Automating a Plugin


Adobe® Photoshop® and Lightroom® Plugins 101


Lesson Info

Automating a Plugin

We have just talked about what we talked about a lot of things but one of the things that we are finishing talking about now is the concept of automating photoshopped from light room so in the last hour we went through and we created an action that did quite a few a number of things that duplicated a layer it ran it through an action inside of what we use do we use rad lab for that so we use rad lab for making this layer here so that this layer was made in rad lab and then above it we made another layer through silver effects pro so we did a lot of things inside of this action we also added a burned dodge layer on top of that but it's just not showing because we copied it from another action and broadened into this action but we made a general workflow action that we want to then use to uh tio save and tow autumn e r workflow so that is where we started that's where we're starting this segment is that we have this action and we want to then use this action toe automate photo shop but w...

e have to ask light room to do it because we don't want to have to run every single image through this action by opening it up ourselves and then clicking on the action because that would take way too much work and I'm far too lazy to click buttons that many times so we are going to automate it. All right, so if you go into your actions panel you you definitely want to look at your action and really scrutinized and make sure it's exactly what you want so kind of scan through it make sure there aren't any weirdness is do it things that air kind of messed up or things that you you know didn't intend for it to happen or anything like that, so just make sure that you've got everything the way you want it in your action once you've done that note the name of your action and then you're going to go to file automate and you're going to create a droplet so file automate create a droplet, creating a droplet is like making an action that's a tiny little program of its own. So when you if you were to drag an image onto it would run the action, it would open up photo shop and run the action, so I'm going to create a droplet and I'll show you what a drop it looks like once we make it. Making a droplet is a little bit complicated, so you need to follow closely with me the first thing you want to do is decide where you're going to drop that droplet what where is it going to go so let's choose the location of the droplet and inside the droplet, the droplets actually going to go inside of the light room folder the same light room folder where all the presets go the same light room folder where all of your your templates for file name and go things like that so the way to find that is to go to the library folder this is in a mac in a in if you're on a pc it's a little more difficult to find, but the easiest way to find it again, as we discussed yesterday is to go to the preferences inside of light room and then click on them find precept folder the priests, the light room preset folder now and it will open it up that's the easiest way to find it but I'm just going to dig through so you can see so it's in the library folder in applications support inside of adobe inside of light room and then there's all of your presets and action are things that are involved in light room and we're going to be looking for what's called an export action and you can see these little arrows here those arrows air actually little droplets that I've already put in there so that you remember that warm and grain uh, action that we ran from photo shop just in the last segment that is also made into a droplet and it's sitting right here so that warm grain nick the same action but it's in a droplet form so what we're doing is we're creating a droplet and this droplet we're going to call album file prep because that's what the actions name is or it was something like them it saved so that's where it's going to save it then what we're going to do is we're going to go and find the it's in the workflow action set and we're going to find the one that we wanted so they're stiff there's standard album prep that's the one we just made so we have standard album prep and now we have to choose some things so the first thing that we want to do is override any open commands and we also you can include all sub folders that means that if you're exporting something with a bunch of sub folders it will still include all of the images in all the different sub folders I suppose you could leave that on that doesn't really matter andi we're going to suppress all open dialogues and all file open dialogues and all color warnings because the last thing you want to happen when you're running an action while you're sleeping is to have a little a pop up window pop up and say hey do you want me to use this color profile or that one because they won't do anything and you wake up in the morning you'll be like you know so so you want to make sure that that suppresses any of those warnings so that you don't have any problems there now override after open commands is an interesting animal and you have to understand what it's doing and when you click on it it gives you a warning and the warning you can tell it not to show it again don't do that always you always want this warning and the reason you want the warning is because I always forget what it means like it's such a confusing a box to check that every time I click on it I have to pay attention to it and decide does this it's it's kind of like if someone says hey did you not not like to go to that party with me or not like hold on what what did you just say so that's that's what s o I always double check myself and it says when this option is on source files for the will be opened from the source folder on lee by the open steppes in the action if there are no open steps in the action meaning that there's no command inside the action that you built to say open this file it won't do anything okay so you