Rendering through Python

Is there a way to use rhino api to do something like SetFlythroughAnimation without needing to render an active view? Ideally I would like to make a camera, then attach it to a curve, and use some flat render settings along that path. These latter issues are easily resolved with python in general, but the render part is confusing.

It seems all the render scripts assume some active viewport, but I want to do this in a background and then save to file. Any suggestions?