Best entity for reference artwork

I’ve got whole concept of Sequences, Shots and Versions down well as that is all I’ve needed until now. Now, we are interested in publishing reference artwork. This artwork will be either associated with a specific sequence, shot or neither. I am seeking advice on the best entity type to publish these as. Or, maybe create my own. I see there is an element entity and of course asset. Does anyone have any recommendations? I’d love to be able to use SG Desktop (as is) to publish this artwork (mostly jpegs) if possible. Thanks for any advice.

Just link them to the project?
If they are not for a Shot/Scene or Asset?


  1. Super simple way: store the reference art somewhere else and then link to the URL using either
  • A) the File/Link field in Shotgrid. This is what we do at our company. Our reference art is stored in the company database, we create a “Reference Art” URL field and just link to the reference art that way. It saves a bunch of importing and uploading (since the material does not need to end up in the pipeline, it’s just for artist reference)
  • Option B is to just store the URL as a text field that people copy/paste into a browser to find the reference art. This is more cumbersome, but it makes it easy to update via CSV import/export
  1. Easy but untidy way. You could upload reference art as versions and then just create a separate version linking field called “Reference Art” Create that linked field in Shots/Assets/Sequences and manually. Important not to confuse that custom created field with the built-in versions that SG tracks.

  2. Complicated by tidy way. You could create a new custom entity: “Reference Art” Upload each image as the thumbnail tied to an individual record, then create single entity or multi-entity linking fields to tie those reference images to shots, sequences, assets, whatever. If you are developing reference art, you could allow file publishes, and each piece of reference art could get updated with new versions (which would then get shared to all of the linked sequences/shots/assets) as they are published.

Thank you for the options. I have started writing my tool to use what you labeled as option B but I am adding a custom menu action item so they can select the artwork and then right click and using the dropdown menu the script will open the directory the artwork is in. So they don’t need to actually open the artwork but can quickly get to the location on the network storage. It’s a very simple method to implement and our production is wrapping up soon so no need to get too complicated. The artwork will be input as sub-assets (there can be multiple passes or versions of one artwork asset). Thanks for your input.