Local edits in ART for beginners (e.g. exposure)

Being a beginner in RAW editing, I really appreciate ART! The tools at the right of the screen look very ‘logical’ to me without distracting complex terminology. Many thanks for offering this fork of RawTherapee.

I’m very much interested in local edits as well - and now comes my question. As a beginner, I have no troubles creating a mask, it all feels logical and easy. However, the tools that are available for local edits (Color correction, Softening, Local contrast and Texture) look very complex to me. If I would like to make some basic adjustments, like editing the exposure using a local edit, I cannot figure out how to do this.

Is this just due to my lack of experience? Maybe I missed some documentation about it. Or would it be possible to add some ‘easy’ adjustments in the local edit settings, that look beginner-friendly like the user-friendly tools in the Exposure tab? Any guidance would be highly appreciated!


I think there is a genuine lack of documentation for ART, unfortunately. Things are getting better, thanks also to the contributions of users (e.g. @BarryThomas recently added a “quick start” guide), but writing good docs takes a lot of time.

Regarding exposure/brightness adjustments, here’s a description of how to emulate a tone curve with the Color Correction module:

EDIT: in addition to what written above, if you want a simple exposure compensation, that can be done with the “slope/highlights” slider in the color correction module, which does exactly the same thing, except that the scale in the GUI is linear, instead of being logarithmic like in the exposure module (therefore, to add e.g. 1EV of compensation, set “slope” to 2).

I probably need to find some time to turn this into a proper wiki page – it seems many people struggle with this…

Hope this helps

Thank you very much agriggio for your prompt reply! I did a quick try and indeed got promising results.

FWIW, for me as a beginner it feels like most modules in ART are pretty much self-explanatory, except the local adjustments. Maybe it was a (fair) choice to make the most powerful modules/tools available in the local adjustments. I love the fact that ART hides some of the complexity of RawTherapee, this just feels a bit different in the Local adjustments tab. This is in no way meant to criticize the product or its author! However, would it be possible to make local adjustments somehow easier accessible, that would be awesome.

The local modules are meant to be generic enough to be able to emulate most of the other modules – so that to have the flexibility of masks without having to reimplement everything. Naturally, this means that they are a bit more complex to use than the others. But I’m not sure whether there’s a good “techical” solution to this; I am certainly not interested in adding more tools at this point. I think it would be better to have more documentation instead (hint: help is welcome! :wink:

Hello, perhaps the following article is of any help.
Check as well the other article about deltaE and brush masks.


The last version of Art crashed in Arch and I remove one.