RV is a high-end playback tool that you can integrate with Shotgun to do casual desktop reviews, or to collaboratively view Versions during dailies. Using rvlink, you can open RV on any version in Shotgun. Note that Shotgun has released a built-in Review & Approval tool called Screening Room that builds more functionality on top of the Shotgun/RV Integration. Read more about Screening Room here.
Contents of this guide:
Let’s start by going to a Playlists page
Here we are in Shotgun looking at a list of playlists that have been created to manage review sessions. We’ll click on the animation dailies playlist.
We’ll look at the Animation Dailies Playlist in detail
Clicking on the animation dailies playlist takes you to a page that lists Versions by artists that need to be reviewed. Versions can be sorted in cut order or given a custom sort order. Note that the yellow cells contain information for the rendered frames and the blue cells contain information for rendered movies. RV can use both sets of data...
These versions were created each time an artist submitted one for review.
Select some Versions to play in RV
I can select one or more versions then right click to play or compare them in RV.
RV loads the movies from Shotgun, and plays the first one
RV launches and loads up the frames or movies automatically. If you choose ‘Play in RV’, All the Versions are lined up on a single timeline (Sequence mode), with markers showing where one Version ends and the next one begins. The order in which the Versions are lined up in RV mirrors the page sort order in Shotgun. Depending on the Version and its available media, RV will either stream the media from Shotgun or playback locally stored files.
Note: If you’re viewing the Versions one-by-one (as shown above), and wish to view them side-by-side, just choose Tools > Session Mode > Tile.
RV can also play all the movies side-by-side
To view all the Versions in the playlist at once just choose ‘Compare in RV’ from the Shotgun page. This presents all the media side by side (Tile mode).
Note: If you’re viewing the Versions side-by-side (as shown above), and wish to view them one-by-one, just choose Tools > Session Mode > Sequence.
You can also pan and zoom
CTRL+Drag on a PC, or APPLE+Drag on a Mac to resize the media within the RV window. Alternately, use the number keys on your keyboard to manipulate the scale (1=100%). Press the ‘f’ key to reframe the image within the current window dimensions.
CTRL+Alt+Drag on a PC, or APPLE+Alt+Drag on a Mac to move the media within the RV window. Press the ‘f’ key to reframe the image within the current window dimensions.
Let’s look at the current Version’s metadata
Because Shotgun and RV are integrated, you have access to a brand new set of tools that can be accessed in a new Shotgun menu. For example, I’ll bring up the Shotgun info widget that shows meta data stored in SG for each Version. This widget can be customized to display any information you are tracking in Shotgun that is helpful to see in the context of the review.
To get more detailed information about the current Version, you can deep link from RV right into Shotgun to the Version, Shot, or Asset detail page.
What about viewing Versions in context of the cut?
Often, the first version in a Shotgun review playlist is not shown in context of the cut. If you’d like to view any Version like that, it’s no problem since RV can access cut data from Shotgun. Just choose Shotgun > Current source > Isolate Version and Neighbors. This launches a new RV window with my Version and the shots on either side from the latest cut.
What if you want to see all the Versions for a single Shot?
You can do that too. Just click Shotgun > Current source > All Versions of the Shot. RV creates a new session (in a new RV window), and all Versions that the current Shot is in, are loaded in one after the other by the date they were created. if you want to look at them all at once to check continuity, you can flip into tile mode by choosing Tools > Session Mode > Tile.
Switching between movie and frames
I’ve set up my default prefs in RV to always load movies from Shotgun, but what if you need to see more detail? Just choose Shotgun > Swap Media > Frames from the menu to swap in the frames on the fly. This allows you to look at jpg, dpx, and exr image sequences at the same time. This example illustrates one of the cool things about rv.... it magically handles color. If I flip off the color conversion we can see the color shift. RV just handles that detail for you.
Adding a Note on a Version
Now let’s say you want to make a note on any Version you are looking at. This workflow works particuarly well if you’re a supervisor sitting at your desk working through a list of versions submitted to you by artsits for reveiw. To make a note, just click current source > add note to this version.
And up comes a note form in shotgun addressed to the artist and linked to both the version and shot. I can type my note and hit enter, which sends an email directly to the artist.
Now let’s say you are that artist. In comes an email from Shotgun with the note from your supervisor. This email includes links to jump back into Shotgun to the Version, Shot, or Asset to see more context.
Sending RV Links
Anytime you’re viewing Shotgun media in RV, you can grab a special RVLINK URL by choosing Shotgun > Session URL for a link to the entire session, or Shotgun > Version URL for a link to a single version. You can send these links around via email, IM, internal web pages, and anywhere you can paste a link. Clicking on those links immediately launches RV and starts playback of the version or session. Because these links are ‘shotgun-aware’, they keep your RV playback connected to the Shotgun ecosystem.
