Manim provides an extensive configuration system that allows it to adapt to many different use cases. There are many configuration options that can be configured at different times during the scene rendering process. Each option can be configured programmatically via the ManimConfig class, or at the time of command invocation via command line arguments, or at the time the library is first imported via the config files.

The ManimConfig class

The most direct way of configuring manim is via the global config object, which is an instance of ManimConfig. Each property of this class is a config option that can be accessed either with standard attribute syntax, or with dict-like syntax:

>>> from manim import *
>>> config.background_color = WHITE
>>> config['background_color'] = WHITE

The former is preferred; the latter is provided mostly for backwards compatibility.

Most classes, including Camera, Mobject, and Animation, read some of their default configuration from the global config.

>>> Camera({}).background_color
<Color white>
>>> config.background_color = RED  # 0xfc6255
>>> Camera({}).background_color
<Color #fc6255>

ManimConfig is designed to keep internal consistency. For example, setting frame_y_radius will affect frame_height:

>>> config.frame_height
>>> config.frame_y_radius = 5.0
>>> config.frame_height

The global config object is mean to be the single source of truth for all config options. All of the other ways of setting config options ultimately change the values of the global config object.

The following example illustrates the video resolution chosen for examples rendered in our documentation with a reference frame.

class ShowScreenResolution(Scene):
    def construct(self):
        pixel_height = config["pixel_height"]  #  1080 is default
        pixel_width = config["pixel_width"]  # 1920 is default
        frame_width = config["frame_width"]
        frame_height = config["frame_height"]
        d1 = Line(frame_width * LEFT / 2, frame_width * RIGHT / 2).to_edge(DOWN)
        self.add(Text(str(pixel_width)).next_to(d1, UP))
        d2 = Line(frame_height * UP / 2, frame_height * DOWN / 2).to_edge(LEFT)
        self.add(Text(str(pixel_height)).next_to(d2, RIGHT))

Command line arguments

Usually, manim is ran from the command line by executing

$ manim <> SceneName

This asks manim to search for a Scene class called SceneName inside the file <> and render it. One can also specify the render quality by using the flags -ql, -qm, -qh, or -qk, for low, medium, high, and 4k quality, respectively.

$ manim <> SceneName -ql

These flags set the values of the config options config.pixel_width, config.pixel_height, config.frame_rate, and config.quality.

Another frequent flag is -p (“preview”), which makes manim show the rendered video right after it’s done rendering.


The -p flag does not change any properties of the global config dict. The -p flag is only a command line convenience.


To render a scene in high quality, but only output the last frame of the scene instead of the whole video, you can execute

$ manim <> SceneName -sqh

The following example specifies the output file name (with the -o flag), renders only the first ten animations (-n flag) with a white background (-c flag), and saves the animation as a .gif instead of as a .mp4 file (-i flag). It uses the default quality and does not try to open the file after it is rendered.

$ manim <> SceneName -o myscene -i -n 0,10 -c WHITE


There are many more command line flags that manim accepts. All the possible flags are shown by executing manim -h. A complete list of CLI flags is at the end of this document.

The config files

As the last example shows, executing manim from the command line may involve using many flags at the same time. This may become a nuisance if you must execute the same script many times in a short time period, for example when making small incremental tweaks to your scene script. For this purpose, manim can also be configured using a configuration file. A configuration file is a file ending with the suffix .cfg.

To use a configuration file when rendering your scene, you must create a file with name manim.cfg in the same directory as your scene code.


The config file must be named manim.cfg. Currently, manim does not support config files with any other name.

The config file must start with the section header [CLI]. The configuration options under this header have the same name as the CLI flags, and serve the same purpose. Take for example the following config file.

# my config file
output_file = myscene
save_as_gif = True
background_color = WHITE

Config files are read with the standard python library configparser. In particular, they will ignore any line that starts with a pound symbol #.

Now, executing the following command

$ manim <> SceneName -o myscene -i -c WHITE

is equivalent to executing the following command, provided that manim.cfg is in the same directory as <>,

$ manim <> SceneName


The names of the configuration options admissible in config files are exactly the same as the long names of the corresponding command line flags. For example, the -c and --background_color flags are interchangeable, but the config file only accepts background_color as an admissible option.

