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Anyone think Adobe could improve LR-PS integration when it comes to running actions?

pjamedia

Active Member
Joined
May 6, 2008
Messages
101
Lightroom Experience
Advanced
Hope this will be a productive discussion to find better ways of running PS actions from within LR. I have practised with various methods of doing this, but all ways seems to have pros/cons over the other and I think Adobe could be doing more to introduce this integration as a feature of LR (instead of it being a work-around, which it effectively is now).

All methods I have tried so far involve the use of PS droplets:

I create a droplet containing my action, making sure the actions include steps for saving (overwrite) the image and closing it at the end. I then use this droplet using one of these methods:

"Edit In" - droplet has been selected as my additional external editor (choosing 8 bit ProPhoto PSD file option) - this seems to have some issues if you select too many images at a time, but this is theoretically what happens in the end-to-end process: LR creates a PSD file for each selected image, once they are all created it then calls the droplet - once for each newly created PSD file. The droplet runs, opening PS if not already loaded, PS runs the actions contained in the droplet (which effects the original image in my case). Once the image is saved by the droplet, LR refreshes its view of that image, and all is good! It then does the same to the second, third image etc...
In practise however there are issues using this method, as most often, LR calls the Droplet for the second image, before the first one has finished processing, so PS occasionally shows 2 or more images being edited concurrently - and PS doesn't like this too much! When a second image droplet is called, it tends to pause the running of the droplet on the first image - until such time as consecutively running droplets complete and allow the focus to return to that paused droplet. Sometimes 2-3 droplets get paused this way and complete at the end - OR DON'T! I say this as sometimes PS instead reports an error saying that the droplet lost communication with PS (or possibly the other way around), so you end up not knowing which images have received the effects of your droplet, and which ones have been missed - and if its a subtle change to the image it can be time consuming to figure out which images have been missed!

OK, I hear you say, so there is a better way!

What about exporting your images choosing the post-processing app to be your droplet? - well you could do this by exporting to TIFF or PSD (not JPG as otherwise quality will be lost in the resave caused by the droplet). Once all images are exported, LR then calls the droplet (once) passing a huge string of image paths and filenames. There are big issues here as the command line only allows a string of a fixed length, so you are limited how many images you can export at once if you want this method to succeed. And even if it does succeed, you then need to import your exported images back into LR, so you can do the final export to JPG with relevant colour profile, size etc (of course you could get your droplet to do this, but I personally prefer to do most of my processing in LR).

So what other ways do we have to achieve this?

As per the title of this post, I am hoping that somewhere down the LR roadmap, Adobe will pay more attention to this area. I appreciate there are 3rd party plugins which may help with this integration, but it would be nice to have a fully supported Adobe solution, rather than the work-arounds we adopt now to get the job done.

Hopefully this will spark some discussion and possibly come up with some good ideas for improving integration.

Thanks, Paul A
 
Last edited:

pjamedia

Active Member
Joined
May 6, 2008
Messages
101
Lightroom Experience
Advanced
Have been playing with workflow and came across the "Jeffrey's 'Run any command' post-process filter" export plug-in. This allows each exported image to be fed into any app, including a Droplet, one by one.
I created an export preset to save files as PSD 16bit, ProPhoto, no sharpening, save to sub-folder with original filename, and configured the new plugin to reference my droplet prefixed by "{FILE}". Works a treat as the first part of a 3 stage export. Stage 2 is to import these PSDs into LR, and Stage 3 to export to JPG using one of my normal presets.

So far so good! Its not exactly a feature of the core product as I mentioned in my previous post (as a previous future enhancement to LR) but it works well and even though not a one click solution it does the job with LR giving the usual export progress bar (which you don't get with the "Edit In" option I mentioned before).

Paul A
 
Joined
Sep 29, 2007
Messages
22,660
Location
Isle of Wight, UK
Lightroom Experience
Power User
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Cloud Service
Excellent observations Paul, thanks for sharing.
 
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