Posts tagged with Lightroom plug-ins

LR-iTunes – Lightroom to iTunes plug-in

LR-iTunes is a simple plug-in I wrote (hacked) to help synchronize pictures from Lightroom via iTunes to my iPad.

Basically it is a dumbed down version of the Hard Drive Publishing Service and is more suited for the requirements of iTunes. So I tried to make it look the part which is no big deal, just an icon or two,  and instead of creating “collections” or “published collections” you create “albums”. Also it won’t allow you to create sets because iTunes would ignore them and just lump all the pictures into a single big album.

Once you’ve published to a folder, you use iTunes as normal to sync to the iPhone, iPad or AppleTV.

One little extra is a menu command in File > Plug-in Extras > Copy Albums to another Lr-iTunes service. This makes it easier to set up separate services for each iOS device and it will copy dumb albums from one to another (in fact, it will do a little more than that). It won’t copy smart albums because of an annoying omission in Lightroom’s automation interface, so you’d have . . .

Search Replace Transfer 1.33 release candidate

Search Replace Transfer 1.33 RC

I was just going to release an update to my Search Replace Transfer plug-in when it was ready, but another query about its use as a workaround for complex file renaming has prompted me to put out a “release candidate”.

There are a few internal bug fixes and a few tweaks which mainly reflect my greater experience with Lua, but the main changes are:

Preliminary support for simple IPTC Extension fields like Event
Support for languages other than English. I’ve always felt guilty at neglecting this but I have finally included translation files for Italian, German, and French (in descending order of my confidence with those languages). I’ll trade a complimentary licence for other languages – contact me first.

Hopefully this will smoke out any bugs, or feel free to post comments if you’ve suggestions for substantial improvements.

jb Keyword Tools – test version

Fancy trying it? OK, here’s the plug-in (limited to 10 items) and various example vocabulary files. See the previous post for the thinking behind the plug-in but these bits are new:

Hierarchical keywords are supported with hierarchies created using the pipe “|” and multiple keywords being separated by tabs – see example files
Up to 200 shortcut buttons possible
A preference in the Plug-In Manager for a default folder where vocabulary files are stored
Previous button which works like the Previous button in Develop, updating the current item’s keywords with those of the previous photo
Previous + Next – as above, but also goes to next photo
Copy and two paste buttons, one overwriting and the other appending
Deselect button – sometimes an image shouldn’t be in the selection. This means you don’t have to close the dialog box
Vocabulary files need to be UTF-8
I’m ensuring all text labels can be displayed in non-English languages. Maybe I should offer a free licence in exchange for a translation?

I am working on a script that will create a hierarchy file from an existing keyword hierarchy, but the main design focus . . .

jb Keyword Tools

A new plug-in is bubbling – jb Keyword Tools. It’s aimed at those who use controlled vocabularies of keywords, and also at event shooters who use keywords to organise their workflows. It’s a bit like a bigger version of Lightroom’s Keywording panel, but with the access to external files that makes PhotoMechanic’s “Code Replacement” or iView’s vocabulary files features so popular.

The concept is that you initially prepare one or more keyword vocabularies – tab delimited text files. The format of the file is important – tab-delimited text, UTF-8 encoding, and on Mac the line endings must be standard Unix. These are dead easy to create in Excel and I’m finding it handy to store them on Dropbox so they can be accessed from any computer.

When you’re doing your keywording, you call a menu command and are prompted to load a vocabulary file. This has one button for each line in the vocabulary, so here I used a file of keywords about owls (bird lovers please don’t shoot me – I know next to nothing about owls). Click a button and . . .

List View – Lightroom plug-in released today

ListView is a plug-in for Lightroom 3 that displays images in a list style just like in most other DAM (digital asset management) programs. Sometimes it’s a lot easier to review your metadata entry in a list than by scanning through a grid of thumbnails.

Other things you can do with List View:

Change the information in any column
Save columns as presets
Sort by any column
Export metadata to a browser
Export metadata directly to Excel (or OpenOffice etc)
Edit metadata in a File Info panel

As with my other main plug-ins, it’s available from Photographer’s Toolbox.

