Advanced Stacker PLUS and Lightroom

Treecycle

We get requests often: “Can I use Lightroom” to stack my photos?  The answer is yes, you can – but there are some nuisances. See the “Plusses” and “Minuses” listed at the bottom of this article.

It is a bit painful to run Photoshop Actions from within Lightroom especially compared to the relative ease of using  Adobe Bridge to drive the stacker.  But using Lightroom does have a few charms, so how do you accomplish the goal of stacking using the Advanced Stacker PLUS?

Here is What to Do

  1. Install and configure the Advanced Stacker PLUS.
  2. In Photoshop Use File -> Automate -> Create Droplet for the “Do This First” step. Be sure to select all the needed options as shown.
    PS_AutomateCreateDroplet.bmp
  3. Also Create a Droplet for your favorite stacking method (E.g. Short Comets).
    PS_CreateDroplet.bmp

    Minimum options. If you plan to use Intermediates, also specify an output folder and naming convention.

  4. In Lightroom use Export -> Post Processing (down at the bottom) After Export -> Go To Export Folder NOW.
    LightroomExport_PostProcessing.bmpLightroomExportActions_folder_windows.bmp
  5. Copy the Droplet files into the folder that opened when you did the “Go to Export Folder” action.
  6. Next pull down the After Export and choose “Do This First”
  7. It’s probably safe to leave all the other defaults, but you can choose resizing, file type and naming options. We recommend exporting into a subfolder e.g. “LargeJPGs” or “LargeTIFFs”
  8. Click “Add” to save this as a user Preset.
  9. Repeat steps 7 and 8 with your favorite stacking action(s)

We learned some of these tips from this website.

PLUSSES:

  1. You can pick specific files from a folder (or multiple folders) for stacking – you don’t have to stack a whole folder of files.
  2. You don’t have to leave Lightroom

MINUSES:

  1. Lightroom will first export the files after applying Lightroom or Adobe Camera RAW processing to them. This chews up a bit more file space.
  2. Because of the extra step, stacking using Droplets in Lightroom may take a bit longer.
  3. More memory is required since you will be using both Lightroom and Photoshop at once.
  4. Droplets are not portable, that is you can’t run a Mac droplet on a Windows PC and v.v. (but the Stacking Action scripts are portable).
  5. If you use intermediates, there is not an option to change which folder is used to accumulate the results.

What do you think about this?