This document describes functionality only available if you have taken control over a Toolkit configuration. Please refer to the Shotgun Integrations User Guide for details. Prior to the Shotgun Desktop was released, Toolkit was installed and set up via a command line script. If you for some reason still would like to use this legacy process rather than our new and official UI based process, this document outlines how.
This document describes how you install and configure your first setup of the Shotgun Pipeline Toolkit
using the command line based activation script.
Note! For most use cases, we strongly recommend that you use the Shotgun Desktop to activate Toolkit.
This document outlines the command line based setup workflow that was used before the Shotgun Desktop
was released. If for some reason the Shotgun Desktop isn't suitable to use to get started, the steps outlined
below may be useful.
In a nutshell, you need the following in order to run the Shotgun Pipeline Toolkit:
- A Shotgun site, either local or hosted. If you don't have a Shotgun installation yet,
you can sign up for a free evaluation here: http://www.shotgunsoftware.com
- Your operating system needs to be Windows, Linux or Macosx
- Python v2.6 or later (but not v3.x) installed.
Installing Python on Windows (Click to expand)
On Linux and Macosx, python is included as part of the system. On windows, you need to
install it yourself. We recommend that you use 64 bit Python 2.7 and you can download
an installer here: http://www.python.org/ftp/python/2.7.5/python-2.7.5.amd64.msi
It's still a bit technical!
Please note that installing the Shotgun Toolkit is still currently a bit technical, requiring work on the
command line and manual editing of config files. Our target audience is pipeline developers.
Total installation time should be 20 minutes or so if you use our default configurations.
Activating the Toolkit for your Shotgun site
The first thing to do is to activate the Shotgun Pipeline Toolkit. Once you have activated
the Toolkit, you will be able to set up Shotgun projects with the Toolkit, install apps for them,
etc. This first activation step includes a couple of different things: Installing the Core
Pipeline Toolkit API on your machine, tweaking some settings inside of Shotgun and installing
the Shotgun Browser plugin which acts as a bridge between Shotgun running in your Browser and
the Toolkit and the various application where the Toolkit is running.
Step 1. Check your Shotgun Site
Does your Shotgun site address end with
shotgunstudio.com? In that case, congratulations!
You should be all set and your site has already been prepared for the Toolkit Setup!
Please continue to Step 2.
If not, please drop us a line on
firstname.lastname@example.org - it
is possible that your site has not yet been fully prepared for Toolkit and the Shotgun team may
need to go in and do some small adjustments before you can get going!
Step 2. Make sure the Toolkit is enabled!
Before doing anything else, make sure you have actually turned on support for the Toolkit inside
of Shotgun. You do this by logging in as an admin, navigating to the Manage Apps menu and then
clicking the switch icon next to Toolkit:
Step 3. Location on disk for the example installation
The Shotgun Pipeline Toolkit is highly configurable, and in you can configure it to match your existing
studio file system structure. For your very first test install, we suggest using a simple
test structure. This setup consists of three key locations on disk:
The project data root
/mnt/projects - this is where all the production data for all
projects will be stored. This includes things like maya scenes, renders, Nuke scripts,
images. Before proceeding, make sure that this folder exists on disk.
The studio root
/mnt/software/shotgun/studio - this contains the installation of the Shotgun
Pipeline Toolkit core API.
Configurations inside of
/mnt/software/shotgun - there is one configuration folder for each
project. Before proceeding, make sure that this folder exists on disk.
Note that you don't need to use the locations outlined above - it is entirely up to you
to decide where things should go on disk and the installation process will prompt you
for all file locations. The rest of this document, however, will assume that you are using
the locations shown above.
If you are running on Windows, we recommend that you can use the same setup, but with the drive
letter prefix (e.g.
Step 4. Create a Shotgun API 'Toolkit' script for you site
The next step is to create an API Script inside of Shotgun. This script will be used
by the Pipeline Toolkit whenever it needs to communicate with Shotgun. The activation
script will ask for this when it establishes a connection to your Shotgun server.
Make sure you are logged in as an administrator, then use the top-right main menu to navigate to
the Scripts page in Shotgun and create a new script named Toolkit (with a capital T).
