Local adjustments is in dev

Branch « Local adjustments » is merge in « dev »

(excuse my bad english)

If you want to go fast, if you are impatient, consult the documentation on Rawpedia, especially the « first steps » (in french).


I especially want to thank :

  • Pierre Cabrera (@Pandagrapher) for the important work done on the GUI, in particular the possibility of choosing only the modules of your choice, as well as the level of complexity ;
  • Ingo Weyrich (@Heckflosse) for its superb work of optimization, improvement, cleaning of the code (speedup, debug,…) ;
  • All the people of the team (developers, contributors) who, through their work, their reviews, their advices, their tests have allowed the product to progress ;
  • All the people who for four years have believed in this approach and have tested, asked for improvements, found malfunctions, etc. ;
  • Local adjustments is the work of a team.

General principles

The principle is different from that found in Photosshop or Darktable, or …, here no clipping of objects, little use of masks and layers. For those who are used to these tools, this product may at first seem counter intuitive, it is essentially a problem of habits and learning. Each of these types of tools has its advantages and disadvantages, the ideal would be to reconcile the two.

The basic principle is based on 3 foundations :

  1. the « deltaE » which will make it possible to differentiate the action according to the differences in colors
  2. the « transitions » which make it possible to limit the action to geographical portions, as well as to ensure the progressiveness of the actions
  3. the notion of « RT-spot » of 2 types : « normal spot » which can include one or more tools, « excluding spot » which allows you to undo actions and create inverse functions (it can also include one or more tools). These RT-spot can process part of the picture or the whole picture.

These principles are quite close to those we find in CNX and DXO (if you know these softwares – derivated of Nik software ©), of course they are differents, and code is unknown.

The masks are present, they are not in the philosophy of the product, but of course, they can be used either in conjunction with the 3 fundamental principles, or independently. They can be used one after the other in the same RT-spot, or after duplication of one RT-spot. These mask are specifics, and their design had to be integrated into the RT-spot management.

The tools

Accessible by « Add tool to current spot… ».

You can create as many RT-spots as you want (normal or excluding), each RT-spot can contain one or more of the 12 tools from the list.

Color and light :

  • contains substantially the same tools as « Lab adjustments - Main menu » ;
  • possibility of treating « red eyes » and small defects , « Color correction grid »;
  • in « Expert » possibilities of : a) graduated filter (luminance, chrominance, hue), b) Merge file with 21 blending modes.

Exposure :

  • substantially identical to « exposure - Main menu»
  • in addition, possibility to process high dynamic or very underexposed images with 2 algorithmes : « PDE Ipol contrast attenuator » , « Dynamic Range Compression »

Shadows – Highlight

  • substantially identical to « Shadows highlight – Main menu »
  • possibility of « Tone equalizer » (which inspired me in ART)
  • possibility of « TRC » - « Tone Response Curve »

Vibrance – Warm Cool :

  • « Vibrance », substantially identical to « Vibrance - Main menu»
  • « Warm-cool » allows as a « white balance » to warm or cool a part of an image (use Ciecam02)

Soft light – Original Retinex :

  • « Soft light », substantially identical to « Soft light - Main menu»
  • « Original Retinex » allows you to simulated a « dodge and burn » for example for portraits, whitout layers, masks…

Smooth – Blur – Grain – Denoise

  • « Denoise » is more complete than the main module and allows you to differentiate the action by level of detail (it use the same algorithm)
  • « Smooth – Blur – Grain ( which inspired me in ART)», have the functions that their name indicates

Tone mapping – texture

  • substantially identical to « Tone mapping - Main menu»
  • a function « normalize luminance » allows to keep the same mean and variance as original image

Dehaze – Retinex

  • « Dehaze », substantially identical to «Dehaze - Main menu»
  • « Retinex », substantially identical to «Retinex - Main menu», but with many improvments and it works on « Lab image » (in final process instead of RGB process)


  • some differences with « Sharpening RT-deconvolution main menu », but principle is the same

Local contrast wavelet

  • « Local contrast », substantially identical to «Local contrast - Main menu»
  • « Wavelet » , same principle with « wavelet main menu » (Clarity, contrast, blur…see wavelet documentation), but with much possibilities, for example reduce large blemishes, grease stains.


