Batch Prerenders: BFX or render node?

  • Right click create BFX and render
  • Render node
  • It depends
  • I hate prerendering
  • I hate everything

0 voters

Any strong opinions on whether to use render nodes or BFX to speed things up in Batch?

To me, render nodes seem ‘safer’ - not sure why, they just give off a solid, old school vibe. I always use render nodes if I’m using a plugin like Neat that another artist might not have.

But BFX are much easier to drop in, because you just right click and you’re done - no messing around with node settings. Not sure if they bug out tho - I’ve had bugs with timeline BFX.

Do they both function the same from a speed POV?


I use Write node to render to our server and I bring back (and cache) the openClip so that it can easily get updated if need to.

I am a huge fan of the pre render to help keep things moving quickly :hugs:


I have a PreRender Batchreel, that is the render node’s target location. By doing this the finished render will be automatically put underneath the rendernode in batch, making it much faster than the BFX.
Especially in larger comps it takes ages to generate the BFX every time after changes had been made before.

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I do exactly the same thing and have done for years, makes life so much easier and its amazing the difference in render time using pre-renders vs rendering the whole setup, especially if you only need to do tweaks later on in your tree.
When I archive out my shot, I always include my pre-renders.

I was firmly in the BFX camp for the longest time. Recently however, I’ve moved to using Write nodes. I didn’t realize how “heavy” Batch setups could be using BFX for pre-renders.


Anyone using openclips for prerenders can mux those into the main render’s openclip stream if they’d like in order to have a single openclip for all renders.

It’s an interesting trick to hijack the openclip structure.

I know you’re already aware @PlaceYourBetts, just thought I’d post for others.


No! I did not know this :exploding_head:

In fact I am mildly confused. I will have a read of that post. Thanks @cnoellert


We export to batch clip
I got in trouble at one facility where the batch FX ended up in the setup directory. Almost took the whole place down. Felt like an idiot. Right @Alan?

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This is definitely the way to tightly organize a job. If you employ this process just keep an eye on the “versions”. Flame treats this tag uniquely and naming the versions becomes crucial. It can be easy to create loops where you’re overwriting pre renders. But once you’re up and running, then this is a FANTASTIC way to cache and pre-render anything volatile (paint?) or approved in your schematic.

The major advantages in a collaborative environment is multiple flame artists working concurrently on the same comp.

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My previously experiences told me, use BFX as pre-render will increase the size of the Batch setup, sometimes the enormous size of the setup cause Flame freeze when loading. Moreover the BFX can crash or generate error render from time to time. Due to all those issues that sometimes really damage my job even company’s credibility, I don’t rely on it anymore.

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I’m in the pre-renders with Write Nodes and bringing them back with Openclips to manage versions camp.

I try to keep my flame archives sub 100mb and BFX takes up precious space. I also have a potentially irrational dislike of BFX so that keeps me away from that workflow too.

The Include open clip button in the write node settings combined with the custom version field makes it so every time you hit render on that prerender you get a new version, which I think is nice.

I have a nice little sampling platter of Write Nodes for all occasions saved into my user bin that I pull out that looks at the metadata of the batch to control where it goes so I’m not carefully setting that up every time I prerender. Specifically labeled denoise, paint, and general purpose prerenders.


Write Nodes FTW

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