Blender Set Frame Plugin

Blender plugin to quickly set the render frame range start and end property from the currently selected sequence clip.

Editing and exporting old VHS footage in Blender

I’ve been editing some old family movies in Blender by scanning VHS tapes into a computer and then cutting them into smaller segments based on the clip contents.

My workflow

  • Import the video clip into the Blender sequence editor.
  • Locate all of the blue gaps and VHS noise in between videos. (I’m looking to automate placing cut markers next with OpenCV)
  • Cut the video into clean segments to remove noise and empty footage.
  • Trim the VHS noise from the edges of each frame. (Cropping edges)
  • Set the frame start and end range to the current clip.
  • Add a timestamp and title to each segment to be used as the export title.
  • Render each section to disk.

To render animations in Blender, the frame start and end properties must be set in order to provide the rendering start and stop times. When I began working on this, I could not easily find the active frame in Blender despite looking all over the UI after upgrading to 2.5. I ended up building a browser plugin to make this process more efficient. The plugin is a button that takes the currently selected clip and sets the frame range property for export to the highlighted clips start and end frames.


A week after building the plugin, I opened Blender and noticed buried in one of their menus is an option that does the exact thing I was looking for: Sequencer > View > Range > Set Frame Range to Strip. Additionally the UI was now displaying the current frame which was not previously visible. I was confused why it was removed to begin with, as it was in older versions of Blender. All I can figure is that I removed it from the UI by accident and restarting brought it back.

I can bind the newly found menu option to a hotkey now that I know where the built in option is, but since I’ve already wrote the plugin, I wanted to share it here.

Next Steps

This was not a wasted effort as it gave me a chance to familiarize myself with the Blender plugin API. It also directed me to build a more advanced plugin that automates exporting many clips from a current scene into separate videos that I’ll be open sourcing soon.


  • To install, visit and download the zip file in the repo.
  • In Blender open preferences, click add-ons, install, and navigate to the zip file download.
  • Check the checkbox to enable the plugin.
  • Note that Export Utils shows up on the bottom right of the sequencer side bar. If it is not displaying, press n or Sequencer > View > Sidebar and then select the Export Utils tab on the right.
  • Select the clip to export and press the Set frame range from selection button.
  • Press CMD + F12 to render animation.
Author Avatar

Matt Carrier

I am a pixel connoisseur who enjoys the finer details of a Bresenham line. When not staring at arrays of smoothly rendered pixels I enjoy playing guitar and consuming coffee.