Houdini 18.0 Nodes TOP nodes

Shotgun Server Begin TOP node

Starts a persistent Shotgun command server

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This node can be used to create Shotgun Server work items. Session work items in this node are associated with a long running Shotgun process.

In order to authenticate to Shotgun, one of the following three methods are required.

The order of precedence for authentication is $PDG_SHOTGUN_LOGIN, then $PDG_SHOTGUN_SCRIPT_NAME, and then to try and use shotgun.json. This is so that an override can be specified in the environment.

Using shotgun.json is recommended as exposing credentials in the environment can be a security risk.

See command servers for additional details on the use of command chains.

TOP Attributes



This attribute is inherited from the Feedback Begin node.

The loop iteration number, within the set of work items associated with the loop. This attribute can be an array of values when using nested feedback loops, since the iteration number at each level is preserved. The loop iteration value for the outer most loop is stored in loopiter[0], the next level is stored in loopiter[1], and so on.



This attribute is inherited from the Feedback Begin node.

Tracks which loop the work item is associated with. This attribute is relevant when generating multiple independent loops in the same feedback begin node, for example by driving the feedback begin node with a Wedge node.



This attribute is inherited from the Feedback Begin node.

The total number of iterations in the loop.


Work Item Generation

Whether this node generates static or dynamic work items. You should generally leave this set to "Automatic" unless you know the node’s work items can be computed statically, or that they need to be generated dynamically.


This node always creates dynamic work items: it waits until the upstream work items are known, and generates new work items from the upstream work items.


This node always creates static work items: it creates the number of work items it thinks it needs based on the parameters (and any upstream static items) before the network runs.


If the input is static (a static processor, or a partitioner with only static inputs, or a mapper), this node generates static work items, otherwise it generates dynamic work items.

Session Count from Upstream Items

When this toggle is enabled, the node will create a single server work item and a session with the server for each upstream work item. Otherwise, a server item will be created for each upstream work item.

Number of Sessions

The number of sessions to create with the server. Each session work item will cook in serial with other sessions using the same server. The chain of work items starting from this session item down to the Command Server End node will cook to completion before starting the next session.

Server Name

The name of the shared server. This name must be unique, which can be achieved by enabling the Suffix with Index parm.

Append Index to Server Name

Appends the work item index to the end of the Shared Server Name when registering the server. This is useful when generating multiple shared server work items in this node.

Server Port

The TCP port number the server should bind to (when Connect to existing server if off), or the port to use to connect to an existing server (when Connect to existing server is on). The default value 0 tells the system to dynamically choose an unused port, which is usually what you want. If you want to keep the ports in a certain range (and can guarantee the port numbers will be available), you can use an expression here such as 9000 + @pdg_index.

Connect to Existing Server

When this toggle is enabled, the work item will connect to an existing server rather than spawning a new one.

Server Address

The existing server address, when Connect to Existing Server is enabled.

Load Timeout

The timeout used when performing an initial verification that the shared server instance can be reached. When this timeout passes without a successful communication, the work item for that server will be marked as failed

Shotgun URL

The URL to the Shotgun instance to communicate with. The default value is $PDG_SHOTGUN_URL, which expects that the environment variable will be defined when the work item executes. However this can be set to an absolute path if it’s known.

HTTP Proxy

The URL of a proxy server to communicate with the Shotgun instance.

Custom CA Certs

A path to a custom list of SSL certificate authorities to use while communicating with the Shotgun instance.

Loop Attribute Names

These parameters can be used to customize the names of the work item attributes created by this node.


The name of the attribute that stores the work item’s iteration number.

Number of Iterations

The name of the attribute that stores the total iteration count.

Loop Number

The name of the attribute that stores the loop number.

See also

TOP nodes