Creating a Elements Project/Database in shotgun and accessing through other projects

We are trying to get our element library more organized and more accessible through shotgun. (at the moment, they are a ton of folders on the server that users have to browse through manually). For some projects, we added elements as assets, and assigned them to shots to make them easier accessible - but this only works on a per-project basis, of course.

So my thinking goes:

  • create a Shotgun Project named “Elements”
  • add (for example) a 2D bullet hit element as an asset, with its own version, and all necessary information (path to frames etc.)
  • then, on Project “XYZ” - on shot “XYZ_0010” - assign this asset from “Elements” to this shot

Would that be possible?

Thanks, Alex


Hi @marvinmetzner, great question. We don’t really have proper “Asset Library” support in Shotgun. (Yet!) But there are a couple of ways people tend to go about this, and what you describe is probably the most common approach.

The caveat is that you cannot link Elements from one Project into another, so you would need to make a copy of the Element in question if you wanted to use it in a different Project. This might be a little more complicated if you have linked entities attached to it that you want to bring along (like Notes, Versions, etc). But you could make an Action Menu Item to automate this if it’s too many steps to do manually. There are some other considerations if you are using Toolkit, but not sure if that is relevant in this case.

The other approach you can take is to use global pages to aggregate Assets/Elements from across all your different Projects, and use that venue to search/copy/interact with them. This doesn’t allow for library-specific metadata about each Asset like what could live in a dedicated library project, but it is also less overhead to maintain, if you just need to see what you have built and occasionally reuse things.

All that said, I’d love to hear more from the community about how other people have implemented this sort of tracking! Also, we are always happy to hear more thoughts on what an actual Asset Library feature in Shotgun would look like, what features it should have, etc. Hope to see a lot of conversation in this thread, as this feature set has been at the top of my wish list for a long time. :slight_smile:


Hey @marvinmetzner, you may also want to have a look at this support article from our developer docs that my colleague @brandon.foster recently posted:


The way this works in our pipeline is:

  • we have a lib project, to which all reusable assets are added
  • in other projects, the loader app is configured to load assets from the lib project

In order to configure tk-multi-loader2, add the following under “entities:”

- caption: Library assets
   entity_type: Asset
   - [project, is, {type: Project, id: 359}]
   hierarchy: [project, sg_asset_type, code]
- caption: Library shots
   entity_type: Shot
   - [project, is, {type: Project, id: 359}]
   hierarchy: [project, sg_asset_type, code]

This will allow loading from project with id 359. It will show up in a separate tab in the loader app.
I believe I saw this in the docs, but was not able to find it now.