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 2.0.0-alpha-1 for testing available!!
Compatibility with macOS Sierra
Download Droplet 2.0.0-alpha-1 for OSX

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


  • 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


      • Marco

        I was interested too.
        you can buy?


        • Pablo Cuenca

          hello, i developed the pcb, a bit late, it is already ok, but i want to add a bluettoth module and make an app for android too control it, if you are interested, yo can contact me at pablorodricuenca @ gmai . com


  • 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

  • DimKra

    Fix for start button.
    Button assigned to 2 digital inputs.
    Changes in the code sketch_droplet.ino:

    line 60
    droplet.startButton = UNDEFINED_PIN;
    change to:
    droplet.startButton = 2;

    line 82
    int reading = digitalRead(droplet.startButton); change to:
    int reading = digitalRead(2);

    line 101 add:
    logging(INFO, “verify “);

    • Willian Zanon

      Hi, can you help me with the hardware setup for your start button?
      I have mande all the changes that you suggest but i cant start the process with physical button. My email wzanon@gmail.com.
      Thanks in advance

  • DimKra

    Link to the sketch with the start button 2 digital input:


  • with my mac im not able to open droplet ? it say’s

    Droplet” is damaged and can’t be opened. You should move it to the Trash.

    my privacy it’s open for all ??


    • You can find a new alpha version available for testing. Feedback appreciated 😉

      • Christian Dumaine

        On Alpha version there is no script to unload in Arduino software, does it take it directly from droplet ?

        • Please use the arduino sketch of version 0.1.3

  • hello thanks for the new version my macbook pro love it ?? the new version work super good this is some picture i made yesterday /Users/marc-andrevilleneuve/Documents/document /les belles gouttes droplet /goutte de eau /collision.jpg/Users/marc-andrevilleneuve/Documents/document /les belles gouttes droplet /goutte de eau /IMG_6230.jpg

  • Hello Stefan, I´m a great brazilian fan of your work. I have made some waterdrop pictures manually, but now I want to build my own controller.
    Please, can you give us some schematics for mounting the hardware? I´m a Nikon user and the plug to control the camera shutter is different from Canon. It´s something like a mini USB instead the stereo jackets 3,5mm from Canon´s.
    Thanks for any help.

  • Yvon

    Hi Stefan
    Thanks for your great job and timing spend to us when having trouble and …I have one
    I charged the new version alpha on my mac (version 10.9.5 )but even follow your recommandation “Knows problem and bugs,I could not open the application
    Try too with older version
    Your help will be greatly appreciate


  • Yvon

    Hi Stefan
    Congratulation for your great job and timing spending to us when having some trouble to install your program and I hah one
    I download the new version droplet alpha ,followed your recommandation for problems and bugs and I could not open,message saying that droplet is an application from the web and request I’d I want di open ,I did but nothing happened
    Java is install too
    Your help will be greatly appreciate

    • Have you also tried to use the regular version of Droplet? The alpha version is a special version for the newest OS X.

      • Yvon David

        Yes Stefan I did and the same punition nothing happened
        I have a mac os high sierra and can open both regular droplet and alpha
        For certain reason I want to use the mac book air for water drop

  • Tony

    Fantastic that this project continues to advance. I hope that soon there is an improved version for pc. Thank you.

    • Yvon

      I opened regular version on mac book air OS X 10.9.5 via read information and sélect 32 bits
      but…after updating control devices and device set up I clic on send and nothing happened

      Any advice will be appreciate

  • chris bänziger

    Hello Stefan,

    Droplet used to work on my Windows 7 PC.
    After updating to Windows 10 it stopped working.

    The javaw.exe is now in the programfilesx86\java\jre …\bin directory is stead of windows\

    Are you aware of this or is it my problem?


  • brian

    Hi Stefan is there any link to the circuit to be built using a Arduino cant seem to find one anywhere

  • Willian Zanon

    Anyone could solve the problem of the button?
    I have made all the changes that was suggest above but i cant start de process with a physical button.

  • Walt

    Need wiring diagram

  • Patrick

    With the Arduino 1.8.5, I had problem with the droplet sketch ( ON/OFF buttons in Control Devices are not working and get a frozen board). With Arduino 1.6.8 version it is OK..

  • Moreau

    Bonjour. Je suis sur windows 10 et je ne peu pas installer droplet pourriez-vous me donner la marche a suivre et quelques conseils. Merci

  • MONIÉ Serge

    J’ai installer Droplet version 0.1.3 sur mon Arduino Uno mais cela ne fonctionne pas si j’essaie (Controls Devices) à la mise en service le premier bouton ou j’appuie sur ON fonctionne puis ensuite impossible d’arreter et les autres boutons ne fonctionnent pas ?
    Bien sur si je lance Start rien ne fonctionne.

    • Patrick

      Quelle version de soft Arduino utilises-tu? Il semble que ton problème ressemble à celui que j’ai rencontré. Droplet ne fonctionne pas parfaitement avec le soft Arduino 1.8.5. Avec la version 1.6.8 c’est OK.

  • Sébastien PEREZ

    Hello Stefan,

    Thank you for this soft, very good job !

    I would modify the DropletMainFrame in order to add Horizontal and Vertical Scroll. That can allow us to use this software on a little screen definition(480*320).

    Which one IDE can i use ? i tryed Eclipse but i have many errors, i think i have done a mistake by importing the solution.

    thank you for your answer.

    Sébastien PEREZ.

  • Sébastien PEREZ


    Avec quel IDE peut-on compiler ?
    J’ai importer le projet sur eclipse, mais cela ne fonctionne pas, cela m’indique de nombreuses erreurs dès le départ.

    Merci par avance.

  • Sébastien PEREZ

    Bonjour, j’essai de compiler l’appli afin de faire quelques modificaitons d’interface notamment, j’ai donc importé le projet via GitHub sous Eclipse(Linux ubuntu), mais lors de la compilation j’ai de gros problèmes de dépendances, et donc cela ne se lance pas….
    Quelqu’un pourrait me dire s’il a déjà réussi ?


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