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Creating movies

Godot can record non-real-time video and audio from any 2D or 3D project. This kind of recording is also called offline rendering. There are many scenarios where this is useful:

  • Recording game trailers for promotional use.

  • Recording cutscenes that will be displayed as pre-recorded videos in the final game. This allows for using higher quality settings (at the cost of file size), regardless of the player's hardware.

  • Recording procedurally generated animations or motion design. User interaction remains possible during video recording, and audio can be included as well (although you won't be able to hear it while the video is recording).

  • Comparing the visual output of graphics settings, shaders, or rendering techniques in an animated scene.

With Godot's animation features such as the AnimationPlayer node, Tweeners, particles and shaders, it can effectively be used to create any kind of 2D and 3D animations (and still images).

If you are already used to Godot's workflow, you may find yourself more productive by using Godot for video rendering compared to Blender. That said, renderers designed for non-real-time usage such as Cycles and Eevee can result in better visuals (at the cost of longer rendering times).

Compared to real-time video recording, some advantages of non-real-time recording include:

  • Use any graphics settings (including extremely demanding settings) regardless of your hardware's capabilities. The output video will always have perfect frame pacing; it will never exhibit dropped frames or stuttering. Faster hardware will allow you to render a given animation in less time, but the visual output remains identical.

  • Render at a higher resolution than the screen resolution, without having to rely on driver-specific tools such as NVIDIA's Dynamic Super Resolution or AMD's Virtual Super Resolution.

  • Render at a higher framerate than the video's target framerate, then post-process to generate high-quality motion blur. This also makes effects that converge over several frames (such as temporal antialiasing, SDFGI and volumetric fog) look better.

Warning

This feature is not designed for capturing real-time footage during gameplay.

Players should use something like OBS Studio or SimpleScreenRecorder to record gameplay videos, as they do a much better job at intercepting the compositor than Godot can do using Vulkan or OpenGL natively.

That said, if your game runs at near-real-time speeds when capturing, you can still use this feature (but it will lack audible sound playback, as sound is saved directly to the video file).

Enabling Movie Maker mode

To enable Movie Maker mode, click the "movie reel" button in the top-right corner of the editor before running the project:

Movie Maker mode is disabled, click the "movie reel" icon to enable

Movie Maker mode is disabled, click the "movie reel" icon to enable

The icon gets a background matching the accent color when Movie Maker mode is enabled:

Movie Maker mode is enabled, click the "movie reel" icon again to disable

Movie Maker mode is enabled, click the "movie reel" icon again to disable

Movie Maker status is not persisted when the editor quits, so you must re-enable Movie Maker mode again after restarting the editor if needed.

Note

Toggling Movie Maker mode while running the project will not have any effect until the project is restarted.

Before you can record video by running the project, you still need to configure the output file path. This path can be set for all scenes in the Project Settings:

Movie Maker project settings (with Advanced toggle enabled)

Movie Maker project settings (with Advanced toggle enabled)

Alternatively, you can set the output file path on a per-scene basis by adding a String metadata with the name movie_file to the scene's root node. This is only used when the main scene is set to the scene in question, or when running the scene directly by pressing F6 (Cmd + R on macOS).

Inspector view after creating a ``movie_file`` metadata of type String

Inspector view after creating a movie_file metadata of type String

The path specified in the project settings or metadata can be either absolute, or relative to the project root.

Once you've configured and enabled Movie Maker mode, it will be automatically used when running the project from the editor.

Command line usage

Movie Maker can also be enabled from the command line:

godot --path /path/to/your_project --write-movie output.avi

If the output path is relative, then it is relative to the project folder, not the current working directory. In the above example, the