Shotgun and distributed location workflow

Hello everyone, I am trying to implement Shotgun in our studio environment for a few months now. Right now we manage scheduling tasks, milestones and review everything within the Shotgun environment. The next step for me is to integrate file management by Shotgun so all scene data is handled by the system. Not a coder here - rather a supervisor, so I do not have full grasp of what is needed for taking the leap.

It’s a good time to mentioned that I am looking for someone to work as a freelance workflow technician to setup everything workflow and code-wise. Later on working with us on maintenance with our IT on freelance basis. Shouldn’t be often. All can be done remotely.

The biggest logical problem I have right now is the fact that our studio is 50% onsite full time artists and 50% freelance artists that are hired for a specific project. Freelancers work remotely.
I think that the percentage over upcoming years will lean more towards remote freelancers to around 75% of the workforce.

What options do I have in general to have Shotgun manage the files in more cloud/distributed fashion, so the scenes will open at every freelancers house computer with their synced copy of the files. For less automated workflow - just file exchanging we use Dropbox Business. Is this still viable solution to integrate it with shotgun or shall I look at other resources.

The thing is that I do not want for the proces of syncing and setting up to be too complicated and time consuming on our freelance artist side. That would discourage them from working with us on more frequent basis.

Any ideas will be greatly appreciated
Thanks in advance



Hi Pawel—welcome to the forum! This question is probably best suited for our #pipeline area where the right eyes can see and chime in. I’ve gone ahead and made the change to your post. :slight_smile:

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Hi Pawel

My team at GPL Technologies can help. We have some Shotgun tools and workflows that would help facilitate your Freelance workflow. We can also help with any custom dev and Shotgun training you might need.

If you’d like to find out more email me at and we can setup a call. Thanks!



Thanks Rob, will contact you guys for a chat in a while.


Hi Flint,

There are many ways to make this work.
I am not aware of the performance of DropBox for Business, as long as it syncs files relatively fast it should be working.

Preferably freelancers have the same drivemapping set up at home.

On Windows I would have them create a new Windows User Account specific for the work they do for us so that we can configure that account to our needs without it interfering with their regular computer use.

The we map a drive (example J:) to a jobs folder in which the synced projects will live.
In order to keep stuff light we would then turn on some sort of selective sync so the artist only gets the shot they work on synced to their disk.

Other ways to sync are running a VPN and syncing directly of your fileservers, running a Azure Mapped Drive, or using technologies like te opensource “SyncThing”.

All above have positives and negatives, another thing to look at it security ofcourse.

Anyway, it is certainly possible, but you will most likely need to hire someone that can support you and do the initial setup and rollout.


Hey Pawel! Welcome!

Between @figgy and @Ricardo_Musch’s advice, you’re in good hands, but I wanted to add a few notes:

  • On the artist pipeline side, Shotgun provides a good solution for distributing your tools – you can upload a Toolkit Pipeline Configuration to your Shotgun site, potentially including any custom tools you want to provide remote artists, then when artists launch content creation software (Maya, Nuke, etc.) in a Shotgun-aware way, their local cache of the tools is auto-updated so they have the latest. You can learn more about Distributed Configs here.
  • While we do have a mechanism for distributing toolsets, we don’t have one for sharing/transferring files. But, our clients have solved that piece in different ways. There’s a nice discussion about it in this shotgun-dev post.

As mentioned in that Post you could upload / sync data on publish, or on Load with the Loader.
Some facilities still have a very manual way for this where the artist loads up a shell and writes something like:
sync < job > < shot > < source_location > < dest_location >

which would sync the shot from one office to the other (I guess it sends a farm job)

I think the biggest thing is that you need to find out what data you need synced, when, whereto, and how long that takes. From theer you can start looking into solutions.