Server-side 3D Graphics (image/Animated gif) Application - No GUI

I require guidance on how to set up a specific server-side application.

I have a linux server (preferably) which the application will reside in. I also have Maya running currently on Windows which will be used to create 3D environments and objects.

I have a good 3D modeller and character animator and would like to translate some of his work to server-side automated scripts by adding text or objects to the animated files.

The outcome should be a server-side application that can receive command-line arguments such as

application.exe object1 environment1 text1

or just an environement and text environment1 text1

and will result in producing an image file or series of animated images that can be converted to an animated gif.

Alternatively, I am open to using other frameworks such as OpenGL, WebGL, HTML5 etc. to produce an image or series of animated still-images that will be initiated by a command-line call.

My goal is to produce something that can create 3D images without starting up any GUI, that can take models and environments from 3D programs such as Maya, Cinema4D, 3Dstudio Max etc and preferably something lightweight that can handle an output of 100 to 1000 images per minute.


Many render engines support command line render in standalone mode. For example: Mental Ray, V-Ray and so on. But they are pretty expensive. Instead you can use some free software like Blender it also supports command line renderer. In case of WebGL you can use something like SlimerJS It should be pretty simple to set up.

Here is a partial list of renderers you might want to try out:

Some free some not so free.

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