If the studio has no internet access, download a zip of offline models from here:

Next, to start the sever, create a file called shade.bash somewhere in your user folder - typically the Desktop. The contents of the file should be as follows:

# Shade sources the models from either the internet or a local model zip if there is not internet. Make sure to set
#  this environment variable if you're running in a shutdown environment. Ignore if internet access.
export SHADE_MODELS_PATH=/path/to/the/downloaded/models/zip/if/
# Shade gives this key during onboarding. This unlocks unlimited assets and enables broadcasting on all interfaces.
export SHADE_KEY=XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX # This is the key given from Shade

export DISABLE_ANALYTICS=1  # If analytics should be disabled
export SHADE_BROADCAST=  # To broadcast on all interfaces
export SHADE_PORT=9082  # defaults to 9082 but can be changed here

# Start the server

Make sure to update SHADE_KEY to use the proper key - if necessary modify SHADE_MODELS_PATH.

Start the server by running bash shade.bash in the terminal from the same directory.

If any issues arise, we’re always happy to help in our discord, over email or live on a call!


  • If internet access: Open the Shade app GUI. On launch, if an update is available the “update is available” window will show. Simply select the relevant update option.
  • If no internet or on terminal:
    1. Download the new installer from
    2. Overwrite the old app in /Applications/ with the new one
    3. Restart the server

Connecting Mac Clients

Download the Shade app onto any artist/clients/workstations that need to connect to Shade.

Studio clients on the same network only need three pieces of information to connect & search. To locate the server and then for shade to perform path translation.

  1. The network IP address of the Shade Server. For most setups this is the same as the SMB server on the port 9082, for example in our organization we have an SMB server at smb://, so the shade address is
  2. The path to the shared drive from Shade server’s perspective. For example, if the shade server is running an SMB server, which is serving an external drive at /Users/assets, then this value would be the same: /Users/assets.
  3. The path to the shared drive from the client/artist perspective. If clients mount the assets folder at /Volumes/assets, then this value would be /Volumes/assets.

To fill this information:

  1. Launch Shade, on the first screen select I am using this in a Studio
  2. Fill in the information above into the following screen
  3. Continue, then select the relevant workspace from the left sidebar. Clients can index anything locally with the L (local) workspace but can take advantage of the server by selecting the other workspaces/servers.