  • « CBDL », substantially identical to «CBDL - Main menu»
  • Possibility of « clarity »

Encoding log (which inspired me in ART)

  • Tone mapping in logarithm mode, to process high dynamic or very underexposed images

For some of these tools, you find in addition « masks » with various settings, and « graduated filters »

Future improvement

Apart from bugs, malfunctions, speedups, best code… others improvements are planned :

  • For GUI, RT-spots management, code maintenance, I would let Pierre speak @Pandagrapher
  • I think, I can improve masks, especially with a general common mask
  • And, if a developer can improve the GUI to draw polygones, or Béziers curves - taking into account the management of current RT-spots. this will complement the current RT-spot boundaries (elipse, rectangle) ; and also move « bunch of pixels » to make a brush…
  • etc.

Advices, learning, feedback

Everyone can express themselves if they wish, contributors, users,…on this phase of development and past and futur fine-tuning.

Learning and communication are key points in the knowledge of software, both individually and collectively (reputation in the media, the web …). Any proposal, any support is welcome : tutorial, videos, publications…they will be added to the Rawtherapee site.

It is important to take advantage of this change to learn from it in terms of feedback, both in terms of cooperation, organization, objectives and aims. Again opinions and points of view are desired.


Wow, congrats on this landing Jaques. I’ve been watching the development of this over the years with interest so I appreciate the amount of work that has gone into this.

I’ll be trying it out tomorrow night :slight_smile:


Thank you @jdc! This is awesome


Bravo Jacques pour le travail, et ton acharnement !
Congrats to everyone who was involved in this great addition to RT.


Wow, it was the time … good :smiley:



I have just tried the latest build for Windows 10 (64 bit):

It looks like this option (Local adjustments) is not included yet (developer branch):
From what I have gathered this is yesterday’s build (16 June - 2020).
I suppose it will be available tomorrow in the dev build…

I you see something like 5.8-{>2000}, that’s the one to use :wink:

Wouldn’t it be reasonable to move the Local Adjustments tool from the Local tab to the Advanced tab? Maybe it doesn’t make much sense having a new tab for a single tool. And that tool is an advanced one, indeed!

I’m not sure that I understand. Will the local adjustment be included in the next stable release?



  1. Fantastic, great news
  2. Will somebody do a small video on how to do the masks?

I tried once the local adjustment branch and I had a lot problem on creating the masks.


Try not using masks. For most things they aren’t needed.

1 Like

Good question… and always the same questions

  • “what is in what ?”
  • what is complexe, or advanced ?

I think for now leave it in this “tab”, but if several people are of the same opinion then!



If you want a help for mask… I did a little tutorial where the masks are included
Mask are in 1.20, 1.21, 1.22


1 Like

I agree, after having played with the feature before it was merged into dev, I find that the separate tab is convenient, especially when you switch back and forth from global to local editing. This is how it’s done in DxO Photolab btw.

1 Like

The tool panels are also huge. You quickly fill the height of the screen. Mixing it in with lots of other tools will make it to cumbersome to handle.

1 Like

Even with the default settings, the shape detection is very impressive. The only suggestion I have would be to hide some of the Settings sliders behind an expander button to reduce the space they take on the screen and make the interface look less ‘complex’.

1 Like

it is planned in the near improvements, to reduce the apparent size of “settings”
As suggested by @Wayne_Sutton


1 Like

My comment was arguing that local adjustments should have its own tab. Regardless its a good idea to get rarely used settings out of the way. I guess its deciding which are rarely used that is difficult.

And also this depends heavily on the user. Some will never use ist, others will add one or more local spots to every image.