do not want to have you do not want toe override that if you override this action if you click that check box it means I do nothing if there's not an open thing in there's got to be in order for it to run there has to be an open command inside of the action which we didn't build one okay so if this is checked it means it's not going to run because there's no open command now why you want an open command in there is so that if you're running an action where when you open something up you're going to get a dialogue box if you don't tell it what kind of like say you're opening a pdf you know on a pdf when it opens up it gives you the option to tell what resolution and all that kind of stuff so that's an open command issue so if you're opening pdf inside of an action that you built you need the open command inside the action to tell it when you open do a three hundred g p I and hit ok otherwise it will it will just stop and wait and you have to sit there and say ok on fifty images okay so that's what that's all about so uncheck the open command box then if you go down here there's this override save as command same issue so you click on it and it will give you the same warning and it says if there's no save as command we're doing nothing now save as commands are important because if you're saving j pegs what does it do on the save as a j peg? It gives you a warning that says do you want to say this at ten or twelve or nine quality or whatever that's it that's a close command so if you're saving j pegs you want that close command toe happen right? You wanted to actually do that so we don't want that to happen because we're not saving out j pegs now if you say about a tiff there is a close command on the tiff isn't there do you want this to be compressed? Do you want this too? You know whatever which is why I prefer the psd there's no close command on a psd and so I am goingto uncheck this and I am going to when I when I make this specific action that we're going to command photoshopped from light room I'm always going to send out a psd because then there's no chance that I'm going to run into a bunk away you got to answer this question right so that's this is the way this dialog box should look okay take note of it it needs to have no override open command and no on the override save as command these three boxes air checked we choose the location for the actual remember it's called the export actions folder inside of the light room folder for four light room presets and then we're going toe we're going to choose workflow action set because that's the action set that I put it in and we're going to choose standard album, prep that's the action that we just made and this is how everything looks okay and we're not going to stop for the ares weaken log the heirs to a file and we can save those out to our desktop as untitled or you could save it out as errors in actions something like that so you that the concept here is that you want oh, insure yourself against stopping because you're not going to be around when you're running this, you're gonna be doing something else I'm gonna hit ok? And that just saved out my droplet. Now I am going to close this file let's just let's not even save it and we're going to go to light room and I need to choose a set of images to run through this process and remember, we just made a crazy action. This is not a really legitimate album prep action, so I don't want anyone to think that I run all of my stuff through this craziness. I just wonder study of everything you could do and then you can automate it and we're all thinking actually let's do two images so you can see it work, but I don't want to waste our time waiting for fifty images go okay, so at this point let's go through and just choose to images from here and we're going to choose to raw images will choose this one which we were just going to work on, so we'll get the same kind of concept on that one and we'll also choose yeah, this one here, right next to those of the two that were going to export so what we need to do and it doesn't take much to do this we're going to go to the export dialog box on this and uh in the export dialog box we're going to choose a preset that's the right file type and so for us it's a psd sixteen pro photo rgb a sixteen bit file the way we make presets I mean go in here and show you this the way we make presets inside of the export dialog boxes we set up all the parameters here and then once we're done, we add the preset here and name it so that we never have to do that again. So we click on pro photo sixteen bit rgb so you can see up here that this about halfway through is the ps the option? So this is the place where we use p s d s c there are values to psd zzzz well, a tip is a great thing to send directly out to a plug in but a psd has the advantages in photoshopped to operate with a little less trouble and so I'm going to keep the psd then I'm going to go pro photo rgb that gives me the best file types sixteen bit at the top is the export location it's going to be the same folder is the location so the original photo it's going to be in the same place it's going to be added back to the catalog? So remember our remember our schematic in the schematic you had light room sending something out to photo shop? Yeah sending something out the photo shop and then voters shop, sending it backto light room. This is photoshopped, sending it back to light room so you don't have to be involved in the process. You don't have to go re import these items, it goes out to photo shop, it comes back to light room so as it makes this file it's going to add it back into the catalog and I can have it stack it to the original so I've got add to stack and I can tell whether it's going to be above or below the original. I wanted above so that it's always sitting on top of the stack and I'm going to I can rename it if I want just the same way I could when I was making my file preferences for sending up tips, but I choose to leave it as my the same file name just don't psd