/ /

A droplet to automate Photoshop and Lightroom

Thanks to the droplet, the image was exported from Lightroom to Photoshop and a series of adjustment layers were automatically created for basic adjustments in Photoshop.

How can you automatically launch repetitive tasks in Photoshop from Lightroom? With droplets created from Photoshop actions.

Automate the routine

Anyone who works with Photoshop on a regular basis will find that certain settings come up again and again. Let’s take an example. You add a layer for retouching with the spot healing brush tool or the clone stamp tool. Next, a first layer of curve adjustments is created to locally lighten the image, then a second to darken it. Finally, a hue-saturation adjustment layer is added to correct unwanted color cast. These steps take time. Photoshop can automate their creation with actions.

Create an action

Select an image in your Lightroom catalog, then right-click and choose “Modify in Photoshop” to open the image in Photoshop. Then access actions via Window>Actions.

Create a new set according to the theme of future actions to be saved in it (folder icon at the bottom of the actions window). For example, name this set “Retouches”.

Then create an action (icon resembling [+]) with the name “Basic Adjustments”.

When you click on “Record”, a small red button appears, indicating that your modifications are saved.

Add a retouch layer (Cmd+Shift+N on Mac, Ctrl+Shift+N on PC, or click on the + icon inside a square). Rename it “Retouch”.

Then add a curve adjustments layer with the preset “Darker”, and another with the preset “Lighter”. Rename them “Darker” and “Lighter”.

Add a hue-saturation layer. Turn the white color of the masks to black (Cmd+I on Mac, Ctrl+I on PC). The four layers are stacked one on top of the other.

Select the four layers and right-click in the bottom menu to choose “Group from layers…”, which you will call “Basic Retouches”. Save the image. Click on the stop recording button (the little square to the left of the red button). This is the end of the first step.

The droplet

Let’s move on to the droplet, which is a real application created from an action. From the menu bar, select File>Automate>Create Droplet…

A window opens.
Name the droplet by clicking on “Choose”. Choose the same name as the action you’ve just created, to remember that it will process images in the same way as the action. Likewise, save the droplet in a specific folder where all droplets will be kept, named “Photoshop Droplets”.

“Play” displays the name of the last action used. Alternatively, select “Basic Adjustments” in the “Retouches” set you have just created. To avoid problems with color space mismatches between Photoshop and other applications, check “Suppress File Open Options Dialogs” and “Suppress Color Profile Warnings”. The destination option must be “None” if you want to keep files open after they’ve been opened in Photoshop. Otherwise, choose “Save and Close” or “Folder”. “Save and close” keeps images in their original folder. “Folder” assigns them to a custom folder.

Then click OK. Your droplet is created. Its extension is .app on the Mac, .exe on the PC.

Let’s make a comment about the droplet and recent Mac OS operating systems (from Ventura onwards). To avoid the droplet being considered as a corrupted application, you need to right-click the application icon several times to open it and override the warning messages, so that the operating system considers the droplet as a safe application.

If you drag an image file (PSD, Tiff, Jpeg, etc.) onto a droplet icon (whose name comes from the expression “drag and drop”), the photo is automatically processed by Photoshop. The droplet can be associated with Lightroom.

Back to Lightroom

Select one or more images, then right-click and choose “Export”. Prefer Tiff or PSD format for retouching in Photoshop.

In the post-processing parameter panel, choose “Open in Other application…” and select the droplet.

When you click on “Export” at the bottom of the export window, each image will open in Photoshop and within seconds all the layers of the action will be automatically added. Thanks to the droplet, Photoshop automatically applies all the steps of an action, which can save time for repetitive tasks.

Discover the photography courses at Spéos

Spéos offers various training courses ranging from simple one-week photography courses (initiation and advanced level) to 3-year courses. The long courses to become professional photographers allow you not only to master all the photographic techniques and its vocabulary (blurs, hyperfocus, sharpness zone, depth of field, backlighting, focal length, shutter release, autofocus, wide-angle, rule of thirds, etc.), but also all the stages of shooting and image processing.

Visiting the school allows you to discover the premises, the studios and the equipment, and is undoubtedly the best way to familiarize yourself with your future way of working. This is why, in addition to the open days, Spéos offers throughout the year personalized visits by appointment to come and discover the school with a member of the team.

Text and photos: Philippe Bachelier, teacher of Printing techniques at Spéos

Similar Posts