Droplet – Toolkit for digital High-Speed-Photography

Droplet - Toolkit for Liquid Art Photographers

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Give Money to Droplet

Droplet is a one-man job and 100% free. I started this project in January 2012 and it’s now very well-known and used by many people all around the world. I spend very much time on development and appreciate every donation.

Droplet is a Open Source Project for the microcontroller-based High-Speed-Photography with special attention to Waterdrop Photography and Liquid Art.
New Version 0.1.3 available!
New Feature: One round of Droplet can now be started with an external start button.

Features von Droplet v0.1

  • Configuration of an unlimited (*) amount of devices (valves, flashes, cameras)
  • Configuration of an unlimited (*) amount of actions per device
  • Input of times in milliseconds
  • Saving and loading of configurations
  • Automatic creation of XMP Metadata Files
  • English and german UI
  • Platform independent: available for Windows, Mac OS X and Linux
  • Open Source: the Source Code is free available and is licensed under the GNU General Public License v3.0
  • Easy changing and expanding of the used microcontroller.
    (Version 0.1 supports just Arduino)
  • Easy changing of the communication protocol that is used to communicate with the microcontroller.
    (Version 0.1 contains a Droplet Arduino-Sketch. Additionally Nicolai Korff’s crazyMachine is supported)
(*) technical limit defined by the used microcontroller

Know Problems and Bugs

  • Known memory issue with Arduino 1.0.3
    • If you have any memory related problems with the droplet sketch (i.e. wrong device setups on the arduino, frozen board, …) try to use Arduino 1.0.1 instead.
  • Droplet cannot connect to the appropriate device
    • Make sure not to run the Arduino software and Droplet at the same time
    • Mac OS X: Make sure that the folder /var/lock exists with file permissions set to 777
      • Open a Terminal window
        (Applications -> Utilities -> Terminal or search for it)
      • sudo mkdir /var/lock
      • sudo chmod 777 /var/lock
  • Problem executing Droplet under Mac OS X starting with version 10.7.5:

    Gatekeeper prevents the execution of unsigned applications. To resolve this problem, you need to deactivate Gatekeeper before the first start of Droplet. Afterwards Gatekeeper can be reactivated again.

    • System Preferences -> Security & Privacy
    • Set Allow Apps Downloaded from to Anywhere
    • Start Droplet
    • Set Allow Apps Downloaded from to the original value

Release Notes and Previous Releases

0.1.2 / 2014-02-11[FEATURE] Selected communication port is saved on exit
0.1.1[BUGFIX] Fixed major bug with execution of multiple rounds in arduino sketch
0.1Initial Release
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  • A very good job! Simple, effective and easy to use!


  • Sayed Baqer

    good job, but i cant find any diagram for arduino UNO R3, and if it is possible to control camera by USB such nikon

  • Paco Fernandez

    I think it’s a good job you do.

    I have read here http://guy.renou.free.fr/Photoduino_V3_DROPLET_FR.JPG loadable in version 3.0 of Photoduino http://photoduino.com/es/.

    I would like to know if so, and if you can help me ud.

    I have one and I would like to Photoduino connect three valves.

    I would like to also use the droplet 0.1.3

    thank you very much

  • Jay

    found your site while searching for information on the topic. nice piece of engineering !

    just a quick mention for the Gatekeeper comment above: if you right-click on an application (or control click) and select “open” then even if it is not signed by an authorized developer, you’ll get prompted for an authorization to run the app, just say yes and then you are good to go, this app will be considered as trusted for the future. no need to mess around with the preferences.

    hope this helps

    • Many thanks for this quick tip. I think this may be helpful for some users!

  • dave

    hi there. sorry does not download correctly and I cannot open up in windows (7) I have tried everything . re installing java. cleaning cache files . will not open the program. tried 2 laptops . I would love to try this that you have done. any tips you could give me to opening the program ?

    • What exactly happens when you try to open Droplet? There should be a log file at %USERHOME%/Library/Logs/Droplet.log. You can send this to me and I’ll have a look at it.


  • dave

    @Stefan Brenner. hi there. after a couple of hours of deleting java and starting over again and again.. I finally have sorted it out. my system is a 64 bit , java was installed in program files x86 and I had to open from there.
    so from the start menu I clicked the water drop icon and it kept saying cannot find the path javaw , once I knew where it was it works great now. thanks. dave s

  • pablo

    can you share the source for implement more capabilities? thanks

  • pablo

    I am developing a pcb to conect 3 valves 2 flashes a camera an auxiliar device, lights etc… When is ready, i will sell mounted Very cheap and i will share the schematics layout etc thanks

    • russell

      Hi yes please let me know


    • jishu

      when it is ready pls inform me

    • Allan

      I just read your post from way back in January, and I was wondering if you yet had the pcbs as I would love to perhaps purchase one. Thank you

    • Marco

      Anche a me interessa


  • Fabio

    thanks good job , but I have a problem , I use ubuntu and when I load the sketch for arduino use port / dev / ttyACM0 that in your program is not recognized , how can I fix without installing win ?
    Thank you for your help

  • Chris Bänziger

    Hello Stefan,

    in the “control devices” window of the droplet GUI you mentioned:
    Here you can edit the device numbers which are mapped to Arduino pins. The numbers 50 to 65 are mapped to the analog pins A0 – A15.

