Apps and Engines Configuration Reference

This document contains an overview of all the different options that you can include when creating configurations for Apps, Engines and Frameworks in the ShotGrid Pipeline Toolkit. It can be useful when doing advanced configuration of Apps, and it is important when you are doing development and need to add parameters to your App Configuration Manifest.

This document describes functionality only available if you have taken control over a Toolkit configuration. For more info, see ShotGrid Integrations Admin Guide.


This document contains specifications for the various file formats that Sgtk uses for its configuration and settings. Please note that this is a reference document which outlines all the various options and parameters available. For best practices on how to manage your configuration, please see the following document:

Configuration Management best practices.

ShotGrid Pipeline Toolkit Environments

Three major components exists in Toolkit:

  • An engine provides a translation layer or an adapter between a host application (such as Maya or Nuke) and Sgtk Apps. Apps typically use python and PySide, and it is the responsibility of the engine to present the host application in a standardized fashion and for example add pyside on top of the host application if this doesn’t exist already.
  • An app provides a piece of business logic, it is essentially a tool that does something. Apps can be hand crafted to work in a specific host application, or they can be designed to run in more than one host application.
  • A framework is a library which can be used by engines, apps or other frameworks. A framework makes it possible to more easily manage code or behaviour which is shared between multiple apps.

An environment file contains the configuration settings for a collection of engines, apps and frameworks. Such a collection is called an Environment. Sgtk launches different environments for different files or different people. You can for example have an environment for Shot production and environment for Rigging. Each environment is a single yaml file.

Environment files are located at /<sgtk_root>/software/shotgun/<project_name>/config/env

The yaml file has the following basic format:

            engine settings
                    app settings
                    app settings
            engine settings
                    app settings
                    app settings
            framework settings

Each app and engine can be configured via settings. These settings correspond with the list of settings that the app/engine exposes in its manifest file called info.yml. As of v0.18.x of Sgtk Core, settings only need to be specified if they differ from the default values specified in the manifest file. In addition to the manifest file, the configurable settings can typically be found on the app/engine page within the Toolkit App Store.

In addition to the various settings that can be defined for each item, each app, engine and framework also needs to define where its code is located. This is done using a special location parameter.

Code Locations

Each app, engine or framework defined in the environment file has got a location parameter which defines which version of the app to run and where to download it from. Most of the time this is handled automatically by the tank updates and tank install commands. However, if you are doing hand editing of configurations, a variety of options are available for you to help deploy and structure Toolkit:

Toolkit currently supports app installation and management using the following location descriptors:

  • An app_store descriptor represents an item in the Toolkit App Store
  • A ShotGrid descriptor represents an item stored in ShotGrid
  • A git descriptor represents a tag in a git repository
  • A git_branch descriptor represents a commit in a git branch
  • A path descriptor represents a location on disk
  • A dev descriptor represents a developer sandbox
  • A manual descriptor that is used for custom deployment and rollout

For documentation on how to use the different descriptors, please see the Toolkit reference documentation.

Disabling Apps and Engines

Sometimes it can be useful to temporarily disable an app or an engine. The recommended way of doing this is to to add a disabled: true parameter to the location dictionary that specifies where the app or engine should be loaded from. This syntax is supported by all the different location types. It may look like this for example:

location: {"type": "app_store", "name": "tk-nukepublish", "version": "v0.5.0", "disabled": true}

Alternatively, if you want an app to only run on certain platforms, you can specify this using the special deny_platforms setting:

location: {"type": "app_store", "name": "tk-nukepublish", "version": "v0.5.0", "deny_platforms": [windows, linux]}

Possible values for the deny_platforms parameter are windows, linux, and mac.

Settings and parameters

Each app, engine or framework explicitly defines a number of settings which you can override in the configuration file. These settings are strongly typed into strings, integers, lists, etc. For details, see the Toolkit reference documentation.

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