Getting started with Blenderseed

Blenderseed is a Blender 2.62 (and later) add-on that generates self-contained appleseed projects from Blender scenes. Once installed, the add-on presents itself as an additional entry in the File → Export menu:

Table of contents:

  1. Installing Blenderseed
  2. Exporting and rendering Blender's default scene
  3. Conclusion

1. Installing Blenderseed

Blenderseed is installed like any other Blender add-on:

  1. Start Blender.
  2. Go to File → User Preferences...
  3. Click on the Install Add-On... button at the bottom of the window.
  4. Locate and select the file: you will find it in the extras/blender/ directory of your appleseed installation.
  5. In the Add-Ons tab, in the Import-Export section, locate the row "Import-Export: appleseed project format" and click on the checkbox on the right to enable the add-on.

That's it. You should now have a new "appleseed (.appleseed)" menu entry in File → Export.

2. Exporting and rendering Blender's default scene

Let's export the default Blender scene to appleseed and render it. The default Blender scene is made of a single cube, a camera and a point light:

  1. Go to File → Export → appleseed (.appleseed) to open the exporter panel.
  2. Go to the directory where you wish to save the appleseed project, click on the Create New Directory button, type "test", then open this directory.
  3. Type "test.appleseed" in the file name input box, then click Export.

If there's no message and you're just back to Blender's main window, that means the export went fine.

Let's now render this scene in appleseed:

  1. Start (check out part 1 of this tutorial in case of doubt).
  2. Click on File → Open Project... and open the test.appleseed project file we saved to disk earlier.
  3. Press F5 (or go to Rendering → Start Interactive Rendering) to start the progressive, interactive renderer.
  4. Press Shift-F5 (or go to Rendering → Stop Rendering) once you're satisfied with the rendering quality.

3. Conclusion

There's much more to it. In the next tutorial we will go over the various export options and settings: what they mean, what they do and in which situations they can be useful.

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So this has to be with Blender internal correct?

I tried this using a cycles render/yafaray render and the screen just stays black. Now I'm a tad lazy but I can presume that this renderer only works using the materials that blender internal uses. Any chance of a fix so it works with the cycles render materials as well?

Franz's picture

Indeed, Blenderseed only

Indeed, Blenderseed only translates Blender's built-in materials.

It would be interesting and relatively straightforward to support Cycles or LuxRender materials, unfortunately we don't have the resources to focus on this right now.

As usual we'll gladly assist and help anyone interested in extending Blenderseed in this direction.


Cycles Support

I wish I had experience in programming Blender. Cycles support would be amazing.

White screen :)

I do exactly the same things that you do in this tutorial but i become always a white render.
The same problem is at the appleseed/tests/blendseed/ files but the the internal cornell box file works and also the .appleseed files in appleseed/scenes.
And an other issue is that some of the menue points not working when i click it.

my system scpecs are: iMac7,1 Intel Core 2 Duo 2.4 GHz RAM 4 GB OSx 10.5.8

blender:2.62.0 oficial version from (r44136)

appleseed:1.1.0 alpha-11 32bit

greetings from austria

Franz's picture

Hi,This is strange. Can you


This is strange. Can you make sure you're not inadvertently switching on a diagnostic mode? If you go to the DiagnosticsOverride Shading menu, make sure that No Override is checked.

As for the fact that some menus are non-functional, this is intended, not all features planned for 1.1.0 are implemented at this point.

Thanks for your feedback!


the same

I have the exact same problem ubuntu 64bit. I exported from the official blender 2.62 since 2.63 with bmesh doesn't works.
internal cornell box is the only one that works

hope too see it alive looks promising!

Franz's picture

Hi, If you're using Blender


If you're using Blender 2.63, you need to install Blenderseed 1.1.6 which is compatible with Blender 2.63 and BMesh.

If you're using Blender 2.62, Blenderseed 1.1.5 ought to work correctly. If the render is all white, you can try moving the camera backward (Ctrl/Command key pressed, right-click with the mouse inside the render area and drag the mouse down) to check if it's simply that the camera is misplaced.

If nothing works, can you send us your scene (by email: Ideally both the .blend file and the appleseed project.

Hope this helps.


oh wow

with Blenderseed 1.1.6 it indeed works!
what about animation?


Franz's picture

Glad to hear it works.

Glad to hear it works. Animation isn't supported by Blenderseed yet but it will be supported in the next release.


Setting up the renderer on Ubuntu

Good evening!
First of all, thank you very much for sharing this wonderful render engine! :)
The Software works well - I just wanted to comment on the installation guide for Ubuntu 64 bit.
As I tried to open the renderer, Ubuntu told me that it was missing some libaries.
The easiest way to solve the problem:
1. Terminal
2. sudo cp -r [appleseed-dic]/bin/* /usr/lib
the bad side: all the executables in the folder are copied aswell. But I'm lazy, so this is alright :)
I don't know if anybody using Ubuntu has the same problem, but you could add this little issue into a article about troubleshooting.
Thanks a lot again and have a nice time!

Franz's picture

Hi, Thanks for the kind


Thanks for the kind words! Glad to hear it works well.

Do you remember which error did you get? If it was related to libicu ("error while loading shared libraries: cannot open shared object file: No such file or directory"), the solution is to install the version 4.2 of libicu. See this post for more details.

Another thing: did you use the script located in bin/ to start

Thanks for your feedback.


Very welcome :)

Well, okay, I didn't try the .sh. I went straight to the executive. The .sh would have solved the problem before creating it, I guess... I ought to read more carefully :D
Anyways, it is nice to have another rendering engine ready which is set between the fast Cycles render and the accurate Luxrender in terms of physical influence. And even on top of that, the engine is running with a quite decent speed already. I will keep myself updated and I will follow the development of this render engine carefully. Thank you again for sharing it.
Have a nice time!

Hi Im confused

Hi! Im new to appleseed and blenderseed and I would like to clear out my confusions.. Could you animate in Blender and import it to appleseed or just export the meshes in blender and animate in appleseed?.. I wanna clear this out before I try apple and blenderseed

Franz's picture

Hi, Normally you would


Normally you would animate in Blender and export a serie of frames to appleseed. That's the way it will eventually work, but the current version of Blenderseed does not support animation yet. We plan to release Blenderseed 1.1.7 with animation support during this summer.