The hard or the easy way to go back from DNG to Raw?

There’s a lengthy thread over at Adobe’s Lightroom feature request and bugs forum Is there a way to re-associate converted DNG files with the original RAW files? The user had converted files to DNG, but then decided he wanted to switch back to proprietary raw files (he’d got them all in his backup) and didn’t know how to make the DNGs’ thumbnails in Lightroom point to the raw files.

Most of the thread is about one solution – learning SQL and updating the database. Fun if you’ve got the time / inclination.

The other solution is somewhat easier – my Syncomatic plug-in. All you would do is get the raw files into your catalogue, and tell Syncomatic to copy metadata and adjustments from DNGs to raws.

List View – new Lightroom plug-in

Update: released here

It’s been bubbling away for a while, and some people saw it late last year, but in the next few days I’ll be releasing a new plug-in – List View.

It does exactly what the name suggests and provides a list view which some of us feel is sorely missed in Lightroom’s Library. After all, it’s a lot easier to review your metadata in a list than by scanning a grid of thumbnails.

The plug-in currently provides 3 different views. This is the standard view where each row has 2 lines per item for up to 30 pictures, while compact and expanded views show smaller or larger thumbnails. The thumbnails, incidentally, are drawn from the catalogue itself and therefore show each picture in its adjusted state.

Once List View is displayed, scrolling through thousands of items is blazing fast. Note all 10 columns can be changed in registered version – 8 disabled in trial.

Other things you can do with List View:

Change the information in any column
Save columns as presets
Sort by any column
Export metadata to a browser
Export metadata directly to Excel
Edit . . .

A perfect shot – in the foot?

No matter how much the Lightroom ethos is about designing a program for photographers from the ground up, there are still those atavistic folk who want to do things just as they suppose they’ve always done them. So every so often you’ll get people wanting Undo to be Alt-Ctrl-Z because it’s how Photoshop has always worked, forgetting that the vast majority of programs use Ctrl-Z. Others will demand point curves, with RGB channels too, crop tools that behave just like Photoshop, or even the ability to work in Lab mode (eek). And I suspect that’s the underlying – and questionable – reason why onOne has released a preview of “Perfect Layers“:

Perfect Layers is the fast and easy way to create layered files in Lightroom. With Perfect Layers you can create and edit multi-layered Photoshop files directly within Lightroom

For an idea of what you might do with the program, as well as Scott and Matt’s video on OnOne’s site, see Sean McCormack’s Quick look at Perfect Layers.

onOne’s product range has always puzzled me – a jumble of filters they’ve developed and . . .

Complex file renaming in Lightroom made simple – thanks to the Search and Replace plug-in

Ever spend ages thinking up ways to convince someone a task is far from easy, and that they should just give up on the idea – and then the solution appears just as you were about to hit the Send button?

Well, the other night I had an interesting email from someone who has my Search and Replace plug-in for Lightroom:

… I need to remove text (“Scan_”) from the filename for images I scanned 4-5 years ago (and are now in my LR catalog). It appears [Search and Replace] does not work on filenames, only on metadata. Pre-LR catalog I used a utility to do bulk file name changes on folders of files, but that will be a problem with the LR catalog.

I could use the bulk filename changing tool, then delete the LR-cataloged-but-missing-image and then reimport the newly rename files. But it seems risky and I’d lose metadata for the images w/o XMP files.

It’s not at all unreasonable that users would want to replace certain text when doing a batch rename, and it’s a shame Lightroom didn’t include a similar . . .

Search Replace Transfer 1.30

Search Replace Transfer 1.30 fixes a bug, which 1.29 kindly introduced, but it also contains a new menu command – “Brute force” search which creates a regular or “dumb” collection and then adds images to it by performing a “brute force” search through the selected items or through the entire catalogue.

The intention is to fill in some gaps in Lightroom’s smart collection and searching capability. So it can search text fields like caption more precisely than Lightroom and it can also examine fields which Lightroom fails to search.

