ART feature requests and discussion

As discussed with @agriggio, I’m starting this thread for feature requests and discussion for ART. Note that there is only one developer working on ART and he decides the direction he wants to take it.

Here are some ideas I’ve been thinking of after using ART as my primary software over the last couple of months. Apologies if some of these are already covered.

  • Retouch/healing tool - I believe this is already on @agriggio’s list of planned features. A simple spot brush would be a good starting point. I do like darktable’s use of frequency separation for finer control.

  • A Reset button for the whole tool (maybe next to the power button). This would reset all changes made in the tool to default and negate the need to reset each individual slider.
    Going one step further and in the spirit of keeping ART streamlined and less cluttered, why not remove the reset buttons for each slider, and instead use a double click and/or keyboard modifiers for the reset functions? This would remove a lot of graphical elements for a cleaner interface

  • Recursive folder search in the file manager. This could be a simple toggle to include subfolders when clicking on a parent directory.

  • Option to choose different colours for the shadow/highlight clipping indicators. Sometimes white and black don’t show up very well.

  • A batch resize option in the queue. Currently you need to resize each photo in the Editor before adding them to the queue.


I think the “fast export” to queue would do that.

These have both been mentioned elsewhere but thought I would add them to the list here:

  • Path selection tool for masks (appreciate that this might not be an easy job). Can get round many things with the current addition of shapes, but path selection would be quicker and easier.

  • Ability to a copy a mask selection (ie the HSL / delta E selection / shapes) from one tool to another in one go would make some tasks quicker. I find that often that you select an area and may want to apply more than one thing, eg. colour adjustments and local contrast.

These would both be ‘nice to have’. Pretty happy with the way things are…

Instead of copying the mask parameters, it could be done instead by copying the raster mask from one tool to the other


Maybe first of all some questions should be asked and answered:

  • What kind of software should ART be?
    1. Should it be for professional photographers or advanced amateurs who like taking the pictures at least as much as editing them?
    2. Should it be for photographers who like the editing part a lot and love playing around with the newest tools?
    3. Should it be for absolute beginners in photography who barely understand what exposure is and want the final image to look like the embedded jpg?
    4. Should it be for those who have a camera but are not willing to learn photography and think they can later make a masterpiece out of every snapshot they take?

The answer to these questions will in large part define the road ahead. A software for 1 and 2 will look vastly different than for 3 or 4.

Seeing the development of RT and now ART, makes me think that the target is 2, maybe 4. Seeing the complexity of the program it is certainly not 3.

Of course, things like astonishing sharpening, unbelievable noise reduction, magical highlight recovery are always welcome. Everybody wants that.

But, what I would like to see is more of a move towards 1. I think that seeing the differences between RT and ART @agriggio has already gone down the path towards what photographers want.

Personally, I would love to see things like:

  • Good integration with Digikam since it is the best for organizing and culling photos.
  • More professional look and feel. For me that starts with giving more space to the star of the show, the image, by making the tools take up less space.
  • A solution for tethering, so that ART can help me even while I’m taking the pictures. A good example for this in proprietary software is Capture One. This is something that any photographer working in a big professional studio or even a home studio, would want.

So it is not only about wanting this or that new shiny toy. The toy and it’s implementation should make sense when considering the overall goal of the software.

Just my 2 cents.

Yes. If there are subgroups, then one for each as well. I mentioned this before about RT but it might have been lost in the forum.

I believe it was originally and may still be for @agriggio. A while back, I learned that he was maintaining a private custom version when I asked him why he didn’t share a sidecar for his Play Raw or example in a post. Maybe share it someday :wink: :wink:? (Was literally winking behind my laptop.:joy_cat:) He is a generous dude, so sharing with us his work was inevitable. :slight_smile: I haven’t taken a deep dive yet but thanks @agriggio!

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I fully agree with @europlatus regarding wishes for Art’s evolution. For the selection of the mask shapes, the ideal would be a selection by brush (capture one type), associated with the parametric masks (deltaE and TCL) we would have an ultra fine and above all very fast selection. Selection by path is also a good option (I don’t know which one is the easiest to code !!).

One thing less important, but the vignetting filter should have a visual guide on the image representing the modification of the filter coordinates.

Art is really fantastic software. Bravo @agriggio


A vectorscope-like tool which has outlines for at least the delivery colorspace and/or the monitor colorspace. Maybe with out of gamut warnings. Top-notch would be a perceptually uniform scope (I have seen only one program that has L* S* H* scope, and it is not commonly used).

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I would love a vector scope. One could have many variations of one too, just as you can have many for the histogram or waveform.

Do you mean keep all the reset buttons for each slider and add extra ones elsewhere? I like the idea of removing some of the graphical clutter, but retaining the individual reset functionality by Alt + click or double click on each slider, for example.
Apologies if I misunderstood you.

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I think he fixed a lot of the clutter already but going with RT as a reference there are modules that have subsections that you could hide. Adding a reset button per section in addition to the entire module would be wise, rather than only having the one.

As for the individual sliders, I think something as simple as a double click to reset it would be sweet. That behaviour would have to be learnt of course since it diverges from the original buttons and shortcuts. Maybe having an indicator of the default position would be a good addition. (Not a new idea but recent changes in dt is an example of the latter point.)

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Isn’t this only possible with RawTherapee? If I’m not mistaken, a lot of the batch editing functionality was removed with ART. I know it sounds a bit strange to ask for removed functionality to be added back, but I think the batch resize option is useful, especially if you want to send photos over email, etc.

Batch editing was removed compared RT, indeed, but “fast export” is something else. It is both in RT and ART. There’s no tool called “batch resize” neither in RT not in ART.