Make sure it belongs to the
API Admin permissions group:
When Shotgun creates a new API Script, it generates a random authentication key which is needed
whenever you use it. The Pipeline Toolkit activation script will ask for this script key as part of
the installation process, so now is a good time to navigate to the API Script detail page and copy
that value to the clipboard.
Step 5. Set up a Local File Storage named 'primary'
Now we need to tell Shotgun where files are stored on disk. In our suggested configuration outlined
in step 1, we nominated
/mnt/projects as our location on disk where all the production data is
stored. Now it is time to register this with Shotgun. This is done by defining a Local Storage in Shotgun.
You can do this by navigating to the Site Preferences (again, make sure you are logged in as
an administrator in Shotgun) and expanding the File Management tab. Add a storage named
(note the lower case p) and set the paths like the figure below illustrates:
primary storage is required by the standard configuration which we suggest that you
start your Toolkit evaluation with.
Later on, when you are setting up your own studio configuration, you can
change and redefine this, even create a config that uses more than a single storage - this
is handy if you for example have your textures, renders, work files etc on different
mount points or drive letters.
Step 6. Adjust some Shotgun UI Layouts
Now it is time to make some minor adjustments to the Shotgun UI. The Shotgun Pipeline Toolkit
creates Publish Entities when you publish a file, so it is handy to add a Publishes Tab to
key Assets such as Shot and Asset. To do this, make sure that you are logged in as an
admin user. Start by navigating to an Asset or Shot and enter into Design Mode:
Now click the little menu triangle on one of the tabs, and select the Add New Tab action.
This will bring up a Dialog UI. Call the tab Publishes and make sure that it is associated
with Published File Entities:
Now click Save to save your changes. You are all set!
Note: Shotgun will choose a couple of default fields to pull in when you create a new tab.
You may want to add a couple of extra fields for publishes. This is done by clicking the little
plus button in the top-right hand corner of the spreadsheet you can see under your new publishes tab.
We recommend that you add the following fields:
- Description - Holds a description of the changes in this publish
- Created By - The user who created the publish
- Date Created - When the publish was made
If you make changes to your layouts, don't forget to save the page afterwards!
Step 7. Install the Shotgun Browser Plugin
The Toolkit allows you execute commands inside of Shotgun - for example, you can select one of your tasks,
right click on it and choose Launch Maya, whereby Maya starts up, preconfigured for you to
work on that specific Task. In order to do this, the Shotgun Pipeline Toolkit uses a special browser plugin that takes
care of the communication between Shotgun and the Toolkit. We recommend that you install it at this point.
You can find detailed information, including both source and installers
Note: If your shotgun installation is local, e.g. if your Shotgun Site URL does not end with
shotgunstudio.com, you need to go through some additional steps when you are installing the
browser plugin! Read more about it here: https://github.com/shotgunsoftware/browser-plugin#security
A note about Java (Click to expand)
Previously we relied on a Java Applet to manage the communication between Shotgun and the Toolkit.
You can still use Java, and if you don't install the Browser plugin, Shotgun will automatically
fall back on the Java Applet. Note however that this has been scheduled to become deprecated
and we strongly recommend that you use the browser plugin which is faster and more reliable.
For more information, see this blog post: http://blog.shotgunsoftware.com/2013/03/no-more-java.html
Step 8. Run the activation script
Now you are all set to get started! It is time to download and run the Pipeline Toolkit Activation
Script. This script is a little python script that you run from the command line. It will set up
the basic folder structure on disk and download the Shotgun Pipeline Toolkit API from the
Click to download the Shotgun Pipeline Toolkit activation package.
Before downloading the activation package, we ask you to read through and accept the
Shotgun terms of service below.
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Now open a terminal window (or
cmd.exe on Windows) and run the activation script simply
by navigating to the folder where the activation script was downloaded to and then typing
> python activate_shotgun_pipeline_toolkit.py
The activation script will start executing. It will prompt you for information at various points
and once complete, you will be all set to create your first Pipeline Toolkit project!
