Using the importer to create and track things

Entity is the name we give to the “things” you track in a project, such as an Asset, Sequence, Shot or Level. The Project navigation bar has links to landing pages for each of these entities, so that you can access them quickly. If an entity you want isn’t displayed on the navigation bar, it can be found under the Other menu.

Admins can choose what entities show up on the Project nav bar by selecting “Navigation” from the Project Actions menu and then dragging in entities from the list below.

Creating entities

To create an entity, such as an Asset or Shot, go to the landing page of that entity via the Project navigation, and then select the + [Entity] button from the menu options at the top of the page:

Asset Sequence Shot Version

This will bring up a New Entity dialogue window. For example, to add a new Asset to a Project:

  • Navigate to the Assets landing page, by selecting Assets from the Project navigation bar.
  • Create a new Asset by selecting the Asset button from the toolbar at the top of the page.
  • Give your Asset a name, and add in any other relevant information in the Create New Asset dialog.
  • Click Create asset.

Duplicating selected

You can also create a new entity by duplicating one or more existing ones. Select the things you want to copy, right-click and choose Duplicate selected. Then change the name and edit any other fields that need to change.


This is a great way to make new things that share a lot of the same field values, such as if you need to create a new Character Asset that is a male, background character, etc. Just choose another male background character, duplicate the selected, change the name, and you are good to go.

Using the importer

To create or update many entities at once, use the batch importer. You’ll find it in the More menu on most entity pages.

Import Assets

You can also click on the Import link (available from the header of any page in Shotgun).

Importer button

Next, choose one of the entity types from the menu, which will bring up the importer overlay.


About the import menu

The contents of this menu are determined by a combination of your permissions, and what entity types are enabled for your Shotgun site. So, an artist user would have a much more restricted set of entity types listed in the import menu based on permissions. Also, disabled entity types (in site preferences) will never appear for any user in the import menu.

Then, select a project. This field is required for things that require a project association, which is almost every entity type, since Shotgun works on a project-based structure. If you begin the import process from a project page, the importer will default to that project. Things that don’t require a project selection:

  1. Any enabled Custom non project entity
  2. People (People has a Projects field, which controls permissions for non-admins, and this is different than the special single-project association)
  3. Groups
  4. Projects
  5. Scripts
  6. Task Templates

Step 1: Copy and paste in your data.

To use the importer, copy data from a spreadsheet, such as an Excel or OpenOffice doc. Make sure your data includes the first row with the name of each column, to help the importer identify where the data should go in Shotgun.


Pro Tip: If the spreadsheet you are importing includes any multi-entity fields, such as a multi-entity Link field, always be sure to separate the data points with a single comma only ',' (no other spaces or characters). If you have additional spaces or characters between data points, only the first value of the field will be recognized when you import your spreadsheet into Shotgun.

Correct: TST001,TST002,TST003
Incorrect: TST001, TST002, TST003

(In the Incorrect example, only 'TST001' would be present in the field upon import as there are spaces being used with the commas)

Next paste that data into the first page of the importer.

Step 1

Step 2: Confirm what data goes in which field in Shotgun.

The importer will try to match the column names you paste in, but you can change the field manually if the mapping doesn’t come through correctly by default.

Step 3: Specify ID fields.

If you’d like your import to create brand new records, don’t check any fields. Otherwise, specify one or more fields that the importer should treat as a unique key to look up existing records to update. The best field to use here is ID because that is unique across an entity, so it leaves the least room for error. Other common fields to use here are Shot Code or Asset Name, as those are often (but not always) kept unique within a given Project.

Step 3

Pro Tip: The easiest way to batch update a lot of information at once is to export the page as a .csv file and open it as a spreadsheet. The .csv export automatically includes the "id" field for whatever entity you are exporting, so this means you can make any necessary changes, and then use the importer to update everything in Shotgun at once. For importer Step 3, you’ll want to choose the “id” field to match the existing records, as this field is always unique per entity and will make sure your updated data is put in the right place.

Step 4: Review your data and make any needed corrections.

You can correct any flagged errors, if there are any, or just make last-minute tweaks. This step of the importer allows you to double-click into the individual cells and edit data, just like you would be able to in a Shotgun grid.

Step 5: Import.

Click Import button. Once the import is completed, you will have the option to return to the page you started on, or view a page showing only the data you just imported or updated.

Import success

Other types of entities


You can create notes on anything you’re working on in Shotgun, and link notes to the things you’re tracking in Shotgun:

Overview notes

On the Overview tab within the Detail page for most entities (i.e., Shots, Assets, Versions, etc.), you can type a note directly into the update stream. Those people who are following the entity will receive an update in their inbox.

From a List View:

You can add a Note to most entities from a List view List View page, such as the Assets landing page. Select all the Assets you’d like to make a Note on. Then right-click and choose Add note.

Checking any of the Assets listed will include the Artist assigned to that Asset in the distribution of the Note. When adding Notes to multiple Assets, you also have the option to create a single Note linked to all the Assets, or create individual Note threads for each Asset.

New note


A Version is Shotgun’s way to track an iteration of work that is submitted for review. Versions can be linked to Assets, Shots, or any other entity for which you need to track review materials and approval status. Versions can be linked to one parent entity in the Link Field.

Versions & Review


The Published File entity tracks data published by Shotgun’s Pipeline Toolkit (formerly known as Tank) and any other integrated asset management system. For each publish, a record can be created in Shotgun to track key metadata, including who published the files, the type of files, the file paths, etc.



Tasks are used to track each unit of work that needs to be done as part of a workflow. Tasks can be linked to one parent entity in the "Link" field, such as an Asset, Shot, or Sequence. Tasks also hold schedule info, including start and end dates, and duration. Tasks are assigned to the people who need to work on them, and then they automatically appear on their My Tasks page.



  • 0
    Huong Nguyen

    Is there a way to disable the Import option?

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