What is Toolkit?

Introducing the Shotgun Pipeline Toolkit

The Shotgun Pipeline Toolkit (sgtk) is a suite of pipeline tools and building blocks designed for artists, engineered for developers, and accessible to everyone. Sgtk is now available in public beta for existing Shotgun users!

What is the Shotgun Pipeline Toolkit and how can it help me?

The Shotgun Pipeline Toolkit (sgtk) is a suite of tools and building blocks that make it easy to set up, customize, and evolve your pipeline.

Sgtk integrates with applications such as Maya, Photoshop, and Nuke and makes it easy to quickly access Shotgun data inside those environments, as well as safely build and evolve your own tools and technology. This document gives an overview of some of the main concepts in the Toolkit.

Shotgun, right on your Desktop

The Shotgun Desktop sits at the heart of Toolkit. It is an application that you install which gives you immediate access to Shotgun Projects and Applications. It also makes it really easy to set up Toolkit Projects.

Shotgun Toolkit keeps your file system organized

When handling large amounts of production data, it is important to maintain an organized and consistent file system structure. The Shotgun Pipeline Toolkit helps with this in two ways. It creates folders on disk for Shots, Assets, and other key entities, and then it helps you find those entities. Templates define key locations on disk, for example paths to published files or working directories. These templates are then used by different Shotgun-based tools and allow sgtk to work gracefully alongside your existing studio tools.

Launchers, Loaders and Publishers out of the box

The Shotgun Pipeline Toolkit comes with a number of pre-configured tools that work out of the box. It includes an Application Launcher which makes it easy to launch applications such as Maya and Nuke directly from Shotgun or from a command shell. When the applications launch, the Toolkit is automatically loaded and knows which Shot or Asset you are currently working on. The launch process is highly customizable and you can configure low level aspects such as environment variable and execution.

For sharing your work, the Shotgun Pipeline Toolkit includes a highly configurable Publishing Tool which lets you publish your work and export any data you may want to pass down stream the pipeline. When you publish, any interested parties will receive a notification through Shotgun.

A Loader and a Breakdown tool makes it easy to load new content into your scene and see what existing content is out of date and will need updating.

Full Shotgun Integration

The Shotgun Pipeline Toolkit is fully integrated with Shotgun. Drive folder creation based on data in Shotgun. Publish data and have it automatically associated with the right Shot, Asset and Task in Shotgun. Using Shotgun's notifications, you can make sure that you are aware of the stuff that matters around you in the pipeline.

It's all about the Engines and Apps

Every pipeline is different, so we tried to not only make the our Shotgun Pipeline Toolkit highly configurable, but also very modular. On top of the core layer, all the tools that come with our Toolkit are developed as Apps - small independent pieces of functionality which can be mixed and matched. Each content creation application that the Shotgun Toolkit supports has an Engine that manages the Apps. You can configure precisely which Apps and Engines you need, down to a per department level. And if you cannot configure an app to do what you want, you have access to the source code and can fork it and tweak it.

Shotgun Toolkit helps safely manage your pipeline

Safely manage your production setup, yet at the same time remain agile and keep evolving! The Shotgun Toolkit is like source control for your pipeline. The built-in tank command makes it easy to manage your configuration, keeping up to date with app and engine updates and running tools from the command shell. You can create a staging sandbox where you can safely try out configuration changes and code updates. Manage your configuration per project and base your new projects on a previous project's configuration - you can freeze updates for projects that are close to shipping while you keep updating others.

Shotgun Toolkit makes it easy to develop tools

Did we mention that you can write your own Apps? Each Engine exposes a consistent interface based on Python and PySide, so you can write a single App that works in both Nuke, Photoshop and 3dsmax. With the Core API functionality, there is no need to build a big pipeline stack for the studio - instead focus dev resources on solving production problems. Reusing tools between projects is easy with our Toolkit - if file naming conventions or other requirements are changing, simply reconfigure the app. Roll out tools safely via the Toolkit's built-in Git and Github support and quickly hot-load your code when doing development. Work in your own Dev Sandbox and invite TDs and early adopters to test your code without having to roll it out to everyone on the project.

Want to learn more about the Shotgun Pipeline Toolkit?

Want to learn more about how the Toolkit works and what it can offer? Check out the following documents and pages:

Big Buck Bunny - footage courtesy of (CC) Blender Foundation, www.blender.org

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