    I only know the A0 to A5 pin. (50-55)
    Where are the pins 56-65?


    • Some Arduino boards have more analog pins (i.e. Arduino Mega)

  • pretty impressive job!

    i was looking for such kind of interface and came across your site.

    i have some “hardware skills” but very little coding background, so many many thanks for sharing such neat and smart GUI.


  • Matt Gremm

    Hi Stephan: I’m not sure if you are still maintaining this program or not, but I downloaded the software and it won’t run. I checked the log file and this is what is in the log.
    880 INFO c.s.droplet.ui.DropletMainFrame – Droplet – Toolkit for High-Speed-Photography
    890 INFO c.s.droplet.ui.DropletMainFrame – Version 0.1
    890 INFO c.s.droplet.ui.DropletMainFrame – Open Source Project created by Stefan Brenner 2012
    890 INFO c.s.droplet.ui.DropletMainFrame – http://www.droplet.at
    890 INFO c.s.droplet.ui.DropletMainFrame – ==================================================
    890 INFO c.s.droplet.ui.DropletMainFrame – Starting …
    1660 INFO o.hibernate.validator.util.Version – Hibernate Validator 4.1.0.Final
    1670 DEBUG o.h.v.e.r.DefaultTraversableResolver – Cannot find javax.persistence.PersistenceUtil on classpath. All properties will per default be traversable.
    1920 DEBUG o.h.v.xml.ValidationXmlParser – No META-INF/validation.xml found. Using annotation based configuration only
    2250 INFO c.t.c.util.CommandLineHelper – getting command line options from fields and parsing command line arguments
    2260 DEBUG c.t.c.util.ConstructionHelper – trying to find a constructor for com.stefanbrenner.droplet.utils.DropletConfig matching the arguments of build()
    2260 INFO c.t.c.util.ConstructionHelper – found constructor – instantiating com.stefanbrenner.droplet.utils.DropletConfig
    2260 DEBUG c.t.c.util.FieldValueExtractor – trying to find a value for field autoLoadPorts with interface com.tngtech.configbuilder.annotation.valueextractor.SystemPropertyValue annotation
    2260 DEBUG c.t.c.util.FieldValueExtractor – trying to find a value for field autoLoadPorts with interface com.tngtech.configbuilder.annotation.valueextractor.DefaultValue annotation
    2260 DEBUG c.t.c.util.FieldValueExtractor – found value “true” for field autoLoadPorts from interface com.tngtech.configbuilder.annotation.valueextractor.DefaultValue annotation
    2270 INFO c.t.c.util.FieldValueTransformer – Searching for a transformer from String to boolean
    2270 INFO c.t.configbuilder.util.FieldSetter – set field autoLoadPorts of type boolean to a value of type java.lang.Boolean
    2270 INFO c.t.c.util.ConfigValidator – validating instance of class com.stefanbrenner.droplet.utils.DropletConfig

    Thanks for any help you can give me.


  • clayton vaals

    hello everyone
    I have a problem programa does not work on my mac
    he geetf to not connect what should I do ????
    I have this geinstleerd …… http: //www.stefanbrenner.com/liquid-art/droplet/
    and I have built this …. http : //www.studiopatricephoto.fr/water-drop-machine/
    where it is going wrong or what am I doing wrong HELP PLEASE

  • VGancedo

    Hi, thanks for your job!!! The program found good but last update I do not work the button. How I configure it?


  • olivier oswald

    excuse me for my bad english , my language is french.

    I try to download the droplet software but a error message appear, 404 page not found ? Have you a mistake with the download system ?

    Y have built an arduino drop system and y need y our program 😉


  • olivier oswald

    yes, it’s ok thanks

  • olivier oswald

    droplet work with win 10?

    y have a message dont found javaw.exe and y dont find it ? y unistall java, clean registre and re-install java … but dont work. ?

    • I haven’t tried it with windows 10. But the error messages says, that Java isn’t installed correctly.

  • philippe neau

    Hi Stephan, droplet dont with win 10 …

  • Allan

    I stumbled upon your amazing website, when searching the web for a cheap, Ardrino based, water drop kit etc. please pardon my ignorance as I am not to well versed in programming, but your droplet software would be used assuming one already purchased the valves and hardware components? Also if so is there any way I can purchase the ready made”hardware” from someone? Thank you

  • DRI


    I downloaded version 1.03 of droplet software. I also updated the java software. I’m in the Windows 8.1 environment
    I can not run the software ( droplet.jar file)
    in advance for your help
    Best regards
    Daniel DRI

  • Nancy

    Hello my english is no very good. A try to talk to you i have nikon d 610 i like the water drop picture i want a machine i want to start but i dont no wath a buy for water drop . The first is ardurio cart… Tel me please

  • Marco

    An info:
    I downloaded the program and starts.
    I purchased Arduino.
    Now to connect camera, valve and flash, there is a circuit to be built?

    hello and thank you for this immense work

  • Peter Denecker

    Hallo Stefan ,
    The programm you made says not connected …
    Its on a mac …
    What should i do ?
    Settings maybe ?
    Thanks for respond,

  • Gary

    Hi Stefan,
    I have made a box that allows 5 valves, 1 flash and a camera to be connected along with the usb and external power supply. Just need to refine the PCB.

  • Claude

    how to connect the button on the Arduino :
    – which pins?
    – Needs to be declare?

    Thank you for your help

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