For example, let’s say you want to find all pictures in the catalogue which contain the exact phrase “red house” in the caption. Normally you might try a smart collection with a criterion such as “caption / contains all / red house” or “caption / contains words / red house”, but Lightroom would also identify pictures containing “girl in red dress in front of blue house” where “red” and “house” aren’t adjacent. So this command looks for “red house” as . . .

Lightroom – finding all images shot at a certain time of the year

Recently I’ve seen a number of Lightroom users asking how they could find all images shot at a certain time of the year.

Now, if you have your head screwed on you would have included seasons in your keywords. For instance, an image of snow might include “winter” in the keywords (unless you live at the North or South Poles) while a picture of cherry blossom might include the keyword “spring”. I’m not too keen on the idea of including the month as a keyword, though a case might be made for doing so.

But let’s say you’ve not used such keywords, but still want Lightroom to find all the pictures you’ve shot in the winter months. The best answer has been that you need to create a smart collection along the lines of “Capture Date” / “Is in the range” / “December 1st 2010 to January 31st 2011”, for example. That’s OK for one year, and then for a second year you’d add a line with similar criteria and just type over the years. By the time you get to three . . .

Capture Time to Exif – released

Capture Time to Exif is essentially an in-Lightroom interface for Exiftool, Phil Harvey’s highly-respected “platform-independent Perl library plus command-line application for reading, writing and editing meta information in a wide variety of files”.

With Capture Time to Exif you can:

Update the Date Time Original EXIF field of scanned images. Lightroom’s filter panel and smart collections can then find the images by searching for when the pictures were originally taken rather than when they were digitised.

Write other EXIF and IPTC information such as the camera model and maker. You can enter whatever Exiftool command line arguments you choose.
Store frequently-used command line arguments as presets.
Write directly to TIF, PSD, JPEG, and DNG file formats

Writing to proprietary raw formats is disabled.

Generate a log file which can be run as a batch file in Shell/Terminal

Use this method if you really want to write to proprietary raw formats.

Capture Time to Exif is for Lightroom 3 on PC or Mac, and is available from Photographer’s Toolbox. The trial version is limited to 10 images at a time but is fully . . .

SiteMaker as a single gallery

Here’s another preview of my SiteMaker web gallery showing its huge flexibility.
May I, as the saying goes, draw your attention to:

Here it’s a single “contact sheet” gallery. SiteMaker can be either for a complete photo site or for a proofs gallery of a single set of images – or both

All the thumbnails and their descriptions are shown in this case, but you can choose between 1 and 9 columns and can also switch off the titles and descriptions

There’s only the Contact menu – you can change the text or hide it altogether with a single click
The font is set by choosing from a drop down box – no need to type in the exact name of a web-safe font family

New Lightroom plug-in – CaptureTime to Exif

CaptureTime to Exif is my latest Lightroom 3 plug-in. Essentially it’s an in-Lightroom interface for Exiftool:

Initially it was for Lightroom users whose catalogue contains scanned images and who wanted to make the scans’ Date Time Original EXIF field correspond to when the pictures were originally taken rather than when they were scanned. But people said they wanted to add the camera model, or the aperture details from their tatty old notebooks….
So the plug-in also lets you write other EXIF and IPTC information. One idea was to add extra boxes for specific fields, but I could never please everyone – not without a lot of work. I’m also hesitant to make writing EXIF so easy that it’ll attract people who should be kept away from it for their own good, and I reckon those who know about such stuff would appreciate a “bare back” style. So I’ve chosen to add a simple box for you to enter your own Exiftool arguments, whatever you want, at your own risk.
You can save complicated command line arguments as presets.
There’s a preview of the command . . .

SiteMaker for Lightroom

SiteMaker is the name of a new and very-soon-to-be-unleashed web gallery for Lightroom 3 which aims to create a complete web site within Lightroom.

The front page is designed so you can highlight three key groups of images – for example “Latest work”, “Landscape portfolio”, “Black and white portraits”. So the top part of the site has three full width images which change as the visitor moves the cursor over the related explanation panels.

Additionally, further galleries of pictures can be displayed in a grid that runs below this full width area. So the front page both highlights your latest and greatest work, and provides the visitor with immediate access to all your pictures.