Using the console (
cmd.exe) on windows (Click to expand)
On Windows, use the start menu to start a console session, then navigate to the folder
where you downloaded the activation script and run python from that location:
Are you using a Proxy Server to connect to the Internet? (Click to expand)
If your studio is using a proxy server to connect to the Internet, the activation script
(and further Toolkit operations) may not function correctly. In this case, you can
specify a special
--sg-proxy parameter when you run the activation script. For
more information about this, run the activation script with a
Activation is now complete! Congratulations! We recommend that you follow the advice given by the
activation script, and add the main installation folder to your
PATH environment variable,
so that you can access the tank command wherever you are.
How to add the tank command to the
PATH environment variable
For example, if you are running Linux or macosx and are using our default locations suggested
above, it would be a matter of adding the following to your startup files (assuming you are using
Now, you can just type
tank anywhere in a shell to access toolkit.
If you are using Windows, there is a special UI you can use to modify your environment variables:
- From the Desktop, right-click My Computer and click Properties.
- In the System Properties window, click on the Advanced tab.
- In the Advanced section, click the Environment Variables button.
- Finally, in the Environment Variables window, highlight the Path variable in the
Systems Variable section and click the Edit button. Each different directory is
separated with a semicolon:
C:\Program Files;C:\Winnt;C:\Winnt\System32. If you have
installed toolkit into
c:\mnt\software\shotgun\studio, you want to add that at the end of
your existing path. Using the example above, we would get
The next step in this document is
to set up a project to use with the Shotgun Pipeline Toolkit. Keep reading for details
on how to do that.
Setting up your first project
Once you have activated Shotgun Pipeline Toolkit, it is time to create your first Project. This is
straight forward - you run a
setup_project command which will take an existing project in
Shotgun and extend it into the File System. The process starts by asking for a configuration
template to use. This configuration contains all the settings for which apps and engines to use,
how the file system should be structured and how the configuration should change across departments.
For your very first setup, we suggest you use our default configuration which contains an up to
date mix of apps and engines. For the future, however, we recommend that you let your pipeline
configuration evolve by simply choosing a configuration from an existing project. This way, any
configuration changes and improvements you make to a project will benefit not just that project, but
all future projects!
Running the project setup script
In order to create a new project, you use the tank command that was installed as part of the
Activation. Just run it with a
setup_project parameter, like this:
> /mnt/software/shotgun/studio/tank setup_project
On Windows, it would be
> c:\mnt\software\shotgun\studio\tank setup_project
This command will set up a new project and do all the things you need in order to run
the Toolkit for that project. For this example setup, you should be able to simply accept the
defaults that the project setup script suggests. You can usually do this by hitting ENTER when
prompted for information.
Disk structure after setup
Once the setup project has completed you will have the following structure on disk:
Note that each configuration area gets its own
tank command. This is useful later when you
want to create a staging or development sandbox for a project and want to run things from there
rather than from the main project configuration.
Check for updated versions of Apps and Engines
The starter configuration that is used to set up a new project contains a specific
set of app versions. Apps and engines are updated frequently so we recommend that you run
the Toolkit's update checker straight away. This command will check if there are more recent
versions of the apps and engines and ask you if you want to install them. If you have
the tank command added to your
PATH, you can run it by specifying the project name
(or part of the project name) followed by the
> /mnt/software/shotgun/studio/tank Project bunny updates
> c:\mnt\software\shotgun\studio\tank Project bunny updates
Now you have installed the Shotgun Pipeline Toolkit and set up your first project, your test bed is
ready, so let the experimentation and exploration begin! But before you get started, to see it all
in action, we recommend spening a couple of minutes checking out our various walkthrough videos.
These show the Shotgun Pipeline Toolkit in action, how it works inside applications such as
Maya and Nuke. It also goes through basic concepts such as publishing, version control, loading etc.
We also have a more technical document that goes through the high level concepts in the Shotgun
Pipeline Toolkit and explains 'bigger picture' things. Once you have a good grasp of what the Toolkit
does out of the box, we recommend that you move on to this document to get a deeper undestanding
of how the Toolkit could be adjusted to suit your particular studio needs.
If you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact us! Just drop us a line
Big Buck Bunny - footage courtesy of (CC) Blender Foundation, www.blender.org