then obviously there's the file settings I don't want to change the size on the file at all I don't want to sharpen it because you don't want to sharpen something before you do the editing on it that's very important, andi I'm not talking about sharpening inside of light room light room sharpening is different than file sharpening output sharpening our output scharping output sharpening is for like printing and web like to really finalize the image. So you you do that after you've done all your editing metadata I want all the meditated included in my files that are going out on dh I remove the location information because I don't want any location information included on stuff that's going out actually you can you can have the location information on your p stds if you want but definitely when you make a jpeg you remove that location information so that's not attached to a j peg because there's two reasons number one if you take pictures someone's kid and it goes on the web and someone confined the location information on and it looks like that they're in their house, then some creep khun go find that kid in someone's house that's not a good thing the second reason is amore it's it's kind of a proprietary thing so I know where I go for my locations and I don't need everybody to know where I go for my locations because then it's like disneyland at the location so you know, just don't share your location you can share with your friends but don't share it everywhere because I worked very hard to find interesting locations and social jews of photographer and so it's it's kind of cheating for a photographer to go on ask another photographer hey where's, a good location for this and not do the work themselves lt's so my locations air uniquely me because I go look for them, you know, if I were if I were to go find a location based on calling someone than my location looks, I've got this friend who's, a portrait photographer and he always shoots a very specific because he you know, he likes to pile the people in triangles and all that kind of stuff, so he's got these very so every location that he shoots looks like his type of locations because there's always a couple boulders and they're always in the right structure, you know? I mean, whereas I don't shoot that way and so my my locations are very different looking, and if I were to go shoot his locations I would start looking like I was trying to copy him you know so anyway just choose your own location I like that that hidden canyon location that you have there that secret no one knows what that is that's a good one that some say it's a uniquely mine so then you get to the bottom and at the very bottom is the nugget and that is the post processing export action if I click on that I have access to all of those pre our actions that I've made into droplets so that folder you saw those little arrow looking things well that's what these are here and you can see one of them is album file prep that's the action that we made into a preset his album filed prep so if I click on that it's going to then run after it finishes the files, it sends a report to photo shop and that report tells it which images to run and it runs all those images so the report's going to be sent out and it's going to tell photoshopped to run these two files that were running right now. Now once you've got that saved so you you like what you've done here then you're going toe add that as and I would just call it as album file prep and I would put it inside of my four print area and hit create and so now I have an album filed prep option inside of my templates so then if I happen to be exporting other things so see how everything's changed on the file type is a j peg srg b one hundred and all that kind of stuff and then I and I decide oh, I'm gonna I've chosen these two images that are going to go out file perhaps I'm going to export them and I come in here, all I have to do is click on album file prep and everything has gone exactly where it needs to go for album filed proud and then I'm gonna hit export and then watch what happens so it's building two p s d s it's putting them right back where they're supposed to be, which is in light and you can see him coming in now and now while it's doing that it's opening photo shop and photo shop is now running the action on those things, you can see it's building it right now and it's doing all of this stuff and you and I are doing something else s we're out to dinner, I'm you know off talking to someone and it's building these and working on the while we're gone and you can see that there's a lot of stuff going on here and see there is the burning layer that we just made and now it's doing all of the change of the layer a pass it ease and making the great the grain and all that kind of stuff while you and I were just chatting and then I'm sleeping at home and then I wake up in the morning and once I wake up all of this stuff that I could be sitting around waiting for before I do something is our I'm not doing anything so so while we're waiting on this asked some questions all right, that sounds fantastic. So would there be a way to include a sink folder for dropbox? So part of this and action would be actually to save a final file and send it off to some other place yeah that's a great idea so let's say I have a polo you're sleeping right let's say I have a post production house that is going to do the retouching portion so instead of saving this to the location where they currently exist save the ps tease to a drop box that the production house already has access to and run all of them this is fantastic you're amazing you are brilliant ok, so so now it runs the actions while I'm sleeping and you could you could see a lot of this stuff being done and then all you're asking the post production house and say I want this style but I just need you to go in and see if there's any zits and blemishes and whatever and flyaway hairs you have to remove those and so then they could go in and and and remove whatever needs to