I’ve never really used Fast Export. I had a situation where I had about 10 photos, each with different edits applied to them sitting in the queue. I then wanted them resized to about 50% of their original size. I can use the copy/paste partial feature to copy over resizing from one photo to all the others, but does Fast Export make this any easier or quicker?

I don’t use fast export, but what I think makes it faster is that the images are resized first and then the processing is done on resized image instead of the full sized image. You can also ask fast export to skip some filters.
When you have something already in the processing queue, you can’t paste profiles, you have to remove them from the queue, apply the profiles, and then send them to the queue.

@vato. I would say a mixture of 1 and 2. There will be nothing to stop 4 creeping in from time to time. I am sometimes guilty of that myself. :wink:. Perhaps we could develop a specialist turd polishing algorithm… (I guess they exist in many forms already)

Hi everybody, and thanks for the suggestions! Here are a few comments/answers:

Not exactly. I did say that I will try to port RT’s one when it’s ready, but nothing more than that at the moment. Personally I’m happy with GIMP for this kind of tasks.

This is a good suggestion, I’ll see what I can do.

Not interested in this, sorry. If you need more than a simple file browser, I think you should look into an external DAM tool. ART is trying to work nicely with other tools (see more below).

Sounds reasonable, I’ll consider this as well.

I’ve just pushed a change that will allow you to do this, and actually more. Here’s a screenshot:
Screenshot from 2020-02-09 13.54.47
Essentially, this allows you to apply an extra (partial) profile to all the exported images, but without saving the changes to the raw file sidecar (the changes will still be saved to the output .arp). So, to resize everything that goes into the queue, just create a resize profile and select it there. Other things that you can do with this could include setting a different output color profile for exporting to different media, and so on.

I need to think about how to do this properly, whether to use paths or brushes, and so on. It might take a while…

Copying the mask parameters might give confusing results, as different tools are in different places in the pipeline, so e.g. the same lightness curve might produce a very different mask when applied in color correction vs. local contrast (for example). I agree that raster masks would solve this, but again I need to think about how to properly implement this.

If I had to answer in one line, I’d say “the kind of software that doesn’t get in the way”. Or, as I wrote elsewhere, “simple things should be simple, complex things should be possible”. Which, in my view, translates to the following concepts (but please remember they are somewhat vaguely defined…):

  • a minimal set of tools, that do specific tasks, and are as orthogonal as possible
  • as few parameters as possible
  • no surprising behaviour. By this I mean that what a slider does should be easy to understand, and so to predict
  • all the above, obviously, without sacrificing quality and/or flexibility.

Clearly, given that power and simplicity are conflicting requirements, all this is easier said than done, but the above are the idealized goals.

Can you be a bit more specific? ART already can pick up ratings, color labels, and metadata from digikam (assuming you use xmp sidecars to store them), what else are you missing?

I’m afraid I don’t understand this, sorry. You can already hide all the side panels, and you can make them smaller by decreasing the font size. The UI is supposed to work decently also on 4k screen (inherited from RT), though I have no way of testing that…

My camera doesn’t do tethering, so I’m afraid this won’t be easy, sorry…

I’d also like to have brushes rather than paths, but I don’t know how long this will take.

Can you provide some more details and use-cases? I learnt what a vectorscope is when I read your comments so I might be missing some background… :wink:


It is something like a chrominance historgram. From every triplet of YUV (Or other definitions of Luminance-Chrominance type signals), the Luminance is dropped and the residual UV values are plotted on a 2D-plane. At (0,0) you have no saturation. At the borders of the this 2D-plane you have maximum saturation with the angle describing the Hue. It is similar to an CIE-XYZ plot where luminance values are out of plane values.
I think they originated in TV production for calibration purposes of cameras (Hue Angles and Saturations had to be consistent) and where easily derived from a TV signal an plotted with an X-Y-Scope.
Colorists nowadays might use them for selective color adjustments as it’s easier to see if/when you have for example complementary colors (or other color schemes) whether there is too much color-clutter in certain hue-ranges. They can come in handy for spotting out of gamut clipping, adjusting white balance when looking at a grey card or a grey-ramp. Skintones usually lie in a specific range of hues, which are indicated on good scopes as the ‘skintone line’…of course assuming standard illumination. And probably lot’s of other stuff I don’t know.
The variant mostly used in colorgrading programs like DaVinci Resolve is YCbCr I think…but probably a different variant for grading rec.2020 material.
Photographers never heard of it, Movie/Video colorists cannot understand how Photographers can live without it.
The extra beauty of a perceptually uniform variant would be: I know no professional program that has this, it makes judging of saturation much much less of a guessing game (even in comparison to YCbCr scopes). For the ‘standard’ Vectorscope: it can help teach the user what a tool actually does to the Chroma information of a picture (what does the channelmixer do in comparison to a desaturation).
Introductory Wiki-link (very basic):

I probably forgot a lot of what and why’s, please chime in if you know more.

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Very cool!

Hello @agriggio,

Can you provide some more details and use-cases? I learnt what a vectorscope is when I read your comments so I might be missing some background…

A vectorscope [1] has just been implemented in the upcoming version of Shotcut, an open source video editor, to be released shortly.
If I remember correctly, this same feature is already avalaible in Kdenlive as well.

Personally, I would really like to have a waveform histogram as well [3].
You can take a look at this discussion where jonatos pointed to the code used in Darktable (?) to implement this option [4]

[2] Release v20.02 BETA · mltframework/shotcut · GitHub
[3] Kdenlive/Manual/View Menu/Vectorscope - KDE UserBase Wiki
[4] Waveform histogram - #15 by dafrasaga