When to use Kitsu and Shotgrid

Kitsu compared to Shotgrid

Target audience

The target audience of Shotgrid are big facilities: AutoCAD customers and very big studios like ILM, Weta or Disney.

The Kitsu audience are animation and VFX studios with team up to 500 users.

Features and roadmaps are designed accordingly to these two different goals. That's why you should really consider this aspect before chosing your reference solution.

Resource needed

Shotgrid is a toolbox, it doesn't work right out of the box. So, to start with Shotgrid, you should consider hiring several people dedicated to design and configure UIs in Shotgrid and plug the whole to your pipeline. You will end up with something tailor-made but at the price of lot of efforts. These developments will require a lot of maintenance in the future. Last but not least, your will need training sessions that present your version of Shotgrid.

Kitsu will require that you have at least one TD in your team. Kitsu works great right out of the box. All UIs are designed with ease of use in mind. It's easy to start with it and your users are autonomous. Nevertheless, you will still need a TD to plug your pipeline to Kitsu and take advantage of its database. Despite it provides flexibility to define different workflows, Kitsu may not fit with very particular projects too.

Simplicity vs Exhaustivity

Shotgrid is think to be able to work on any kind of projects at fine-grain level. It's great to deal with any kind of situation but comes with a lot of complexity. It may be too hard for your teams to get the full benefits from it.

Kitsu focus on animation and VFX projects. From our discussions with hundreds of studios we were able tom make strong choices to propose something efficient but flexible enough to adapt to most situations. Our goal is to make sure that everyone in the studio can use Kitsu from day 1.


Shotgrid qualifies for many security certifications and provide on-premise installations (with a significant extra cost). Its code is proprietary, so, there is no certainty that your data stay private.

Kitsu doesn't have any security certifications. But it is open-source, can be fully audited and installed on-premise with very few extra-cost. Its open-source aspect ensure that your data stay private and secure.

CGWire engineers have a strong track record in cloud hosting and apply all the best practices to ensure the security of your data (HTTPS, strict password management politic, strong SSH key management, background checks, etc.). It's a matter of time for us to qualify for the needed security certifications.


Kitsu has lower pricing (~25$/user/month) than Shotgrid (~30$/user/month).

The only reason behind this choice is the challenger position of Kitsu. But we do no compromise on the quality or the service. Our support is recognized to be much more reactive than the one from Autodesk and Kitsu performs better when used in an animation or VFX production.


Shotgrid provides user documentation and doc about its Python client.

Kitsu provides an easy to follow documentation, a search engine, tutorial videos. Its Python client is fully documented. Its data model and its REST API are fully documented. It's much easier for a pipeline TD to work with Kitsu.

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