Using Unreal Engine with Autodesk ShotGrid

Describes how to use Unreal with the Autodesk ShotGrid integration.

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Using Unreal Engine with Autodesk ShotGrid

Epic Games has teamed up with Autodesk to integrate Unreal Engine into the ShotGrid production management system. You can now make Unreal Editor a key player in your ShotGrid content pipeline: you can load assets from ShotGrid to work on in the Unreal Editor, and publish the Assets and Actors in your Unreal Engine Project back to ShotGrid for other people in your organization to work on.

  • If you're new to ShotGrid, see its features page and Help Center to get started learning about what it can do for you.

  • If you haven't used a desktop application that integrates with ShotGrid before, read over the Integrations User Guide for some basics about the workflows and apps that it introduces to get your team working together across separate content creation tools.

While this integration is in Beta, we don't consider it a fully finished pipeline that solves all your needs for working with Unreal Engine content in the context of a full-scale production. We expect this integration to evolve over time based on your feedback, and in time, we'll get to that point. For now, consider this integration as a helpful starting point if you already use ShotGrid (or are considering adopting it), and as a base for experienced pipeline developers to build on top of.

Setting up an Unreal Engine Project

Any Unreal Engine Project can work with ShotGrid. However, you first have to enable the ShotGrid Plugin in your Project.

  1. From the main menu in Unreal Editor, select Edit > Plugins to open the Plugins window.

  2. In the Editor section, find the ShotGrid Plugin and check its Enabled checkbox.
    Enable the ShotGrid Plugin

  3. Restart your Project when prompted.

You won't see any difference in the Unreal Editor UI yet — this is normal. See the next section to learn how to launch Unreal Editor from the ShotGrid Desktop application.

Enabling the ShotGrid plugin also enables the Python Editor Script Plugin for your Project. While this plugin is enabled, you can run Python code in the Unreal Editor to work with your content. For details, see Scripting the Editor using Python.

Launching Unreal Editor

In order to benefit from the ShotGrid integration, always launch Unreal Editor from the ShotGrid Desktop application.

If you haven't installed and used ShotGrid Desktop before, see the ShotGrid Integrations User Guide to get started.

  1. Launch ShotGrid Desktop and log in to your organization's ShotGrid site with your user account.

  2. Open any ShotGrid project that has been configured to work with Unreal.

  3. ShotGrid Desktop will scan your computer for installations of Unreal Engine, and offer shortcuts on the Apps page:
    Unreal shortcuts in ShotGrid Desktop
    Click one of these shortcuts.

  4. In the Unreal Project Browser, select a Project that already has the ShotGrid Plugin enabled, and click Open.
    See Setting up an Unreal Project above if you haven't already set up an Unreal Project.

The ShotGrid Menu

When Unreal Editor is running in the context of a ShotGrid project, you'll see a ShotGrid menu added to the main Toolbar:

ShotGrid menu in the Toolbar

You can also open the same menu by right-clicking on Assets in the Content Browser, or Actors in your Levels:





Toggle Debug Logging

Determines whether or not the ShotGrid integration writes debug messages to the Output Log and to a log file on disk. See Debug Logs below.

Open Log Folder

Opens the location on your computer that contains your ShotGrid log files.

Jump to ShotGrid

Opens the current ShotGrid project in your system's default web browser.

Work Area Info...

Opens the ShotGrid Your Current Work Area tool, which shows your current project, environment settings, and toolkit apps that are running. For details, see the ShotGrid documentation.


Opens the ShotGrid Loader tool. See Loading Content from ShotGrid into Unreal below.


Opens the ShotGrid Publish tool. See Publishing Content from Unreal to ShotGrid below. You'll typically want to open this tool by right-clicking the Assets or Actors you want to publish. When you open this panel from the Toolbar, it does not support dragging and dropping Assets or Actors from your Unreal session.

ShotGrid Panel...

Opens the ShotGrid Panel tool. Use this to get a view on all the activity happening in your ShotGrid project without having to leave the Unreal Editor. For details, see the ShotGrid documentation.

Loading Content from ShotGrid into Unreal Editor

The ShotGrid toolkit includes a Loader app, which you can use in the Unreal Editor to bring content that artists have published to ShotGrid into your Unreal Project.

  • To launch the Loader app, choose Load... from the ShotGrid menu. 

  • In the Loader, you can browse the full collection of assets that have ever been published to your ShotGrid project, or that are related to your ShotGrid tasks:
    ShotGrid Loader in Unreal

  • Choose one or more assets that you want to import, and import them into the Content Browser. You can either right-click assets and choose Import into Content Browser from the context menu, or click the Actions button for any selected asset and select Import into Content Browser.

  • The Unreal integration currently supports importing only FBX files from ShotGrid. It uses the built-in FBX import pipeline to convert them into Static Meshes in Unreal.

  • For details about using the Loader app, see the ShotGrid Integrations User Guide.

Publishing Content from Unreal Editor to ShotGrid

The ShotGrid toolkit includes a Publish app, which you can use in the Unreal Editor to export content that you've created or modified in Unreal out to the ShotGrid project. Other artists, working in Unreal Editor or in other applications, can then use their own ShotGrid Loader apps to bring in that content and work on it downstream. Or, others in your organization can the work you did in Unreal Editor within the ShotGrid web application.

  • To launch the Publish app, right-click the Assets in the Content Browser or the Level Actors that you want to publish, and choose Publish... from the ShotGrid menu.

  • The Publish app lists all of the items that you had selected that it is able to export.
    ShotGrid Publish in Unreal

  • The Unreal integration currently supports publishing:

    • Static Mesh Assets. These are exported to ShotGrid as FBX files, using the built-in FBX exporter.

    • Level Sequences. These are rendered to movie files and exported to ShotGrid for viewing in RV, either in the ShotGrid web application or on the desktop.

  • In the Publish app, you can add a description and thumbnail for each Unreal Asset you're publishing. This helps downstream artists and reviewers understand what you've published.

  • When you have all your published assets set up the way you want them, click Publish to export them all to FBX and make them available to other ShotGrid applications in your project's shared storage location.

  • For details about using this app, see the ShotGrid Integrations User Guide.

Debug Logging

The ShotGrid integration logs messages about everything it does to the Output Log in the Unreal Editor. These messages are logged with the LogPython category:

ShotGrid debug log messages

It also logs the same messages to the tk-unreal.log, tk-desktop.log and tk-shotgun.log files in the ShotGrid log folder for your platform. You can go straight to this folder at any time by choosing Open Log Folder from the ShotGrid menu.

These log messages can be useful for you to observe what tasks the integration is carrying out, and to diagnose problems or unexpected behavior. However, by default the integration logs messages at the most verbose level. If you want to reduce the number of messages printed to your Output Log, you can disable logging by choosing Toggle Debug Logging from the ShotGrid menu.

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