Since config files are meant to replace CLI flags, all CLI flags can be set via a config file. Moreover, any config option can be set via a config file, whether or not it has an associated CLI flag. For a list of all CLI flags and all config options, see the bottom of this document.

Manim will look for a manim.cfg config file in the same directory as the file being rendered, and not in the directory of execution. For example,

$ manim <path/to/> SceneName -o myscene -i -c WHITE

will use the config file found in path/to/, if any. It will not use the config file found in the current working directory, even if it exists. In this way, the user may keep different config files for different scenes or projects, and execute them with the right configuration from anywhere in the system.

The file described here is called the folder-wide config file, because it affects all scene scripts found in the same folder.

The user config file

As explained in the previous section, a manim.cfg config file only affects the scene scripts in its same folder. However, the user may also create a special config file that will apply to all scenes rendered by that user. This is referred to as the user-wide config file, and it will apply regardless of where manim is executed from, and regardless of where the scene script is stored.

The user-wide config file lives in a special folder, depending on the operating system.

  • Windows: UserDirectory/AppData/Roaming/Manim/manim.cfg

  • MacOS: UserDirectory/config/manim/manim.cfg

  • Linux: UserDirectory/config/manim/manim.cfg

Here, UserDirectory is the user’s home folder.


A user may have many folder-wide config files, one per folder, but only one user-wide config file. Different users in the same computer may each have their own user-wide config file.


Do not store scene scripts in the same folder as the user-wide config file. In this case, the behavior is undefined.

Whenever you use manim from anywhere in the system, manim will look for a user-wide config file and read its configuration.

Cascading config files

What happens if you execute manim and it finds both a folder-wide config file and a user-wide config file? Manim will read both files, but if they are incompatible, the folder-wide file takes precedence.

For example, take the following user-wide config file

# user-wide
output_file = myscene
save_as_gif = True
background_color = WHITE

and the following folder-wide file

# folder-wide
save_as_gif = False

Then, executing manim <> SceneName will be equivalent to not using any config files and executing

manim <> SceneName -o myscene -c WHITE

Any command line flags have precedence over any config file. For example, using the previous two config files and executing manim <> SceneName -c RED is equivalent to not using any config files and executing

manim <> SceneName -o myscene -c RED

There is also a library-wide config file that determines manim’s default behavior, and applies to every user of the library. It has the least precedence, so any config options in the user-wide and any folder-wide files will override the library-wide file. This is referred to as the cascading config file system.


The user should not try to modify the library-wide file. Contributors should receive explicit confirmation from the core developer team before modifying it.

Order of operations

With so many different ways of configuring manim, it can be difficult to know when each config option is being set. In fact, this will depend on how manim is being used.

If manim is imported from a module, then the configuration system will follow these steps:

  1. The library-wide config file is loaded.

  2. The user-wide and folder-wide files are loaded, if they exist.

  3. All files found in the previous two steps are parsed in a single ConfigParser object, called parser. This is where cascading happens.

  4. logging.Logger is instantiated to create manim’s global logger object. It is configured using the “logger” section of the parser, i.e. parser['logger'].

  5. ManimConfig is instantiated to create the global config object.

  6. The parser from step 3 is fed into the config from step 5 via ManimConfig.digest_parser().

  7. Both logger and config are exposed to the user.

If manim is being invoked from the command line, all of the previous steps happen, and are complemented by:

  1. The CLI flags are parsed and fed into config via digest_args().

  2. If the --config_file flag was used, a new ConfigParser object is created with the contents of the library-wide file, the user-wide file if it exists, and the file passed via --config_file. In this case, the folder-wide file, if it exists, is ignored.

  3. The new parser is fed into config.

  4. The rest of the CLI flags are processed.

To summarize, the order of precedence for configuration options, from lowest to highest precedence, is:

  1. Library-wide config file,

  2. user-wide config file, if it exists,

  3. folder-wide config file, if it exists OR custom config file, if passed via --config_file,

  4. other CLI flags, and

  5. any programmatic changes made after the config system is set.

