How do you deal with the 1:1 modules in RawTherapee?

I’m a Darktable user, but I often look longingly over to RawTherapee, for a variety of reasons. There truly is a lot to love about both these programs!

But then I play around with RawTherapee, and get annoyed that the effect of some modules are only visible at 1:1 magnification. In my inexperienced ways, this can make it very hard to judge whether an edit was successful or not.

Obviously this doesn’t stop current RawTherapee users. So, how do you deal with it? Do you switch back and forth every so often? Did you learn to visualize the effects in your mind? Am I fundamentally misunderstanding what the 1:1 means?

As a user of both darktable and RawTherapee I’ve posted a few times on these forums about not having a zoomed out view of the 1.1 modules.
I’ve tried using the small windows but never have 100% confidence in the resulting image.
If only darktable had a deconvolution sharpening module and RawTherapee this zoomed out view, would I be mega happy.:hugs:

BTW I would just like to say a BIG BIG thank you to the devs :+1::+1::+1::+1::+1:

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Hi Bastian, which 1:1 module would you be particularly interested in to see in different zoom levels?

Well, it’s not that you can’t view your edits zoomed out. You definitely can.

The problem lies in the way the «1:1 tools» work: let’s say that you have a 3840x2160 pixels raw image, and you have a preview area of 1920x1080 pixels (for some of us that would be full screen). In such case, what you see on 1 pixel onscreen are 4 pixels grouped together (you lose resolution), and there are tools (those 1:1 tools) that work at pixel level, so you won’t really be able to see what they are doing at each pixel of your image.

That doesn’t mean that you won’t see anything. You will definitely see a general view of what’s happening (depending on the changes made), but you will not really see the truth until you go down to 1:1

In my own workflow, I used to work zoomed out to start with the editing, and then fine tuned the adjustments at 1:1. But now that I know better how the tools work, I just go 1:1 looking for the areas that I know are important to me using that tool: areas with noise, highlights, edges, … Some times I use the detail windows to see several areas at the same time, but most of the time I don’t. I guess it’s just a question of getting used to it.

Leave the 1:1 things (sharpening, noise reduction) for last.

If an accurate preview is needed, I export directly to Geeqie:

Would be nice if RawTherapee had a button that generates the accurate preview without needing to export -

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I usually employ the detail windows:


This way I don’t have to switch back and forth.



Thank you all for your replies!

The little detail window and the instant export/preview seem particularly practical.

I’ll give those a go next time!

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Thank you so much for this comment. So this whole 1:1 thing was really a misunderstanding on my part. That is fantastic news!

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Regarding sharpening, notice that the new capture sharpening tool is not tied to the 1:1 preview, you can see the sharpening effect zoomed out.

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@sguyader :+1::+1::+1:
Sebastien, many thanks for that, I didn’t realise.
I’ve been using capture sharpening more and more on my Fuji raws and find I’m getting very good results.

Indeed, before the Capture Sharpening module I didn’t use RL sharpening on my Fuji X-T2 raws, I preferred the look from USM method (RL had tendency to bring up artifacts). Now with Capture Sharpening it is better than USM, in my opinon.

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This was something I also wondered: whether the zoomed out view didn’t show your edits at all, or whether it’s just that you can’t really see them properly at that zoom level.
Can’t remember whether Rawpedia makes this clear or not, but I would suspect it’s a common source of confusion for new users.

Considering that many users will be developing images for displaying solely on the web, the zoomed out view is actually what your processed image will look like. So getting an accurate rendering at a particular zoom level is still very important.

It’s not a cause of confusion for users who read the documentation.


Strictly, and maybe pedantically, speaking, 100% is the only place you can make an accurate assessment of any operation. Any other scale also imposes a resize with possibly questionable pedigree between you and the pixels…

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I played with capture sharpening a bit, and I have found that USM can be used in addition to CS for my X-Trans files to improve results. Have you tried this?

Well I’ve read the documentation many times, and it seems to make it clear that some tools don’t show the effects at zoom levels less than 100%.
I think this is the relevant part of the documentation:

“We made the decision to either disable the preview effects of these tools entirely at zoom levels less than 100%, or to keep the preview effects active but to warn you that what you see at zoom levels less than 100% may be inaccurate depending on the tool settings (for example Tone Mapping and Wavelet may be accurate at zoom levels less than 100% or they may be inaccurate, depending on their settings). You will know which tools these are because they are marked with a “1:1” icon next to their names. RawPedia explains how accurate the preview is for all affected tools on each tool’s page.”

So this suggests there are two scenarios for various size-dependent tools:
1 - Preview effects at zoom levels less than 100% are disabled
2 - Preview effects at zoom levels less than 100% may be inaccurate

Going to the individual tools descriptions, many (like Sharpening, Noise Reduction, Defringe) say this:
“The effects of this tool are only visible at a preview scale of 1:1 or more.”

So, this means we can’t see these effects at zoom levels less than 100%, right?
Which contradicts what XavAL said in this thread and what OP maybe now thinks.

I get this Tooltips:

“The effects of this tool are only visible or only accurate at a preview scale of 1:1 or more”

Would it not be possible to re-run the pipeline at full resolution after the screen-resolution preview, the way I made Filmulator work?

I’m guessing it’s too processor intensive?

I took this text from Rawpedia, so looks like there’s a mismatch. So, is the tooltip generic for all tools and Rawpedia is more accurate? Or is Rawpedia out of date?