Introducing Shotgun Desktop, a Native App Shelf for Artists

Aug 12, 2014



Shotgun is on a mission to productize the pipeline – to make it super easy for artists to access productivity tools and for developers to deploy them to artists. Today we present Shotgun Desktop, the artists’ front-end experience of that ecosystem.  A native application framework, it sits on the artists’ desktop and provides quick access to key pipeline tools directly from the menu bar.  There’s no need to go back to a browser, remember different installation and startup steps for every application, or deal with command line processes.

Artists: Start new work, get to where you need to go faster

With Shotgun Desktop, everything you need is just a click away.  Log in, pick a project in the tray menu in the toolbar, and off you go.

To launch Maya, Max, Nuke, Photoshop, Houdini or other creative tools, the process is the same – a single click. There’s no need to install anything extra because Shotgun Desktop supplies what each application needs automatically under the hood.

If you’re working in a creative app and want to change tasks or open something new, pop open the desktop tray and launch what you want pronto.

Anyone in the studio can use Shotgun Desktop – it’s not just for launching creative applications. Producers can run reports from it the same way FX artists call up Houdini. Any app that the studio chooses to make available can be accessed, be it a 3rd-party product, an in-house pipeline tool, or something from the growing list of Shotgun apps we’re building and delivering.

With Shotgun Desktop there are no rules to remember extra steps to get to where you need to go. Just focus on creating and let Shotgun handle the details.

Developers: Deploy productivity tools quickly and easily 

Shotgun Desktop makes developers’ jobs easier and more efficient as well, supplying a high-quality, productized app framework with a polished, artist-friendly UI that works across Linux, Mac and Windows.  Our framework bundles Python, Qt, and PySide, meaning all three are always available. So if there’s something we integrate with that has missing dependencies, like Photoshop, Shotgun Desktop is the fallback so you don’t need to install or compile anything else for things to “just work.”  It also means you can rely on everything being there for your own apps that you call from Shotgun Desktop and deploy through Pipeline Toolkit, letting you focus on advancing your pipeline without the hassle of pushing out the right libraries. For those following the VFX Reference Platform initiative, the library versions we distribute are in line with what’s planned for 2015 and we intend to support it as our target going forward.

Launching applications through Shotgun Desktop relies on the same configuration we use through the web, so you have full control over what to launch and how to launch it. We’ve also improved onramp with a step-by-step wizard installer that takes care of both the initial setup as well as project configuration, to help take the guesswork out of rolling out the pipeline for a production.

Shotgun Desktop is a simple, visual interface that puts the power of the Pipeline Toolkit at artists’ fingertips in a friendly, familiar menu tray. For developers, it’s a productized framework ready to help deploy productivity tools that can be used from person to person and project to project quickly and painlessly.

Shotgun Desktop is available now and included for free as part of the Shotgun subscription for all clients.  For download links and instructions on how to install Shotgun Desktop, please click here.