Shotgun Street Smarts: Our Favorite Features

Sep 1, 2016



One of the best parts of working on the Street Team is getting into the nitty and gritty of Shotgun every day. We know all the best tips and tricks to help you simplify your workflow, and add a little fun and flair.

So without further ado, here’s a list of Street’s top 5 favorite features in Shotgun.

1. Embedded web pages

“I like how Shotgun can serve as a bridge for external pages.”
—Kessler, Street Team

Sometimes an external website can come in handy for reference.

You can load content from external websites into pages or tabs. Simply choose the “URL” view type.

Then add the URL you would like to display within Shotgun.

Please note that while you can embed any webpage that supports iframes, we don’t support Shotgun pages inside Shotgun pages.

2. Annotating on a frame

“I used to spend all day in review sessions. [Annotation is] super streamlined and easy for coordinators.”  
—Astrid, APAC Street Teamer

The ability to annotate on a frame lets coordinators view the same media along with supervisors. Frame numbers are automatically added, so you don’t have to open any additional software. And it immediately notifies the artist of the Note with annotation without having to create an email.

The alternative is to take a screenshot of the media then annotate in a software such as Photoshop and manually enter the frame number. Next, you would have to open an email and send the image as an attachment, all while continuing to take notes in a fast-paced environment. What a headache!

In Shotgun, you don’t have to worry about any of that. Plus, it’s fun to draw on stuff.

3. Bulk editing

“Bulk editing is a convenient way of making updates without needing to do an import.”
—Tram, Street Team

The ability to import is good, but sometimes it’s nice to update all the statuses of a Shot’s tasks to “final.” You can do this with bulk editing.

4. Page filters and tabs

“Tabs and filters are great because of how they work together.”
—Matt, Street Team’s fearless leader

“I personally use Tabs to show different Entities on the same Global Page when using widgets on Canvas Pages isn't desirable,” Matt says. “And then I can use Page Filters to show different Projects.”

You can use tabs instead of creating separate Pages to display different information. For example, you can use Tabs for different departments on Task, Asset, and Shots pages.

“There might be Fields that are important for Animation—maybe statuses of Rigging work get pulled through, that aren't important for Lighting,” Matt says. “So you put those on different Tabs and it un-clutters the views.”

You can also use tabs to show different Fields for the same entity.

Filters, on the other hand, can show different slices of data with the same Fields. For example, you can set up filters to show what’s in-progress, what’s ready to start, or what’s overdue, so you can see the data that is most important to you at the time. You can even set up filters to exclude data you know you don’t need to see. Just use “is not” as one of the conditions.

5. Shotgun API

“[The Shotgun API] is super powerful—it allows you to either automate things or make tools that would otherwise be very difficult to achieve in the Web UI.”
—Brandon, Street Team

As a coordinator at a studio, Brandon used the Shotgun API to automate manual, time-intensive tasks. “[Production coordinators] had to, based on a list derived in Shotgun, go on the network and copy movie files from a shot directory to another directory for review,” he says.

So Brandon wrote a Python script that could point to a playlist and copy all the files from one directory to another.

“Things like that even a production person could learn how to do and save themselves a ton of time day to day,” Brandon says.

You could also use the API to deliver reports once per week on which tasks are overdue. “You can whip up a Python script, and deliver content in an entirely different way that’s more convenient to the studio,” Brandon says.

Anyone can use the API, you just need to know some basics about programming. If you’re interested in learning Python, the language the Shotgun API uses, CodeAcademy offers a beginning class.

6. Bonus: Shotgun tricks

Lastly, we have a couple bonus tips and tricks to add some fun to your workflow (and drive your team crazy…).

GIFs in the project overview banner
Not everyone knows this, but you can add some fun animations to your projects with a GIF in the project overview banner.

“Apart from the endless possibilities of hilarious cats walking across the project overview, it provides a visual bang for your projects landing page!” Andrew from the Street team says.

Filmstrip on user images
Another bit of fun. Add a filmstrip on a user image for jokes.

Or, use the filmstrip to show quick alternate photos.

Now that we’ve shared our favorite Shotgun features and tricks, we want to hear about yours! Please share in the comments below.

About Sabrina:
Sabrina joined the Street Team in October 2015—after working in book publishing and instructional design, building online courses about films and games. Now she gets to spend her days helping clients learn everything they need to know about Shotgun, which includes writing how-to articles, developing multimedia and interactive content, and taking advantage of Shotgun’s tools to track it all. She spends her nights geeking out about dinosaurs with her husband on their podcast, I Know Dino. Fun fact: The time between when Stegosaurus lived and when T-rex lived is longer than the time between when T-rex lived and now.