cragl vfx tools | Nuke Python Tools and Plugins | smartShelves


Manage your node menus including nodes and gizmos in a clever and simple way smartShelves

Manage your node menues in a new way

smartShelves lets you manage you custom shelves including nodes and gizmos in NUKE in a simple fast and intuitive way. You can always add new nodes and gizmos, assign shortcuts to them and edit and delete items whenever you like. You can use smartShelves also for your custom repository. Just link to a custom folder and all gizmos are installed automatically on your machine.

No need to script anything anymore

To set up custom shelves you usually need some python scripting. smartShelves does that job for you. You can create custom shelves and add nodes and gizmos and don't need to script any line of code for that.


Do you have any question about smartShelves? make sure to read our tools specific faq for smartShelves.


• Shelves and gizmo manager for NUKE
• Manage your node menus without any coding
• Easily install gizmos/ nodes and assign shortcuts
• Access the latest created nodes


Nuke8, Nuke9, Nuke10, Nuke10.5, Nuke11

Linux, Mac, Windows

where to buy

download trial

Please use our free tool connect to download your smartShelves trial.
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1) Instal smartShelves

Like any other cragl product, SmartShelves can be installed with cragl connect directly inside NUKE.
Open connect and drag smartShelves to the right to reveal more information. Just click on "buy" and you will be located to the web page where you can purchase smartShelves. After purchasing you will receive a mail including an instal code. Now simply click on install, enter your received instal code and smartShelves will be installed automatically on your machine.

2) Access smartShelves

smartShelves can be accessed via NUKE's menu bar. Click on "cragl". In here you will now find the submenu "smartShelves" with its commands "open smartShelves", "add selected node to customShelf" and "about". To access the main smartShelves window choose the option "open smartShelves". Alternatively you can hold alt or option and press Q.

3) recentNodes

recentNodes is a customShelf that is after installing smartShelves now available to you.
You find the shelf at the bottom of the nodes menu. Whenever you create a node, the node will be appended to this list. This gives you access to the recent nodes that you have used. The nodes list is saved even after closing NUKE.

3.1) recentNodes settings

To open the recentNodes settings click on the "recentNodes settings" command at the top of the list.

1) You can decide whether to save the recent nodes in the list or just have them lying in the list for the current NUKE session.
2) You can decide how many nodes to save in the smartRecents list. By default 10 nodes will be saved.
3) The "flush recent nodes NOW" clears the recentNodes list.

4) smartShelves display

Here you can toggle on and of the visibility of customShelves to make more space in your interface.

4.1) new shelf

To add a new customShelf to your shelf menu switch to the second tab "new shelf". Enter a name for the new shelf. You can set an icon if you like. Finally click on "create new shelf". The new customShelf will be added to your nodes menu and you can start populating it with nodes and gizmos.

4.2) edit smartShelves

In the third tab you can edit your customShelves. This works by selecting the according checkboxes. Here you find a list with all customShelves, in which every registered node or gizmo is represented with a checkbox. To delete a node/gizmo from a shelf check the according checkbox and click the "delete checked items" button at the bottom. You can also delete a whole customShelf. Just enable the according checkbox at the bottom and hit the "delete checked items" button. For your safety you have to confirm it. Please note: Deleting nodes, gizmos and whole customShelves cannot be undone.

4.3) import gizmo to shelf

To add a gizmo to a customShelf switch to the fourth tab "import gizmo to shelf".

1) Simply drag and drop the gizmo from your explorer into the drag area at the top. If you have an png icon you can drag it into here as well. Alternatively, double click the drag area and you can browse for a gizmo and an icon.
2) Optional: If you like you can convert the gizmo to a group before adding it to your customShelf.
3) Optional: If you like you can set a shortcut for the new gizmo.
4) Finally choose the customShelf that you like to add the gizmo to and hit the "import gizmo to shelf" button.

You can also manually drag and drop a gizmo into the according customShelf directory in order to import the gizmo to your customShelf. For further information please see 6) Manually importing customShelves and gizmos.

4.4) Register node to shelf

There are several ways to register a node to a customShelf. Please see also 5) Add a node to a customShelf

To register a node to a customShelf directly from within the smartShelves main window switch to the fifth tab "Register node to shelf".

1) Choose a node from the dropdown
2) Choose a customShelf that you like to append the node to
3) Optional: set a shortcut for creating that node.

4.5) advanced settings

By default smartShelves automatically creates a customShelf root directory in your user home directory which can be found here:

Linux: /home/[username]/cragl/smartShelves
Macintosh: /Users/[username]/cragl/smartShelves
Windows: drive:\Documents and Settings\[username]\cragl\smartShelves

Whenever you create a new customShelf a folder will be automatically created inside your customShelf root folder. the customShelf folder has the same name as your customShelf. All gizmos that are imported to customShelves are stored in the according customShelf directory.

