13 Replies Latest reply on Mar 9, 2015 2:31 AM by batataw

    Ligthroom create a book plugin

    batataw

      Hi guys,

       

      I would like to create a plugin like Blurb to create books and send them on my server.

      Have you got informations about ?

      Where I should start ?

       

      Thanks

       

      Alan

        • 1. Re: Ligthroom create a book plugin
          johnrellis Most Valuable Participant

          Start by downloading the free Lightroom SDK and reading the Lightroom SDK 5.0 Programmers Guide. The Guide will give you a good sense of what's possible with the plugin SDK.

          • 2. Re: Ligthroom create a book plugin
            batataw Level 1

            Thank you for your response, I did downloaded the SDK, I have installed all the examples, I have checked the API functions.

            I found nothing about create a Book service like Blurb.

            Maybe it's not possible, I don't know.

            It's really weird, if you think about it, the only company which have a module like that it's Blurb.

            Why others companies do not develop the same service?

            • 3. Re: Ligthroom create a book plugin
              johnrellis Most Valuable Participant

              LR doesn't provide any direct plugin support to build comparable book services, in the way that it does make it easy to build publish-service plugins for Flickr, Facebook, Smugmug, etc. and to build Web galleries.  You could write a plugin from the ground up that would let the user build pages and then send off to a book service, but the plugin would have to provide its own UI for laying out the pages.  The LR SDK really doesn't have all the UI capabilities you'd want, so that part of the UI you'd have to build as an external program.   Probably not what you'd like to do.

               

              Adobe added Blurb books to LR 4, which was about the time that Adobe's active support for the LR SDK appeared to be diminishing significantly.  My guess is that they just didn't have the engineering resources available to build the Blurb service and make book-publishing APIs available through the SDK.

              • 4. Re: Ligthroom create a book plugin
                batataw Level 1

                First of all thank you for your great explanation, I understand know why I didn't find information in the LR API and on the Internet. It's really a pity,  it's gonna take me ages to build all the UI.

                The good thing, I know now what I should do if I want to build this module ("Start from ground").

                I do not understand why all those book publishers do not try to build their own service. Lot of photographer works with Lightroom, they could make the difference.


                • 5. Re: Ligthroom create a book plugin
                  johnrellis Most Valuable Participant
                  I do not understand why all those book publishers do not try to build their own service.

                  Since there's no higher-level support in the SDK for building a plugin, a publisher would have to work directly with Adobe engineers (as presumably Blurb did).  These other publishers may feel that cost is not worth the benefit, since LR users can always use the "manual" method of exporting photos from LR and then uploading them to the publisher's service using their Web browser.

                  • 6. Re: Ligthroom create a book plugin
                    batataw Level 1

                    That's true, thanks a lot for your help.

                    I'm going to think about it...

                    • 7. Re: Ligthroom create a book plugin
                      john beardsworth Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                      johnrellis wrote:

                       

                      Adobe added Blurb books to LR 4, which was about the time that Adobe's active support for the LR SDK appeared to be diminishing significantly.  My guess is that they just didn't have the engineering resources available to build the Blurb service and make book-publishing APIs available through the SDK.

                       

                      It's not really connected to the rest of the SDK. Shortly after LR4 was released, an Adobe engineer posted in the feedback forum that documentation for creating new book layouts would be released, but a few months later another engineer said they no longer thought it was a good idea. From what I know of the underlying method, it would be very difficult to package for general distribution. Other book publishers could of course approach Adobe, and I think the material is much more suitable to them. Self-interest obviously hasn't proved a sufficient incentive.

                       

                      What you need isn't a plugin or module - you would need to add a folder of templates (lua and png files) into the program's folders. Look in the application and its resources you'll find the templates, and I know of one guy (Fabrizio Denna) who succeeded in reverse engineering them and producing his own page sizes and layouts.

                      • 8. Re: Ligthroom create a book plugin
                        johnrellis Most Valuable Participant
                        Shortly after LR4 was released, an Adobe engineer posted in the feedback forum that documentation for creating new book layouts would be released, but a few months later another engineer said they no longer thought it was a good idea.

                        Here's the relevant thread in the feedback forum: Lightroom: Where is the ability to create custom page sizes for Lr Book module?  Julie Smooch, Senior Development Manager, said:

                        Sorry, but we've decided that the approach we were originally pursuing to create custom page layouts was not something we were comfortable releasing to the public. The scripts we've built have worked well enough for our internal use but needed a lot of work before they were usable without a lot of guidance. We think it's more prudent for us to focus on enhancing the book module itself.
                        • 9. Re: Ligthroom create a book plugin
                          johnrellis Most Valuable Participant

                          I know of one guy (Fabrizio Denna) who succeeded in reverse engineering them and producing his own page sizes and layouts.

                          This thread has a lot of helpful details about customizing book page templates: A method to create completely customized photo book page templates from scratch in Lightroom 5

                          • 10. Re: Ligthroom create a book plugin
                            johnrellis Most Valuable Participant

                            A fully integrated publishing service that could handle multiple book publishers (analagous to the services for Flickr, Facebook, etc.) would need these components:

                             

                            • Producing page templates
                            • Allowing the user to populate a template with photos, set parameters of the template, and previewing the result
                            • Rendering the result as PDF and/or whatever form the book publisher wants
                            • Sending the result and/or other assets to the book publisher

                             

                            The current LR book module provides the first two and it can render the results as PDF.  But if a book publisher wants something different than PDF or other assets in addition to PDF, the book module doesn't handle that.  And the book module doesn't have the capability to send the assets to other publishers.  For those, you'd need to write a plugin.  

                            • 11. Re: Ligthroom create a book plugin
                              batataw Level 1

                              Thanks a lof John, you make my day, now I have a great point of view.

                              I wanted to make a plugin for a publishing company , obviously it will be really tough to do it properly.

                              I need more time to think about it.

                              • 12. Re: Ligthroom create a book plugin
                                john beardsworth Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                                The reverse engineering method is a lot of work and it is not a great solution. If it's a publishing company of any size, maybe you / they should talk directly to Adobe and see if there's a more sensible way forward.

                                • 13. Re: Ligthroom create a book plugin
                                  batataw Level 1

                                  I will think about contacting Adobe, hopefully they are going to help me.