Category Archives: Sgtk

Shotgun Action Menu Item (AMI) Server

The #1 request every studio wants is the ability to run actions on their pipeline through the Shotgun web interface. Luckily SG allows this through the use of Action Menu Items (AMIs). The jist is: choose an Entity type in the web interface (ie Version), name your new Item (say Render Slates…), and setup an IP address to receive this information. SG then encapsulates the users’ selection of that entity type (either one or multiple entities) and sends the data to the receving machine, re-directing the users’ web browser in the process. With that data & connection, the machine at the other end can perform any action (say, submit all selected shots to the farm) and provide the end user with visual feedback (success, failure).

I developed a plugin-based AMI Server (philosophically similar to the Shotgun Event Server) for just this purpose, and I’m very happy with the result. The key is not only to perform the action, but to provide feedback to the user in a friendly and readable way; the user should be able to tell clearly whether the action has succeeded or failed. I even had a friend in CSS design whip me up a nice-looking CRT-style output because, why not 😉

Check out the video below to see it in action!

AMI Server operating at Phosphene LLC

Introducing the tks Suite

an expandable, customizable framework for compositing artists and supervisors

Years ago I was fortunate enough to spend nearly a year working with the wonderful guys at East Side Effects in NYC – not only did I get to work on a film for some of my favorite directors (the Coen brothers), but I was able to build the pipeline of my deepest artist dreams!

In the subsequent years, I have kept tinkering with it, until I have arrived at something I’m extremely proud of. The primary advantage (IMHO) of the tks Suite is that it was developed by someone who started as an artist, and therefore tries to provide the tools I wanted with the simple, easy-to-understand gui I always craved. What started as a purely-nuke panel for Artists has morphed into a full-featured, program-agnostic QT-based gui system for managing VFX workflow.

  • pure QT-based implementation
  • present Artists/Supervisors/Producers with only the information they need, with quick access to the actions they need to perform
  • modular “Action” system – adjust standard actions (Submit to Render Farm, Create Version/Publish) based on per-project settings
  • automated vfx pipeline from creating V0’s through review, publish and delivery creation
  • artist-focused for clarity and simplicity
  • tested and perfected on multiple AAA projects
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Elements Ingest Tool

handling ingest of bulk data with style!

When I was first asked to begin thinking about a tool to handle and sort files coming into a busy VFX house, I was pretty hesitant. How could you possibly correctly sort BG plates from stock footage, editorial QTs from plates, set data from delivery manifests??

It wasn’t until we came up with the idea to utilize the Shotgun Toolkit’s publisher (tk-multi-publish2) that it started to seem doable. While my experience with the publisher hadn’t been all stellar up to that point, this was really a place for it to shine. Specifically – the publisher excels at handling large quantities of different file types all at once, determining info about them and offering a nicely designed GUI to the end user.

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