One example to illustrate this:
You created a customShelf called "CustomKeyer". In that customShelf you appended the gizmo "customDespil". So that means in your user folder you will find this folder structure: In the "advanced" tab you can customize the customShelf root directory and the path to your shelves xml in which all metadata about customShelves, nodes and gizmos is stored.

By default these inputs are empty which means that smartShelves creates the gizmos root directory in the folder "smartShelves" which is located in the "cragl" directory which is in your user home directory. But you can also point to customized path. This can for instance be a gizmos repository on your server or in your cloud. All meta data for customShelves-, nodes- and gizmo settings will be saved to the shelves.xml which can also be set customized. After setting these paths smartShelves will load all items automatically into your nodes menu.

5) Add a node to a customShelf

There are several ways to register a node to a customShelf.
To register a node directly inside the smartShelves main window Please see 4.4) Register node to shelf

1) Right click the node that you like to append to a customShelf directly inside the properties bin and choose the command "add to customShelf".
2) Choose a customShelf that you like to add the node to.
3) Optional: You can set a shortcut to create that node.
Finally hit the "add" button.

Another way is to select the node that you like to add to a customShelf and choose "cragl->smartShelves->add selected node to customShelf". This will also show the "register node to customShelf" window.

6) Manually importing customShelves and gizmos

Whenever you create a customShelf then smartShelves sets up a folder with a sub folder structure automatically in which all imported gizmos for the customShelf are stored. If you haven't set your custom gizmos directory (please see 4.5 advanced settings) then the gizmos root directory will be in "cragl/smartShelves" in your home directory. However, if you have set a custom gizmos directory then smartShelves will use the set directory.

Each customShelf folder has this structure: Inside a customShelves folder you will find a "gizmos" folder and an "icons" folder. You can drop your gizmos and icons into the directories manually and the next time you launch NUKE these items will be added to your customShelves automatically because whenever you launch NUKE all customShelves are scanned for new items. If smartShelves finds new items then these will be added automatically. That means you can drop as many items into the customShelves directory and they will all be added automatically for you. This can save you a lot of time.

You can also create customShelves manually by creating the folder structure manually inside your explorer. That way you can also copy whole customShelves and they will all be added automatically. Please remember to stick to the folder structure as seen in the image below.

FAQ for smartShelves

Here you will find some frequently asked questions on smartShelves. Please make sure to read them first. Please also have a look on the documentation. If you have any question that is not listed in here please don't hesitate to contact us. We are pleased to help you.

How do I install smartShelves?

Each cragl tool can be installed via cragl connect - our free tool to install and manage all of your cragl tools directly inside NUKE. If you haven't already done so please download connect.
By opening connect you will see a list of all cragl tools. You can drag and drop it to the right hand side of the connect window to reveal more infos. Just click on "buy". After purchasing you will receive an install code for your tool. Now simply click "install now" and enter the received install code. The tool will be downloaded and installed automatically for you. So you don't need to struggle with any install issue.

How do I connect smartShelves with my already existing repository?

You can use smartShelves with your existing repository. Please make sure to keep the folder structure as described in the documentation video so that smartShelves will find all your custom gizmos. Open the smartShelves window and navigate to the tab "advanced settings". In here you will find two inputs. one which will point to the gizmos directroy and one that will specigy the path for the shelves xml. All your settings are stored in the custom xml. So for example if you work in a company and need to connect to the company's repository just point the "custom gizmos directory" path to the directory in which all gizmos are stored. Your custom xml directory can then point to a local path on your computer. If you choose the custom xml directory to be on the server and another artist uses the same path then you will share a shelves xml and all your settings will be the same. So in most cases you will prefer the first option to store the shelves xml on your local disk.


Here you will find an overview of the smartShelves's versions and its improvements. Please log in to download versions.

smartShelves v2.1

• Fixed bug that broke the settings when a setting value didn't exist.

smartShelves v2.0

• Made Nuke11 ready
• Major code updates and code improvements

smartShelves v1.2

• Quick Edit menu
• hide smartShelf
• edit smartShelf
• import gizmo to shelf - smartShelf automatically selected
• register node to shelf - shelf automatically selected
• Icons for all commands
• Settings advanced checkbox for show/ hide quick edit

smartShelves v1.1

• fixed bug that caused problems with loading custom shelves when setting up a custom shelves directory and xml directory paths in MacOS

smartShelves v1.0

initial release