Secondly, people often want to add extra pages to a site – an “About Me” or contact page, for instance. So this is requirement is also built into SiteMaker. You can define up to three such pages, adding text by simply typing into boxes in Lightroom’s Site Info panel. For even more flexibility you are also able to add raw HTML, if you know how.

As well as the key . . .

OpenDirectly released

I’ve just (finally) released Open Directly, my plug-in for Lightroom 2 or 3 that opens images directly in another program. The other program may be another raw converter, or it can be any program the user chooses. In either case, the plug-in simply sends the original file and invokes the other program.

Read more here

Search Replace Transfer plug-in – 1.22’s new feature

I’ve just released version 1.22 of my Lightroom plug-in Search Replace Transfer with two new menu commands:

Smart collection from current item
Smart collection from current item – again

These two menu commands are designed for quick filtering of the catalogue based on the image that is currently selected.

For example, imagine you want to find all the pictures in the catalogue with “Autumn leaves” in the title or “Ashness Gate” in the location. In the latter case, it may be that you’ve just visited the location again and want to copy keywords and other metadata from a previous visit. You could go to Library’s filter panel, choose the field, and type in the text, or alternatively you could set up a smart collection. These menu commands save you that typing.

The main command “Smart collection from current item” launches a dialog box listing the fields. You make your choice, click OK, and the plug-in creates a smart collection such as “location / contains all / Ashness Gate”. The second menu command “Smart collection from current item – again” simply runs the . . .

Syncomatic 1.23 now syncs into stacks

Version 1.23 of my Lightroom plug-in Syncomatic is now available via Photographers Toolbox. The new feature is that now, as well as handling files with matching names, it can now synchronise metadata and adjustments within stacks

When you add metadata like the title or keywords to a stack, Lightroom only updates the picture on the top of the stack – items lower down the stack are not updated. So if you do want all members of the stack to share similar metadata, you first have to expand the stack and select all the items. Then after adding the metadata, you would collapse the stack again. For some users, that is OK because they will only keep the best image and don’t want to annotate the rejects. But for others it’s pretty inefficient, for instance stock photographers or those who use stacks to gather frames intended for panorama stitching. For them the stacks-metadata problem is often a reason for not using the stacking feature.

Sync Stacks is intended to overcome that problem. It adds a menu command and:

Loops through the selected pictures
Finds . . .

Syncomatic plug-in – now syncs adjustments too

I’ve just released a new version of my Syncomatic plug-in.

Syncomatic’s original purpose was to tidy up metadata when you are faced with sets of pictures whose names match but whose metadata is out of sync. For instance you may have lots of TIFs or JPEGs which have been output from your raw files, but you then added keywords to the raw files. How do you then make 1234-edit.tif have the same keywords and other metadata as the original 1234.nef, make 1235-edit.tif the same as 1235.nef and so on? Syncomatic does that job.

It now does the same with adjustments (at least as many as it can).

Why would one want to do that? Well, for example, I was contacted by someone who had taken 15,000 pictures in a very short period, and sheer pressure of work had led him to switch his camera to Raw+JPEG and import only the JPEGs. He’d then added ratings, captioned and keyworded the JPEGs, done some quick adjustments, and submitted modified JPEGs to his clients. Now he was home and wanted to import his raw files and . . .

Whatever you want

Lightroom’s SDK forum, never the busiest or most informative place on the net, has become a bit of a no-go zone lately as one particularly pungent forum member (let’s call him Borat) seems to feel the need to advertise his opinion on every topic. A period of  silence followed by modesty would probably make everyone, me included, appreciate Borat’s contributions for whatever they may be worth….

Despite this vuvuzela noise drowning any signals from the forum, I’d noticed a John Ellis posting there. I was curious because he seemed to know his way round Lua but I hadn’t heard of anything that he’d released – until yesterday when he announced his Any File plug-in:

Any File lets you import any type of file into a Lightroom 3 catalog and manage it just like a photo — PDFs, documents, spreadsheets, audio, etc. Typical uses include managing releases, invoices, notes, scans of old documents, audio tracks for slide shows, and avoiding all of the LR 3 limitations on video formats and video metadata.

I’d been wondering if anyone would do something . . .