Lightroom Feature Request - Alternative ways for selecting & activating a develop module slider/control

  • 2
  • Idea
  • Updated 7 months ago
I would really like to try out a Develop module workflow where you would use your left hand for selecting the active slider or control and then use the right hand for changing the value of the active control. The device on the left hand for scrolling through the panels & sliders could be for example endless encoder knob on a MIDI controller, MS Surface Dial, vertical finger position on a touchpad (Wacom, iPad, Trackpad), mouse wheel or the like. Probably a device with notches would be best so you would get a tactile feedback when the active control changes to the next or previous one. The device on the right hand for changing the value could also be any of the aforementioned ones (preferably one that sends relative rather than absolute values).

I know it's already possible to scroll through the Basic panel sliders with , and . keys ans then change the values with + and - keys, but this is not possible on any other panels.

I investigated if this workflow could be achieved with my XTouch-Mini MIDI controller & MIDI2LR plugin, but it seems that the Lightroom SDK doesn't have the necessary methods for selecting the active control and then changing the value of the active control, so I think it's not easily achievable with a plugin. SDK has only setValue, increment and decrement methods that all take the slider as a parameter. So, in order to achieve this workflow, you would need to handle the slider selection on the plugin side and that's not very pretty.

Native support for this kind of workflow would be preferable, but at least please add the appropriate methods to the SDK, so that it could be achievable with a plugin. It would also be good to have an option that the develop panel would automatically pop-up (if hidden) when selecting / adjusting sliders with this kind of workflow.
Photo of MMo

MMo

  • 10 Posts
  • 2 Reply Likes

Posted 8 months ago

  • 2
Photo of Victoria Bampton - Lightroom Queen

Victoria Bampton - Lightroom Queen, Champion

  • 3823 Posts
  • 1266 Reply Likes
I use a Wacom pen in my right hand to float over sliders, and a Contour Shuttle Pro under my left hand to change the value (programmed to send up/down keystrokes, so no SDK required). Perhaps that will help?
Photo of MMo

MMo

  • 10 Posts
  • 2 Reply Likes
Yes, that's a pretty good option too, but in my opinion a rotating dial or wheel with notches would be much more precise and easier way for slider selection than a hovering pen. You don't get any tactile feedback from the pen. You need to concentrate more when changing the active slider and make sure by looking at them that you are hovering over correct one. By turning a dial one step you would be sure that you have moved to the next slider without even looking at them. And if you would have a notification bubble telling you which slider is activated you could even have the develop panel hidden.
Photo of Robert Frost

Robert Frost

  • 392 Posts
  • 51 Reply Likes

The Loupedeck for LR is another alternative.


Bob Frost

Photo of MMo

MMo

  • 10 Posts
  • 2 Reply Likes
Yeah, I've noticed that and had a brief look on the specs some weeks ago. But to me it seems that even the free MIDI2LR Plugin & the cheap XTouch-Mini controller are a more powerful & customizable combo to fit them to your own workflow. And a lot cheaper one!

However, the common problem with all these MIDI controllers is that in order to be able to control all the sliders with one devide, you either need to use a very big & expensive one with lots of controls (and forget about using it while travelling) or you need to use many profiles and layers with a reasonably sized controller. It's a lot of labeling, memorizing & layer switching.

If Lightroom supported the workflow I propose, I could control all the sliders with two small devices (e.g. rotating dials) on both of my hands and have a similar workflow on any device I use, home or travelling, i.e. left hand for selecting & right hand for adjusting.
Photo of MMo

MMo

  • 10 Posts
  • 2 Reply Likes
Additionally, the Develop panel could be collapsible to a narrow Photoshop-like toolbar showing perhaps just an icon & value or a title & value for each slider. When necessary, the panel could be extended to it's current form. I think this would work great also for the touch UI of the tablet PC & Lightroom Mobile. Especially, if the toolbar was also dockable to the either side of the screen. The latest version of the Lightroom Mobile wastes a ridiculous amount of screen real estate at the expense of the actual photo. And I totally understand why it's almost unusable for the left-handers.

On the desktop, you could scroll through the collapsed panel icons and select the active slider with a left hand device and change its value with a right hand device. On the touch / mobile you would naturally touch the icon on the left hand toolbar for activating the slider and change its value with one common horizontal slider on the bottom of the screen (like on the previous version of Lightroom Mobile). On the touch / mobile it could be optional for the user to decide if the slider should be activated only while the icon is being touched (two handed mode) or if it could be toggled on/off (one handed mode).

So, dockable & collapsible develop panels both on touch & desktop, please :-)
Photo of Naoki Hada

Naoki Hada

  • 3 Posts
  • 0 Reply Likes
I'd like SDK to implemented similar way as LrDevelopController.getSelectedTool() for these slider selection.
Photo of MMo

MMo

  • 10 Posts
  • 2 Reply Likes
So, nothing new for the plugin developers in this release. The new CC doesn't support plugins at all and AFAIK, there are zero improvements to the SDK/API of the Classic CC. They did rename and change the cover page of the Programmers guide. It's now called "Lightroom Classic CC Programmers Guide" or in short "Lightroom CCCP Guide" :-D
Photo of John R. Ellis

John R. Ellis, Champion

  • 3378 Posts
  • 849 Reply Likes
If you download the "Lightroom Classic CC 2018 SDK v1 (Latest)" (sic) from here: 

https://console.adobe.io/downloads/lr

you get Lightroom_SDK_6.0.zip, whose contents are identical to the LR SDK 6.0 I downloaded a couple of years ago.  Not surprising -- even when Adobe made changes in past major releases, it took them a couple of months to release the new documentation.  

In a week or so, I'll be doing an in-depth auto-analysis of the SDK APIs (documented and undocumented) and posting the results in the SDK forum.  But it won't surprise me if little or nothing has changed -- the SDK has received very little attention from Adobe in the past few years.
Photo of MMo

MMo

  • 10 Posts
  • 2 Reply Likes
Yes, that's exactly what I did when I found out that only the cover page of the Programmers guide had been changed (the documentation PDF link on the same page). API reference documentation files are exactly the same as in SDK 6, dated 2015. Because they did change the cover page of the CCCP guide I am betting that there are no undocumented new features, but nothing has actually changed in the API.