Moving from LightRoom 6

Hi All,

Is there anyway to transform/translate existing/comercially bought lightroom presets to rawtherapee? In particular i am trying to use this presets:

Any help would be welcome.

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You can make LUTS out of the LR presets, but you’ll loose a lot of flexibility doing that.

The answer is more or less no. You can probably translate the preset of you look at what it is doing the adjust similar sliders in RT.

Hi Luis,

welcome to the forum! There are RT presets, for example by the forum member @stefan.chirila see here. But you will probably not get an exact match for the comercial LR presets.
But it is anyway more fun to develop your own styles and presets :slight_smile: .
If you are lokking for a way to imitate a certain style, you could post one of your photos developed with the LR preset plus the raw file and make a play_raw challenge out of it.

Hey there Luis @Luis_Rojas , welcome to the forum!

This is a very good question, one that I have struggled with for longer than I can remember. The short answer is sortof; because it’s a mix between yes, in terms of some of the things we can replicate, and no, in terms of the things we can not. RawTherapee is a RAW processing program, and does the same job that Lightroom was created for; however due to it being written by other people via other algorithms, it does the same job slightly differently, so although you have tools that cover the same purpose, say sharpening, or demosaicing, the results may look slightly different than they will look in Lightroom.

What we can do:
We have tools that can pretty well match the brightness/contrast/RGB curves settings you can do in Lightroom; so applying a similar looking curve and settings in RawTherapee will yield a similar result (gotta look at the desired result and match the amount you need to set each slider to in RawTherapee - it’s a trial and error job that takes a while but can be done). LAB mode and HSV editing will also work for Luminance, Saturation and Hue changes, though I find the ones in RawTherapee are more extreme than the slider in Lightroom (so careful with them); also using a lot of them can cause noise which can be dealt with by using some noise removal.

What we can not do:
There are aspects of Lightroom that are proprietary, which Adobe does not want us to know how they actually work, which provide the Lightroom specific look (their secret sauce), which are not easily, or can not be replicated. One of them is their demosaic algorithm, another is their highlights recovery. They also by default seem to apply some tone mapping, and after demosaic, further settings seem to be applied to a generated TIFF (seems like it to me, though it’s hard to prove).

How you can get what you want:
What you want is 1: The look of the commercial presets and 2: RawTherapee presets that match those looks, so you can tweak them.

1 is easier - you can load a blank HALD CLUT template into Lightroom and apply the desired preset. You then save it and it will provide you with the direct colour changes the preset applies. This doesn’t get along well with certain tools like sharpening and such, so might wanna turn them off. The downside to this is that these are as is, and can not be tweaked down the road. I found a great Fujifilm 400H hald that I love and have been struggling to create an actual RawTherapee preset that matches is. I never quite got it just right, but produced a few variations that I like.

2 is harder - you need sample images in raw format, edited in Lightroom. You then open the raw files in RawTherapee and try to apply settings as close to the Lightroom ones as you can; then you tweak them to have your RawTherapee result match the Lightroom one as close as you can. It’s a long process and frustrating at times; but doable. Technically we could reverse engineer the whole bunch of the VSCO, Mastin Labs and Replichrome presets that are so famous and pretty, and provide them for free as RawTherapee presets …but we’d be jerks doing so, therefore we don’t :stuck_out_tongue: But you know, doing a reverse engineering session like this can be very educational in learning what it is that makes your favourite presets tick; and then incorporate that into your own presets.

Here’s an example of me looking into replicating VSCO’s Agfa Vista 400++ look. Film Preset - Agfa Vista 400++

As for presets to use and learn about editing you can look into the CustomCHROME presets I made; and I also recommend looking into the Play Raw posts in this forum, where people post images and they discuss editing techniques on them.


thank you,

I am new to photography and dont really own LightRoom, i was thinking on buying the presets from tony and chelsea northrop. but was wondering if i could use them on rawtherapee, i guess i will have to find some starting profiles that i could use.

Hi @Luis_Rojas and welcome!

Here is more info about some of all that is possible in RawTherapee:

Also, google for rawtherapee presets

Have fun!
Claes in Lund, Sweden

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Wow, I have to appologize. My first answer was based on what i saw on my email, i have seen results talking about your presets and i was not expecting such a techically deep answer from a person such as you.

Thank you for taking the time to answer a question from such a junior member.

Regarding your reply. Like I explained before, i am new to photography and although i am familiar with adobe tools, back since pagemaker days, i have never stopped to understand them since it was a bit out of my wheelhouse. As time has passed and life has had its ups and downs, i find myself finding refuge in photography and wanting to understand the whole process and how to make my pictures gain that ‘je ne sais quois’.

I am opposed to use any tool i cant own where ever i possible can. Thus RawTherapee under Linux. In the process of learning, I am following Tony and Chelsea Notthtroop youtube channel and so i am considering their books and online class in order to better myself.

One of the things i am strugling with, hence why i wanted to “import” the lightroom presets, is that so many instructional videos online and the books and course i want to buy as well, seem to focus on just saying… “apply this preset and follow along”.

I really appreciate your answer, and if you dont mind i will keep pestering you as my journey continues.

Luis R. Rojas


thanks man :slight_smile: Glad you found my reply useful. Presets really are a blessing a curse. They’re great when you find a good edit and don’t want to forget what you did in it …but they’re bad because people use them as a means to make money by selling convenience, and people buy presets in order to not need to know what they’re doing in order to get good images…and some people never end up learning any lessons from the presets they apply.

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