When RV loads media from Shotgun in RV, it gives you access to a lot of Shotgun functionality. This section describes how to use those menu items.
As you view media in RV, press <SHITFT I> using your keyboard. This brings up the Shotgun info widget which displays data about the currently playing Version into an overlay right on top of the RV window. It’s important to note that this data is pulled from Shotgun when the RV session begins. If anything changes in Shotgun during your RV session—for example, if someone changes a Shot status—you should use Update > Shotgun Info to guarantee that you’ve got the latest Shotgun information displayed in the Info Widget.
Tip: you can drag the info widget around just by selecting it and moving it.
Configuration: To configure the fields in the Shotgun Info Widget you need to edit your shotgun_fields_config_custom.mu file and add the fields you want to see in the fieldDescriptors area and then set the displayOrder. The displayOrder will show and define the order of fields in the info box while the configs in the fieldDescriptors section will configure the data loading from Shotgun.
Click this to send your browser to a Shotgun URL that shows a new Note form prepopulated with the right information—like Project, Version, Version > Link.
Click this to send your browser to a Shotgun URL of the currently playing Version’s detail page.
Only active if the currently playing Version is linked to a Shot. Click this to send your browser to a Shotgun URL of the currently playing Version’s linked Shot detail page.
Only active if the currently playing Version is linked to an Asset. Click this to send your browser to a Shotgun URL of the currently playing Version’s linked Asset detail page.
Copies an RV session URL to your system clipboard. When pasted, this URL looks like this:
Copies an RV Version URL to your system clipboard. When pasted, this URL looks like this:
Click this to toggle playback to frame sequence. For example, suppose you store both Path to Frames and Path to Movie in Shotgun. In RV, if you’re viewing a Version’s frames (eg: its image sequence) clicking Swap Media > Movie will instantly toggle playback—at your current frame number—to the Version’s movie file (eg: quicktime)
Click this to toggle playback to frame sequence. For example, suppose you store both Path to Frames and Path to Movie in Shotgun. In RV, if you’re viewing a Version’s movie (eg: its .mov file) clicking Swap Media > Frames will instantly toggle playback—at your current frame number—to the higher res frames.
If chosen, this tells RV to play all frames for all selected Versions. Full length is determined by 2 fields on Version stored in Shotgun: First Frame and Last Frame.
If chosen, this tells RV to play all frames minus the slate (if one exists) for all selected Versions. Whether or not Versions have slates is stored in Shotgun as a field on Version: Frames Have Slate.
If chosen, this tells RV to play only the frames of all cuts for all Selected Versions. Cut in and cut out are stored in Shotgun as fields on Shot: Cut In and Cut Out. Note that in order for this menu item to be applied, your Versions must be linked to Shots (and not Assets or Elements).
Updates the Shotgun info widget with data dynamically pulled from Shotgun. So, if anything changed after your RV session started—like a Shot status was changed—running Update > Shotgun info just refreshes RV with the latest information from Shotgun.
Loads in the latest Version—using Shotgun’s Date Created field on Version—for the current Shot or Asset.
Determines whether or not RV will play back the movie (Path to Movie) or frames (Path to Frames).
- Load Movies (default)
- Load Frames
Frame Range Options
Determines the frame range of each Version loaded into RV from Shotgun.
- Full Length (default)
- Without Slate
- Cut Length
Determines what the default display mode for playback of multiple Versions in RV.
- Tiled (default)
- Over, With Wipes
Set Preferred Dept
Determines which Versions RV should load in when RV displays media that hasn’t explicitly been requested. For eample, when "updating to latest" or when finding neighbors to display a version in cut context (which also picks the "latest"), there is some uncertainty about which Version you want. In both cases, if the preferred dept is set you get the latest Version (of the relevant Shot or Asset) whose department = the preferred dept. If preferred dept is not set, you get the latest version from any dept. Default is ‘Any’.
Set Shotgun Server
A site may have multiple servers, in which case the "Server Map" in the config file will list them all with keys. The first one in that list will be used by default, or you can set this pref to use a different one. Note that it’s not needed (has no effect) if you only have one server in the server map.
Set Shotgun Config Style
Determines which configuration file RV will use when it starts up. By default this is unset—meaning that it will attempt to load in a custom configuration file.
Determines whether the spinner in the upper right of the RV window displays. This spinner, when visible, indicates that a request to shotgun is in progress (and how many entities it’s handling). This is on by default.
RV has the ability to turn an http:// request of a certain form into an rvlink:// url. This is good because all apps (email, chat, etc) will render and make clickable http urls, while many mishandle rvlink urls. The consequence of checking this is that the links —when clicked—are slower to load because of their reliance on the browser.