy.context.scene.timeline_markers:

(there should be indentation for the last 2 lines, WordPress rips them off)

Turn on Stamp and the information would be imprinted on the rendered frames

*I’m still looking for an easy way to change the word ‘Marker’ on the rendered frame to something else, at the moment it seems like it was hard-coded in the source, which could be next to impossible to change. :-(


I’ve found the code to change the word ‘Marker’.

It’s in source/blender/blendkernel/intern/image.c

line 1531

Screenshot from 2013-04-28 11:05:00

I have to re-compile blender, though.

Screenshot from 2013-04-28 11:09:42

More elaborated solution would be a textbox for user to enter custom prefix. I’ll look into that later. All hail the Opensource !!! 😀

Copy camera aperture settings from main camera to stereo

Blender 2.63a
Stereoscopic Add-on 1.6.7 

Stereoscopic camera add-on from helps generate stereo camera for 3D rendering.

It does the job well, except when working with DoF in Cycles. The add-on doesn’t copy the aperture setting from main camera the the stereo ones.

So I wrote a  script to automate this.

After setting up stereo cameras, create an empty text and paste this script.

import bpy

thisCam =["L_Camera"] =["Camera"].data.cycles.aperture_blades =["Camera"].data.cycles.aperture_size =["Camera"].data.cycles.aperture_rotation =["Camera"].data.cycles.aperture_type

thisCam =["R_Camera"] =["Camera"].data.cycles.aperture_blades =["Camera"].data.cycles.aperture_size =["Camera"].data.cycles.aperture_rotation =["Camera"].data.cycles.aperture_type

and run script.

Use Python script to generate render filepath

Blender 2.63a

When dealing with hundreds of shots, it could be painful to change the render filepath manually. So I wrote a script to automate this task based on .blend file name.

For example, I organise my files to be named like – S05C04_20120727.blend
Where S = scene, C = cut, and those 8 digits are the date this file has been changed.

I like my render filename to be the same with blend file but strip the date part out.

So, in Text Editor, paste this script

import bpy

currentfilename = bpy.path.display_name_from_filepath(

#this will store the current file name (with ".blend" truncated)
#into a variable called "currentfilename"
#so now, currentfilename hold a string 'S05C04_20120727'

renderfilepath = '//../render/'+currentfilename[:-9]+'/'+currentfilename[:-8]

#the [:-9] means truncate last 9 charactors out of the string
#so currentfilename[:9] would be 'S05C04'
#and currentfilename[:-8] would be 'S05C04_'
#renderpath variable would be '//../render/S05C04/S05C04_'['Scene'].render.filepath = renderfilepath
#don't forget to change 'Scene' to your actual scene name

Now press ‘Run Script’, you’ll see the render filepath change.

You can run this script with other blend file as well. For running from command line without opening the GUI, You have to add another line at the end

#to save changes that you've made.

and save it as a .py, like –

Now, from command line, run

blender -b S03C12_20120727.blend -P

This will change the setting inside the S03C12_20120727.blend file without the need to run Blender GUI.

Render from command line

Blender 2.63a

You can render a scene without opening the blender interface from command line

in windows – cmd
in linux or mac – terminal

Provided everything is set and ready to be rendered, to render animation type in command

blender -b filename.blend -a

For more advance options, you can use python script to change some settings in the blend file before render.

Create an empty text file with your favorite text editor (or in blender). Copy & paste these example settings.

import bpy

#change scene name to yours
Scenename = 'Scene'

# quality[Scenename].render.resolution_x = 2048[Scenename].render.resolution_y = 1080[Scenename].render.resolution_percentage = 50[Scenename].render.use_antialiasing = True[Scenename].render.use_full_sample = True

# frame range[Scenename].frame_start = 1[Scenename].frame_end = 5

# image format[Scenename].render.image_settings.file_format = 'TIFF'[Scenename].render.image_settings.quality = 80[Scenename].render.image_settings.color_mode = 'RGBA'

# Cycles sampling[Scenename].cycles.samples = 200

# stamp[Scenename].render.use_stamp = 1[Scenename].render.stamp_background = (0,0,0,1)

# output[Scenename].render.filepath = '//render/test_'[Scenename].render.use_placeholder = True[Scenename].render.use_overwrite = False

# start render animation

The important lines are the first and the last. Other lines can be changed to fit your need. The properties names are quite self-explained. The # sign is for comment line, will be ignored by the interpreter. You can hover the mouse over any boxes or buttons in Blender to see the script associated.

More details can be found at blender python api reference :


Save the text as ‘’. You might put it in the same folder as the blend file for convenient.

To start render from command line, type

blender -b filename.blend -P


Fix: Rigify – ‘Rig Layers’ missing from linked file

Blender 2.63a

Rigify rig comes with a handy script to toggle bone layers/ FK-IK switch from the right panel.

But when the charactor is linked into a new file, this script just got lost.

You need to ‘Append’ a text called ‘’ from that source file and run it once to get the panel back.

append text from source file.

switch to ‘Text Editor’, load the appended ‘’ and click ‘Run Script’ once.

Now the panel is back. while the ‘Register’ is ticked, the script will automatically run every time the scene is loaded, so you don’t have to do it manually again (for this scene).