How to Kick Back and Completely Edit your Photos in Lightroom with an Xbox Controller
I am always on the search for how to make my editing more productive, because honestly, it isn’t my favorite part of being a photographer. We have posted in the past about culling your images using a game-pad. However by adding VSCO Keys to your workflow you can map almost any Lightroom slider on your remote. I have included program links and configuration files for an easy setup with an Xbox Remote.
While culling I find myself stopping to tweaking images, which slows down this step. However after culling I only have to clean and heavy edit a few images. I have a generic preset that corrects and puts my look on each image, then my second pass is mostly touch ups on the face or cropping in tighter. After hours of being hunched over a keyboard and mouse looking at the same wedding, my back, neck and shoulders start to ache. My body needs a new position and my eyes need a new perspective. With my old xbox remote, I finally found a way to kick back and relax while editing.
VSCO Keys: This software is amazing! Lightroom does NOT do a good job at letting you create shortcuts for sliders (exposure, temperature, contrast, sharpness, presets). This has to be done using your mouse, a productivity killer. VSCO Keys lets your customize your keyboard keys to adjust all settings. Customizing your keyboard with the VSCO layout manager online is a little intimidating but worth it in the end. Below I have created a layout that works with JoyToKey for my Xbox Remote.
Joy To Key: This software allows you to map keys to a gaming remote for free. I went through a lot of trial and error while finding the most comfortable layout, and it will probably change as I use this setup more. My configuration file is attached at the bottom of the post.
How to Setup: I have packaged up all the config files and JoyToKey. You will need to download the trial for VSCO Keys or just buy it $60. Install VSCO Keys and run the program, then open my config file jerritpruynxboxlrver1.vkeys. This will load it into VSCO Keys. Right click the VSCO keys icon on your task bar and select that profile. Install JoyToKeys and move lightroom.cfg into the JoyToKeys program file located in your program files folder. If you have any issues moving it check out the JoyToKey FAQ. Open the program JoyToKey and select the Lightroom profile (you can open notepad and press the buttons on your remote to test it). I clicked on the others tab in JoyToKey and set the threshold for input to 50%. This makes the joysticks less sensitive. Open Lightroom and turn on VSCO Keys with the escape key or the xbox remote center right button. Now you are ready to kick back and edit.
*I do have issues turning on VSCO Keys at times. VSCO Keys only stays active when Lightroom is open and it is finicky when you switch to another program. If you are a Mac user here is a list of Alternative software for JoyToKey. If you own a xbox 36o remote already just buy the usb dongle to connect to your computer.