Is anybody using Cut Entities successfully?

Hi all,

I was wondering if anybody is actually using cut entities in their daily workflow?
Every time I try to get them to work it takes me several attempts to get one technically usable cut into SG, and then it won’t playback smoothly (stops and goes at every cut).

It feels like this concept was abandoned in beta stage and never really finished, but maybe I’m missing something?!

I would absolutely love to get this working after all those years, so if anybody is indeed doing this I would love to hear about it.


After playing with this some more again I am hitting those two main issues:

  • When importing an edl via RV the base layer media follows the same timecode>frame mapping as the vfx versions which is never correct. So I end up updating the cut items that point to the base media layer manually to get what I need (I must be missing something in RV).

  • Once I get the right numbers for teh cut items the playback is incorrect, i.e. on every cut to a VFX version, the media player shows the first frame of the base media layer rather than the first frame of the VFX version.
    When I step through the player frame by frame it behaves correctly, it’s “just” the playback that is not displaying the right frame at every cut, which makes the entire concept useless.

What am I doing wrong?


I’ve created a profile just so I can reply to this because I’ve been through this :smile:
Last year we got this working at my studio without any custom modifications and I can outline some things that got it working:

  • Import the base layer media separately first. Its part of our workflow to ingest this when received. As long as you use the same quicktime (with the same naming) in your timeline/edl, it will find the corresponding version in Shotgun. Make sure to fill in the sg_first_frame field with the frame number that matches the timecode of your media (ex: 01:03:03:15 = 90807), you can usually find this in your editing software. You can do this manually, but we were able to update our reference tool to add this when we upload any qt. This may solve the problem you are seeing when importing the edl.

  • for the quicktimes you use in your edit, these should have timecode that matches the frame number you are expecting (ex: 00:00:42:01 = 1009) we also had to do this on the quicktimes SG generates for each version that are played in the edit.

  • For your second issue, it sounds like the cut does not have a version assigned to the Cut Item. If there’s no version, even if there is a shot assigned, it will just play the base layer media, I was never able to get it to play the correct shot in the media, so we always have a version assigned in the cut. However, I’m not sure if that explains why it works when going frame by frame.

Hope some of this helps!

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Thanks Kelly,
I much appreciate your post.

I am planning to write my own exporter for Hiero (not using Toolkit) so the main issue is the playback which I still can’t resolve. I do have a version linked to each cut entity so it should just do what it promises. So you don’t see the playback issue at all on your side?

I am talking to support as well and will post any solutions that I may find though.


Hey Frank,

Did you end up getting any solution to the first frame flickering during playback issue? I am also seeing this on my end where when we playback from a non-vfx to VFX version, it just flickers the first frame of base layer and it continues to play the rest of assigned shot version.Only happens for a fraction of a second but very irritating. It is curious why it does not happen when we scrub frame by frame!


I have given up for now. I reported this problem a few years ago and was told not to bother with the cut entity as it was going to be replaced. A year or so later I tried again and was told it should work and that the cut entity was not being replaced. Then just about the entire support/dev team seemed to be replaced and the problem still persists.

I am not holding my breath it will ever work tbh.

ahh., That is unfortunate. It is really annoying to have that thing flicker and disappear like a Halloween prank and then when you actually scrub the frames to figure out what just happened, there is nothing going on and everything behaves the way as it should!

Thanks anyways Frank

Yeah, I was so extremely excited about cut entities when they first came out as they would made our lives so much easier (just starting another TVC with 15 different cut-downs that are all sharing 95% of the same shots). Then I wrote a Hiero exporter to tie it all into your workflow seamlessly.
Oh well, one day some place else I guess…

Did you make any progress with this Frank?
I’m finding I can’t even use cuts within screeningroom (rv or web). If it’s not supported, can we remove the menu options @Jmalan
I also need to use cuts for our workflow, but it’s proving to be frustrating if what appear to be features don’t actually do anything.

TBH I kinda gave up and am putting my time into looking at alternative solutions as ShotGrid does not seem to be progressing any longer.

I’ve logged a bug for this and Rebecca confirmed.
The Play in Screeningroom (not rv) button is not loading a cut at the moment (it did used to work).

It can be made to work as long as the edl you feed it works well.
Have you tried the import-cut app? (you can install the bundled import-cut app from RV in desktop as well)

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Yes, I tried all these things.