Creating a Droplet in Lightroom

The purpose of creating a droplet in Lightroom is to run Photoshop actions after you have exported your image out of Lightroom. This is very handy if you want to create any custom actions, like watermarking your images if you do not like Lightroom’s watermark or adding a frame around your image. In this article I will show you how to create a small 4 pixel frame around your image.

First we need to write the action in Photoshop, so open an image that is correctly sized for what you want to do, in this case I opened an image that is resized to 1020 pixels x 680 pixels (the height was the default size).  The reason I selected 1020 pixels is because I am going to add another 4 pixels for my frame bringing the total width to 1024 pixels. See image below:

lightroom droplet

Now open the actions tab/button, if you do not see the little play button in the tool panel on the right, click on the Window tab on the top menu bar and click on actions, this will place the actions tool into the tool panel.  See image below:

lightroom droplet
 
Once you have the Actions panel open click on the “Create new set” icon at the bottom of the Actions tab. See image below:

lightroom droplet
 
Now name the set, I called mine “Frame”. See image below:

lightroom droplet
 
The next step is to click onto the “Create new action”, at the bottom of the action tab, next to the “create new set” icon you just used. See image below:

lightroom droplet
 
This will open a window where you can select different options on how you want to run the action.  For this article we are not going to change anything, so click on “Record”. Remember, once you have clicked on the record button the program will record every step, so you don’t want to make any mistakes. See image below:

lightroom droplet
 
To add my frame I am going to increase the canvas size by 4 pixels and make the increased canvas white. Once I have done that, I am going to save the image (this instruction will always save the image in the folder you originally selected when you exported the image out of Lightroom).  Make sure you click on “Save” and NOT “Save as”. Once you have saved the image, close the image. All of these steps will be now recorded, see images below:
 
lightroom droplet


lightroom droplet
 

lightroom droplet


 lightroom droplet

 

lightroom droplet

To complete the process click on the “Stop recording” button, the “stop” button is next to the red dot at the bottom of the Actions panel. See image below:

Now we need to create the droplet.  Go to “File” on the menu bar and then onto “Automate” and click on “Create Droplet”. See image below:

lightroom droplet

This will open the Droplet window.  Make sure the action you have created is in the “Play” drop down menu. Don’t tick any boxes and click on the “Choose” tab to select where this droplet needs to be saved. See image below:

lightroom droplet
 
It is very important to select the correct place where to save the droplet so that Lightroom can access it. Here are the paths, different for Mac and Windows:
Mac: User/Library/Application Support/Adobe/Lightroom/Export Actions
Windows: User/AppData/Roaming/Adobe/Lightroom/Export Actions


Once you have selected the relevant path, make sure to name the droplet; in my case I called it “Frame”. See image below:

lightroom droplet
 
Click on “Save” and then click “OK” on the Droplet window.  Your Droplet is now created and ready to use. See image below:

lightroom droplet
 
Open Lightroom, choose an image that you want to export, click on the export tab and do your normal export settings. Before you click export, select what action needs to take place after Lightroom has exported the file.  To do this, click on the dropdown menu under the “Post-processing” section and select your droplet, in my case “Frame”. See image below:

lightroom droplet
 
Once you have done that click on the “Export” button. See image below:

lightroom droplet
 
Lightroom will now export the image according to your settings as normal, but will then open Photoshop. Perform the action and save the image over the exported image with the action applied, in my case it will have added a frame. See image below:

lightroom droplet 

Manus van Dyk