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Overview of tk-config-default2 environment structure

The tk-config-default2 config has a different structure than previous configurations provided by toolkit. It has been reorganized based on client feedback and observation to help maximize efficiency when needing to manually curate your production environments.

Top-level environments

There are 7 top-level files that provide the entry points to environment configuration. The names of these files correspond to one of the strings returned by the pick_environment hook. These files are:

  • asset.yml - Asset context without a pipeline step. Typically used when building menus in the SG web interface.
  • asset_step.yml - Asset context with a pipeline step. This is the environment typically associated with an artist's Asset work area.
  • project.yml - A ShotGrid project context. Often used when launching a DCC from SG Desktop, providing apps for further refining the context.
  • publishedfile_version.yml - A context for providing functionality when viewing PublishedFile or Version entities, typically in SG web interface.
  • sequence.yml - A context used for sequence-based workflows.
  • shot.yml - Shot context without a pipeline step. Typically used when building menus in the SG web interface.
  • shot_step.yml - Shot context with a pipeline step. This is the environment typically associated with an artist's Shot work area.

Each of these files provides an outline of the engines configured for that environment. These file don't typically need to be modified unless you're adding a new engine configuration into one of the environments.

The structure of these files is as follows:

# include all frameworks
- ./includes/frameworks.yml
# include each of the engine configurations used in this environment
- ./includes/settings/<engine>.yml
- ./includes/settings/<engine>.yml

  # reference each of the included engine environment configurations
  <engine>: "@settings.<engine>.<environment>"
  <engine>: "@settings.<engine>.<environment>"

# reference all of the frameworks
frameworks: "@frameworks"

The tk-config-default2 heavily relies on the Toolkit configuration includes and references. The includes section references files that define regular YAML key/value pairs. These keys can then be referenced with the "@<key>" syntax seen above. Have a look at one of the top-level environment files for a concrete example of how this works.

Engine Settings

The top-level environments include engine settings from includes/settings/<engine>.yml files. In tk-config-default2, all engine-specific configurations live in that engine's settings file. This makes it straight forward to know where to go to change how an engine is configured. For example, if you need to change how the Maya engine is configured, simply edit the includes/settings/tk-maya.yml file.

The structure of these files is as follows:

# include the file that defines app locations
- ../app_locations.yml
# include the file that defines engine locations
- ../engine_locations.yml
# include each of the app configurations used in this environment
- ./<app>.yml
- ./<app>.yml

# <environment> specific configuration
    # list of apps for this engine in the specific environment
      # some simple apps only need to specify a location descriptor
      location: "@apps.<app>.location"
    # other apps need more configuration, referenced from the included app file
    <app>: "@settings.<app>.<engine>.<environment>"
  # engine settings are defined/edited here
  location: ""

# other environment configurations

Here you can see where the engine-specific environment keys ( settings.<engine>.<environment>) are defined and then included into the top-level environment files. Take a look at one of the engine configuration files for a concrete example.

App Settings

Similar to the engine configuration files, any apps that require more than a location descriptor have a settings file in includes/settings. For example, to make changes to the Nuke Write Node app, all of the different configurations (for all environments) are defined in the includes/settings/tk-nuke-writenode.yml file.

The structure of these files is as follows:

# include the files that defines the app location
- ../app_locations.yml

# define each of the different configurations for the app.
# for an app that is built for a specific engine, it may be defined this way:
    # settings defined here...
    location: "@apps.<app>.location"

# for multi apps, the settings key may be defined with an engine name
    # settings defined here...
    location: "@apps.<app>.location"

The keys defined in this file are the ones referenced in the engine configuration files. Have a look at one of the app configuration files to see a concrete example.

App & Engine Locations

One of the changes made for tk-config-basic2 was to centralize the location descriptors for apps and engines. By default, this configuration defines the location for each app and engine being used in exactly one file.

For engines, the includes/engine_locations.yml file defines location descriptors for all engines. These location descriptors are then included and referenced anywhere an engine is used. This can be overridden, of course, by explicitly defining a location descriptor in one of the engine configuration files.

Similarly, all app location descriptors are defined in the includes/app_locations.yml file. This file is then included by any engine or app configuration that need to define an app's location.

Centralizing these location descriptors makes it extremely easy to test and rollout new integrations onto production.


Like the app and engine locations file, the includes/frameworks.yml file defines a single, top-level @frameworks key that can be included and used wherever frameworks are required (typically in the top-level enviornment configuration files). This is the only file that defines location descriptors for frameworks.

Software Paths

The paths.yml file found in older configurations has been renamed to software_paths.yml and lives in the includes folder. This file has been significantly reduced in terms of content because of the new Software entity and the ability of many of the latest Toolkit engines to scan the user's filesystem for installed software. What's left in this file is software that does not have an engine that supports the new Software entity.

The file still defines software paths for various operating systems, but the keys used has been modified for consistency. The file takes the form:

# <software>
path.linux.<software>: "/path/to/the/software/on/linux/software"
path.mac.<software>: "/Applications/<Software>.app"<software>: C:\Path\to\the\Software.exe

# <software>

These paths are typically included and used by apps like tk-multi-launchapp. See the software_paths.yml and includes/settings/tk-multi-launchapp.yml files to see concrete examples of how this file is used.


If you have any questions or concerns about the structure of this configuration, or if you have any ideas for how to improve it, please send an email to