ftrack

Overview

ftrack is a cloud-based Project Management tool that provides Production Tracking, Asset Management, and Team Collaboration tools to digital studios; see the ftrack website for more information.

Using Deadline’s ftrack event plugin, artists can automatically create new Asset Versions in ftrack when they submit a render Job to the farm. When a Job completes, Deadline will automatically update associated Asset Versions with a proper Status, Thumbnail, and Components (if the output location is known).

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Creating Versions

Versions can either be created automatically on submission (using the ftrack Event Plugin), or done manually afterwards.

Automatic Version Creation

When you submit a new job to Deadline, you can have Deadline automatically create a new Asset Version in ftrack. This is done by connection to ftrack during the submission process, and selecting the Asset to which the Job should be tied. The majority of the submission scripts that ship with Deadline include the ftrack connection option. For this example, we will use Nuke, but the process is basically the same for each submission script.

First, find the tab or panel with the Integration settings. For Nuke, this is under the Integration tab.

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Choose ftrack from the Project Management drop down, and then press the Connect button to bring up Deadline’s ftrack browser. Enter your ftrack Login Name and press Connect. If the connection is successful, Deadline will collect the list of Projects and Tasks you are assigned to. If there are problems connecting, Deadline will try to display the appropriate error message to help you diagnose the problem.

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After you have selected a Task and Asset, you must specify a Version Description.

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After you have configured the Version information, press OK to return to the Nuke submitter. The ftrack settings will now contain the Version information you just specified. To include this information with the job, leave the Create New Version option enabled. If you want to change the Version name or description before submitting, you can do so without reconnecting to ftrack.

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You can now press OK to submit the job. If the ftrack event plugin is configured to create the new version during Submission, the log report from the ftrack event plugin will show the Version’s ID. Otherwise, the Version won’t be created in ftrack until the job completes.

You can view the log report for the job by right-clicking on the job in the Monitor and selecting View Job Reports.

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Manual Version Creation

You can also create an Asset Version and tie it to a Job after submission, from the Deadline Monitor. To do this, simply right-click on the job and select ‘Scripts’ -> ‘Create FTrack Version’. This will bring up an ftrack browser so that you can connect, pick the appropriate asset, and set a description. After specifying the required information, just press OK and the new Version should be created.

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Selecting An Existing Version

Some of our submission scripts can edit an existing ftrack version. For example, our Quicktime submitter allows you to select an existing ftrack Version to upload the movie to when the job completes.

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Choose ftrack from the Project Management drop down, and then press the Connect button to bring up Deadline’s ftrack browser. Enter your ftrack Login Name and press Connect. If the connection is successful, Deadline will collect the list of Tasks you are assigned to. If there are problems connecting, Deadline will try to display the appropriate error message to help you diagnose the problem.

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After you have selected a Task and Asset press OK to return to the Quicktime submitter. The ftrack settings will now contain the Version information you just specified. To upload the movie file to the selected Version, leave the Create New Version option enabled.

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You can now press OK to submit the job. When the job finishes, the rendered movie will automatically be uploaded to the selected Version.

Setup

In order to be able to create versions within Deadline, you must first follow the steps below to setup Deadline’s connection to ftrack.

Create API Key

The first thing you need to do is create an API Key in ftrack. This will be used by Deadline to authenticate when connecting to the ftrack API.

To create a new API Key, you need to navigate to the ‘API Keys’ page, located under the ‘Security’ header of ftrack’s Settings section. Once this page is displayed, press the ‘Create’ button to create a new key; while you could re-use an existing key, it is recommended that you create a separate one for Deadline.

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The name of the key doesn’t matter much (as long as it’s descriptive), but make sure Enabled is set to ‘On’ and that you select the ‘API’ role. Once you’ve filled in all the values, click the ‘Create’ button to finalize the key’s creation.

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Once you’ve created the new entry, take note of its ‘Key’ value – you will need this when configuring Deadline in the next step.

Configure Deadline

Once you’ve created an API Key as detailed above, you can now set up the Event Plugin to connect to ftrack. To perform this setup, you need to enter Super User Mode (from the Tools menu), and then select ‘Tools’ -> ‘Configure Events’. Once in the Event Plugin Configuration window, select ‘FTrack’ from the list on the left.

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This is where you will configure all the ftrack-relevant settings in Deadline. There are several different categories of settings you can configure; they are described in more detail below.

Options

This section contains general high-level options that control the behaviour of the Deadline’s ftrack integration.

  • Enabled: This will turn Deadline’s ftrack integration on/off. In order for this feature to function properly, this must be set to ‘True’.
  • Create Version On Submission: This setting controls when an Asset Version is created in ftrack. If this is ‘True’, they will be created when a Job is submitted. On the other hand, if this is ‘False’, the Asset Version will only be created when the Job is Completed.

Connection Settings

This section contains information that Deadline uses to connect to the ftrack API; these settings must be configured properly in order for this feature to work at all.

  • FTrack URL: This is the URL which you use to connect to your ftrack installation.
  • FTrack Proxy: The proxy you use to connect to ftrack. This is only relevant if you use a Proxy; if in doubt, leave this field blank.
  • FTrack API Key: This is where you must enter the API Key created in the ‘Create API Key’ step.

Version Status Mappings

This section contains mappings from Deadline Job Statuses to ftrack Asset Version Statuses. These are not necessary, but if specified, Deadline will update the status of Asset Versions as Deadline Jobs change status (based on the mappings provided).

Rename ExtraInfo Columns

The ftrack integration uses ExtraInfo columns 0-5 to display relevant information about the Asset Versions that are tied to Deadline Jobs. Given that “ExtraInfo0” isn’t exactly a descriptive name for what that column is being used for in this context, many people find it useful to rename these columns to be more descriptive.

To do so, you must be in Super User mode and select ‘Tools’ -> ‘Repository Options’. You must then go to the ‘Job Settings’ section, and select the ‘Extra Properties’ tab; from here you’ll be able to change these column names to something more appropriate.

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