be removed and all of this stuff goes to the drop box along your sleeping all that stick it's done and then they go in because they're probably in china or in india or wherever they happen to be and so they're working on that while you're sleeping and when you wake up in the morning they're already done with the the blemish removals or whatever you're absolutely right okay, okay and look so oh I wake up in the morning wearing ring ring ring every time I do this my wife teases me that I'm exercising when I stretch she calls this my exercise because I don't exercise and so when I stretch that's my exercises eso I've done my exercises for the morning and now I'm going to go over the light room and I'm going to look at my two images and you can see the two images right there and if I if they're on top of these images see they're stacked on top of him so I can go in go toe photo stacking on our collapse all stacks and when I do that it collapses all the stacks so now I only see the top and I could further go up here to the metadata menu and click on metadata go over to any of these top of any of these panels and choose file type and choose on lee my ps d's and tiffs so these air the tips and the p stds and let's see what we have so there's the two that I've created and so at this point I would just simply go through and I would go into full screen mode and I would just kind of toggle through my images and see is there anything that needs to be re touched on any of these images and if not great we're done and I can then I can go back to the grid if I don't need to read to touch any of them highlight a mall export and then I can choose a j peg export him as j pegs, throw them in the final design and send them off to album production brilliant but there may be a time where I'm like, oh well, I this image here particularly needs a little retouching or some burning and dodging or whatever and if it just needs burning and dodging that aiken do inside of light room, then I can go in the developed module. I'm it's a it's a it's, a psd, but that doesn't mean I can't come in to my grady in't tool and choose a one stop burn and burn in, you know, edges of the psd aiken you know, there's no reason I can't do that and then export it and even if I've done that and then I decided, you know what I really do need to go in and edit this, so I'm going to go in and edit in photo shop and it's going to ask me, do you want to add it with the light room adjustments? Because I just made adjustments over the top of it, which were those grady ints, but I'm going to say, no, I just want to edit the original simon edit the original it's, going to open up the original for me with all of its layers, and remember, some of those layers are smart layers, so I could I could go in and and rehash out my smart filter here, or I could say, you know what? This is way too much on this image, so I'm going to drag the opacity down on this image quite a bit, and I'm going to go in and just create a little bit more of a contrast here because I really think that it it went a little too far and then ok, now I'm done, and we could have put this way. We could have put this curve layer into our action so that we always have the curve layer ready to go if we need it, you can do that on dh, then once you're done, you can just close this and save it's going to save out the file again and you're going to go back in the light room wait for that toe update and it's going to update, but then the the grady ints that I put on top of it are still on top of it, so the photo shop is going underneath a set of non destructed nondestructive burn that I could then adjust later if I wanted to so let's see how we're close, we're eighty three percent so in in a minute this is going to update, but you'll see that these grady ints air still available to me over the top of that photo shopped document. So there's no reason why you can't take a photo shopped document, come back and then do some more light room on top of the photo shopped document and then play around with it. Change it. Maybe I want a crop it as well, and there is a rule we talked about this in the major on the matrix of the in the first systematic, so in our schematics is that we always do are cropping in light room after retouching because you may sometime run into a situation where you need more than the eight by ten that you cropped, you know, maybe you maybe you've got a cover magazine. Well now you're going to retouch the whole thing again because the magazine cover needs an eight by twelve and you just gave them an eight by ten and they're like that's not gonna work we need all that space up above them so so now you can see that this is done and so here's the original file but we can turn on and off our burn on top of that original file any time we like and we could go in and do our crop you know? So we want to do that is the crop but we still have the original just in case for some reason we need it and now we can go back to the grid highlight all of our images by the way this thing gets in the way a lot this library filter the backslash key is the way to get rid of it it doesn't change it keeps the filter that it's doing but it just gets it out of the way so the backs lawsky will do that and then we hit shift command e for export choose r j pegs and export the entire lot toe whatever use we want to use or if you're sending tips to someone what however you're delivering your images but you can see that now you can see the end from the beginning are you concede the end before you ever even looked at the beginning so like you said with michelangelo you know he would look at a block right and he would see his sculpture and so then he just had execute it was the same thing with ansel adams he called pre visualization and so he would look at a scene and he knew what the print was going to look like and so he did things in the beginning to affect the end and he called pre visualization so he work backwards from the end to the beginning and that's what we're doing but