Introduction to Versions

Understanding Asset Versions

Asset versions in ftrack (also known as Versions) are the reviewable entities for the creative output of your work. A version could be an image, video, or PDF that you want to review and share with your team for feedback.


Image: Thumbnail view of the Versions page

You can add versions to a task, project, or other objects (like a folder, shot, asset build, or one of your own creation). For example, adding versions to a folder that you use for creative reference for a project.

Versions can be added to your workspace by upload or publish.

  • Upload - when files are added directly within the ftrack Studio workspace. You can upload to any task, object, folder, or project.
  • Publish - when files are added to your workspace or connected storage via Connect or API features and tools. Connect only allows you to publish to the task, while the API is more flexible. Publishing is more advanced and will not be discussed in depth in this series, but you can click on the respective links to learn more about these features.
Tip: For any submitted creative work, the ideal workflow is to upload or publish the version to the task the work has been completed for.


While other non-media file types (including working files) can be added as versions, if it isn't an accepted media file, you won't be able to open and review it in your preferred player.

If you are working with large file sizes or are concerned about ftrack server storage size, whether it be for your media or non-media files and versions, it's essential to monitor your storage limitations or consider other storage options. 


Image: Storage usage bar found in System Settings

Tip: An introduction to maximizing your ftrack storage can be found in the articles below:


When you open a version's Sidebar by clicking on its name link you'll find tabs for:

  • Components - list of version components and their location
  • Notes - see the notes/feedback on a version or add a new note or reply
  • Links - list of links that version has been connected to (API feature)
  • Related versions - other versions of the same asset
  • Activities - a history of updates to the version
  • Info - attribute details of the version


Image: Asset version Sidebar view with tabs highlighted.

What is a Component?

Components within an asset version (also known as version) are the uploaded or published files, paths, and metadata that comprise the complete asset version "package".

When you create a version by uploading or publishing media, ftrack will encode that media into web player and UI-friendly components. This includes creating the thumbnail file representing your version in the workspace and encoded media and metadata based on your chosen encoding quality (we addressed these settings earlier in Diving into System Settings).

The location tag to the left of the file path indicates where that particular component is stored, such as on the ftrack server, locally, or in a configured storage location.

Depending on their location, components can be downloaded to the user's local machine by clicking the Download button to the right of the file path.


Image: Listed components of a version as seen within the version's Sidebar Components tab.

The Basics of Media Review

When a version contains media, it can be reviewed individually via the thumbnail in your preferred player or compiled into a list (for internal review only) or a Review (for internal or external review).

Thumbnail - Click on any Version thumbnail to open that version in your preferred player.


Image: Close-up thumbnail view of a version on the Versions Page

List - A list of versions can be saved in your workspace and opened by your preferred player so you can provide internal feedback (annotation and notes).


Image: A list being reviewed internally in the web player.

Review - A Review (also commonly referred to as a Client Review) containing your version playlist can be saved and shared with a client, so they may provide external feedback on the versions within. Review Sync allows you to collaborate visually in real-time with others outside your location. While the Review feature was initially created for clients, as our workplaces have extended into more remote work, this is a useful way to hold interactive reviews with internal team members in many locations.


Image: A playlist of versions being viewed in the Review player in Studio.

Please note: Presently, all notes created in a Review will have an additional "Client Feedback" tag or heading when viewed in your workspace, despite whether the note was left by an internal or client user. This may change in the future as we evolve the feature to consider multi-location workplaces and users.


Assets vs. Asset Builds

Assets are the parent containers of your asset versions. They help ftrack identify uploaded files and group them accordingly. This allows every uploaded or published file to be translated into a version in a sequential manner based on its asset parent filename. There is built-in intelligence to help ftrack best recognize each asset and its versions so it can version up accordingly.


  • A new file called '' is uploaded.
  • The asset 'red_car' is created.
  • Within that asset "container", the first version called 'red_car v1' is also created. This is the entity viewable throughout the workspace as a version.
  • When the artist completes changes to their red car model they will re-upload their new render file, ''.
  • ftrack recognizes the file belongs to asset 'red_car' which already has a 'v1' and so it knows to create the next version as 'red_car v2', and so on.

Please note: The asset is mostly hidden in the workspace UI and not visible like the asset version. If you only upload directly to the workspace, the asset will function for you as needed behind the scenes.

However, the asset becomes crucial to consider when you start using tools to publish Assets and their contained Asset Versions using the API or Connect.


Asset Build is the term used for the default 3D model object in ftrack and can also be found in the default VFX and animation workflow schemas. It can also be used as an object in any custom workflow to represent 3D models in your projects.

Now that we have some of the basics down, let's learn a little more about versions in action!

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