A list of all config options

['aspect_ratio', 'assets_dir', 'background_color', 'background_opacity', 'bottom',
'custom_folders', 'disable_caching', 'dry_run', 'ffmpeg_loglevel', 'flush_cache',
'frame_height', 'frame_rate', 'frame_size', 'frame_width', 'frame_x_radius',
'frame_y_radius', 'from_animation_number', 'images_dir', 'input_file',
'leave_progress_bars', 'left_side', 'log_dir', 'log_to_file',
'max_files_cached', 'media_dir', 'media_width', 'movie_file_extension', 'output_file',
'partial_movie_dir', 'pixel_height', 'pixel_width', 'plugins', 'png_mode',
'preview', 'progress_bar', 'quality', 'right_side', 'save_as_gif', 'save_last_frame',
'save_pngs', 'scene_names', 'show_in_file_browser', 'sound', 'tex_dir',
'tex_template', 'tex_template_file', 'text_dir', 'top', 'transparent',
'upto_animation_number', 'use_opengl_renderer', 'use_webgl_renderer', 'verbosity',
'video_dir', 'webgl_renderer_path', 'webgl_updater_fps', 'write_all',

A list of all CLI flags

Manim Community v...
usage: manim file [flags] [scene [scene ...]]
       manim {cfg,init,plugins} [opts]

Animation engine for explanatory math videos

positional arguments:
  file                  Path to file holding the python code for the scene
  scene_names           Name of the Scene class you want to see

optional arguments:
  -h, --help            show this help message and exit
  -o OUTPUT_FILE, --output_file OUTPUT_FILE
                        Specify the name of the output file, if it should be different from the scene class name
  -p, --preview         Automatically open the saved file once its done
  -f, --show_in_file_browser
                        Show the output file in the File Browser
  --sound               Play a success/failure sound
                        Leave progress bars displayed in terminal
  -a, --write_all       Write all the scenes from a file
  -w, --write_to_movie  Render the scene as a movie file (this is on by default)
  -s, --save_last_frame
                        Save the last frame only (no movie file is generated)
  -g, --save_pngs       Save each frame as a png
  -i, --save_as_gif     Save the video as gif
  --disable_caching     Disable caching (will generate partial-movie-files anyway)
  --flush_cache         Remove all cached partial-movie-files
  --log_to_file         Log terminal output to file
                        Specify background color
  --media_dir MEDIA_DIR
                        Directory to store media (including video files)
  --log_dir LOG_DIR     Directory to store log files
  --tex_template TEX_TEMPLATE
                        Specify a custom TeX template file
  --dry_run             Do a dry run (render scenes but generate no output files)
  -t, --transparent     Render a scene with an alpha channel
  -q {k,p,h,m,l}, --quality {k,p,h,m,l}
                        Render at specific quality, short form of the --*_quality flags
  --low_quality         Render at low quality
  --medium_quality      Render at medium quality
  --high_quality        Render at high quality
  --production_quality  Render at default production quality
  --fourk_quality       Render at 4K quality
  -l                    DEPRECATED: USE -ql or --quality l
  -m                    DEPRECATED: USE -qm or --quality m
  -e                    DEPRECATED: USE -qh or --quality h
  -k                    DEPRECATED: USE -qk or --quality k
  -r RESOLUTION, --resolution RESOLUTION
                        Resolution, passed as "height,width". Overrides the -l, -m, -e, and -k flags, if present
                        Start rendering at the specified animation index, instead of the first animation. If you pass in two comma separated values, e.g. '3,6', it will end
                        the rendering at the second value
                           Render animations using the OpenGL renderer
  --use_webgl_renderer     Render animations using the WebGL frontend
  --webgl_renderer_path WEBGL_RENDERER_PATH
                        Path to the WebGL frontend
  --webgl_updater_fps WEBGL_UPDATER_FPS
                        Frame rate to use when generating keyframe data for animations that use updaters while using the WebGL frontend
  --config_file CONFIG_FILE
                        Specify the configuration file
  --custom_folders      Use the folders defined in the [custom_folders] section of the config file to define the output folder structure
                        Verbosity level. Also changes the ffmpeg log level unless the latter is specified in the config
  --version             Print the current version of Manim you are using
  --progress_bar True/False
                        Display the progress bar

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