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.

The gui allows the user to assign delivery-specific info before beginning the ingest process.

In the end, we ended up with two plugins for our ingest tool. One (“Sort Files”) determines the best location of the file based on some simple path matching; if it can’t determine where to put the files, it prompts the user to fill out manually.

I had to do some special adjustments to the publisher2 code to allow for the proper communication between plugins. By default, they are pretty siloed, however in our case, I wanted the location of he Sort to affect the type of Element that was created in Shotgun.

The second plugin (“Publish Element”) creates an Entity in Shotgun linked to the files and the Shot/Asset/Project that the Element is being ingested for. This even includes notifications to Artists and Production staff that the Element is in – for example, that plates have been delivered.

Ultimately, it’s been in heavy use for nearly 3 years now and has been working better than I ever expected. It’s something I’m very proud of!

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