we're doing it computer assisted provisions they say where we look at the end product first and decide whether it needs anything at the beginning right fanta examine exactly right yeah so cool so work backwards work backwards work backwards so that is the process of automating photo shop from light room and it's all based on those droplets that you find inside of your if you go to your light room folder which is inside of the library it's inside the application support adobe light room and then it's right inside of here these export actions right here that's what that's what's important and by the way you can automate anything that if you could take a photo or a folder of photos and drag it onto an icon it's automated ble so for instance let's go to a set of images um in the traveling drive let's just go to a set of images say uh some j pegs there we go and I'm just going to make a new folder out here if I take three images here and I put them into this folder okay, so watch what happens if you take a set of images and you go over and put it on aperture which is another plug in right? So if you drag it on aperture and let go what happens? It opens aperture and then it starts to import images in tow aperture ok, so if that's the case so if it if it brings stuff in aperture by just dragging it onto aperture, then that means that it's automata ble so then all you need to do is go to the applications and go find that aperture right here and right click it and make an alias so we've got an alias there I'm going to take that alias and drag it okay, so we have an alias for aperture here that means it's pointing to that application then I'm going to go to the light room folder and go to that export actions and I'm going to take aperture and drag it into their now that I have that in there, if I'm in light room and I go toe export something and I make him as as j pegs and I go down to the bottom and I used the expert action aperture when I hit export it will export all the j pegs to the location that I ask it to and then it will take all those and put them into aperture and make an album out of them and then I can start my slideshow so now aperture which is a really good slideshow maker can become a plug in tow light room and so you can just say ok export these two aperture and then as soon as it's on I'll start my slideshow amazing so there you have it aperture has officially become a plug in for like room that's brilliant something steve jobs never anticipated like turning over in his grave go no my program eso speaking of this quick question from pro photographer is there a limit to the number of steps or programs that you can use with this process? Well there's no limit to the number of steps you can put into an action ok and you can even pair actions together so you could have a you know a number of actions running but you only have one shot at telling light room to do something without your knowledge so you can there's there's there's not like do this and then when it comes back do that and then when it comes back do that if you wanted to do something like that you could do it but then you involves another programming process which is called the autumn mater so if you pull up apple's automate er you could then create an automated program and put that into the export actions folder and run that and it was soon a zit finished the images it would drag it onto that automate er and then the automate er would be telling every program what to do but that requires you to program the automate er which is a lot more complicated on dh that's a hole you could do a three day class on automate er but if you know how to use the automate er or if you know someone who's a total geek about apple and automate or whatever you could pay them to program and automate er that would do amazing things because it can do if then is and it can do all sorts of stuff so then it could say okay I'm gonna send it to the automated the automakers going to send it to all these different programs and split it up and coffee it three times and whatever and it could do everything you wanted to do and then some and then you would come back to light room the next day and everything would be done so yes you there is no limit but light room on lee has the ability on export to give one command toe all the files that you just exported now you khun give different commands to different exports so, for instance, I could. If I'm exporting three different versions of files, I could hit export and run an act on export command on this set of files to do that, and then I could export the same set of files again and tell it, you know, click a different preset. And it would say, send in tow, aperture. And then I could export another one and send those to photo shop and another one, and could send those somewhere else. And each one could have its own export action automation process. And all of those can happen simultaneously. But each export on lee has one chance, that's saying something, handing it off to something. And in this case, we're just handing it off to an automated process and photoshopped by putting it to a droplet were telling it to go to that droplet.

Class Description

Want to know how to tailor Adobe® Photoshop® and Lightroom® to make them even more powerful? Join creativeLIVE instructor Jared Platt for a three-day introduction to the plugins that will change the way you use Adobe’s seminal programs.

Jared will guide you through a wide variety of plugins as he explains why and how to use each one. You’ll learn about building a workflow that incorporates plugins, saving you time and money in the post-production process. Jared will also cover ways to synchronize and implement plugins on multiple computers. You’ll also explore the built-in tools in Lightroom® and Adobe® Photoshop® for creating and implementing your own plugins.

By the end of this course, you’ll be ready to harness the power of plugins and take your image editing skills to new heights.

Software Used: Adobe Photoshop CC 14.0, Adobe Lightroom 5