Avid Locator Importer app

Shotgun’s Avid Locator Importer app makes it easier and faster than ever to get information about which Shots are in or out of the cut, as well as the order they appear in the cut, out of the editing system, and into Shotgun. The only requirements are that you're using an Avid editing system and making use of Markers (also referred to as “Locators”) for Shot identification.

The process is simple. First, a file with locator information is exported from the Avid. Drag that file into the app, and it updates your Shotgun project.

Preparing and exporting editing system data

In the Avid, open the Markers window for your sequence, and ensure each Shot has a marker with the Shot name and a color based on the Shot type:

  • Magenta for non-VFX Shots
  • Yellow for VFX Shots that are not turned over
  • Blue for VFX Shots that are turned over
Note: The app can be configured to allow for different colors and statuses you might need. It will ignore colors it doesn’t recognize.
Tip: The app will automatically try to detect the shot name, even if they have been appended with things like “1 of 2” or “_bg_01”.

When you’re ready, export them as a tab-delimited text file to the folder of your choice. Repeat this for any other sequences.

Note: In order for the process to work correctly, Locators should be annotated with Shot names as they appear in Shotgun, and you should export one Sequence per reel.

Tip: If you’re planning to import multiple files, drag in the folder containing all the files instead.

Import to Shotgun

Once you have one or more locator files, you’re ready to use Shotgun’s Import Avid Locator app.

To launch the app, either:

  • Open the Shotgun Desktop app, browse to your project, and click the Import Avid Locator icon, or
  • Choose Project Actions > Launch Avid Locator Importer in your browser, from any page in your Shotgun project.

Note: You must have the Shotgun Desktop app installed. For more information about the Shotgun Desktop app, see Getting started with Shotgun Desktop.

The Avid Locator Importer window will be shown.

To load your Locator information, either:

  • Click “Load Locator File…” and browse for the file you exported, or
  • Drag the file or folder onto the app.

Once the Locators are loaded, the app will generate a report on the left-side and update the “Shot Summary” section on the right with details about the changes that will be made when the import completes:

  • “Total Shots” shows the total number of unique Shots to be imported
  • “VFX” shows the total number of unique VFX Shots to be imported
  • “Non-VFX” shows the total number of unique non-VFX Shots to be imported
  • “New” shows the total number of Shots that do not yet exist in the Shotgun project
  • “Reinstated” shows the total number of Shots to be imported that have a Cut Status of inactive in the Shotgun project
  • “Omitted” shows the total number of Shots that have a Cut Status of active in the Shotgun project, but are not included in the shots to be imported
  • “Repeated” shows the total number of Shots that occur more than once across the Locators
  • “Warnings” shows the total number of issues found across the Locators
Tip: Be sure to check the “Repeated” section carefully, as this can reveal potential issues with the Locators, such as unintentionally using the same Shot name across different locators. The "Warnings” section can also reveal Shots that may have been incorrectly named.

You can change which reels are used to compare the Shots, with the “Import Context” setting:

  • “All Shots” compares the information against all shots in the Shotgun project
  • “Reel” allows one or more specific reels to be used for comparison (only Shots associated with selected reels will be considered)
  • “None” allows importing Locators without updating existing Shot information in the Shotgun project
Tip: The “None” context is useful for doing a partial reel import, for example you just want to update a small section of a reel which is undergoing lots of changes.

Review the information and when you’re ready to proceed, click Import:

The app will then do the following:

  1. Create a new Cut
  2. Create Cut Items for each Locator imported
  3. Create Shots for new Shots in the Locators
  4. Link Cut Items to matching Shots for each Locator
  5. Update each Shot’s Cut Status
  6. Update each Shot’s Cut Order
  7. Update each Shot’s Reel
  8. Update each Shot’s Repeated in Cut checkbox
  9. Update each Shot’s Non VFX Shot checkbox
  10. Update each Shot’s VFX Edit Status
Note: The reel to use is detected based on the hour timecode, so a 01-hour timecode would correspond to reel 1.

Once the process completes, you can close the app.

Controlling Avid Locator Importer’s behavior

You can modify how the importer works under “Shotgun Import Options”:

  • “Reuse Cut If Exists” will attempt to find an existing Cut in the Shotgun project to update when checked. If it’s unchecked, or if no existing Cut is available, the app will create a new Cut.
  • “Create Shots” will allow the app to create new Shots in the Shotgun project when checked. If it’s unchecked, the app will ignore any new Shots in the import.
  • “Template” will use the specified task template when the app creates new Shots.
  • “Update Shot Fields” allows you to check which fields on Shots you want the app to update during import.


How is this app different from the Import Cut app?

Because Locators do not contain Cut info regarding where Shots are cutting in and out, the main difference between the two apps is the Avid Locator Importer will not update the Shot's Cut In, Cut Out, Cut Duration fields, whereas the Import Cut app can. In general, the Import Cut app focuses on "micro" cut changes (e.g., specific to individual Shots), whereas the Avid Locator Importer covers more "macro" changes, from the perspective of the entire movie or reel.

For shots repeated in the cut, how do you update the Shot's Cut Order field?

The app updates the Shot's Cut Order field based on the first time a repeated Shot appears in the Locators. Similarly, if a Shot appears more than once across reels, the app updates the Shot's Reel field based on the Reel the Shot first appears in.

I want to compare my current Locators with a previous set of Locators I imported, is that possible?

No. Currently, the app will only compare the Locators with the Shots currently in Shotgun.



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