New to RawTherapee


Most editing sections seem to be very detailed with little explanation of which does what and why and when to use it. There appears to be no up-to-date manual to help.
In contrast to this I find the “crop” to be clumsy and not very good. Having to “drag” corners and sides to get the size you require is crude and then have to drag the whole area to find the right place. Also there is no means of expanding the cropped area to the size of the original.
The old Picasa 3 method is simple and effective. Once you have a crop shape it can be resized in one movement by using the scroll on the mouse and when finally positioned can be increased to the size of the original. Can also be cancelled so the cropped bits are not lost.
For beginners of the whole package I would suggest a learners button giving access to the simpler features of noise reduction, contrast, brightness, saturation and the 4 sliders for getting the detail out of shadows and reducing highlights to reveal detail.
So I am still looking for my ideal free RAW editor

(Pat David) #2

Sort of. The best source for information is the “living document” of the wiki:

And there is a decent guide at getting started here:

I also find that the crop tool takes a little getting used to but it’s not so bad once you do.

(Mica) #3

Which sections of the wiki are unclear?

(PkmX) #4

You can also try darktable which is also free and open source (but only for Linux and OS X). It is as powerful as RawTherapee and has one of the best UI you can find in open source software. I agree RawTherapee’s cropping tool is quite awkward to use, and darktable’s cropping module is much easier to use.

I will hijack this thread for a question: in the development version of RawTherapee, is it possible to limit the viewport when moved with the hand tool to the boundary of the image? I’m not sure I like the new behavior where you can drag the image beyond that.

(peter) #5

Hi, welcome to Rawtherapee. I suggest you read the rawpedia from A to Z. I did and it helped me a lot using Rawtherapee, but also what rawconversion means and can do for you. You don’t have to use all the tools, because several tools are intended to reach the same goal. Begin with the basics and step up to other tools when you’re ready.
I can’t suggest on Darktable, since I’ve only tested it for a brief period of time. The drawback for me was that Darktable doesn’t allow you to open your converted raw in for example Gimp or AffinityPhoto afaik. Rawtherapee does. There are also some tutorials on Youtube for a start.
I have no problems using the croptool : I suppose I’ m used to it by now after using RT for several years. That doesn’t mean it couldn’t be made better.

I like using Rawtherapee a lot, because it’s the only rawconverter I’ve tested, that gives me a feeling of total control on my images. The fact that it’s opensource makes it even greater. Enjoy !

(Colin Paul Adams) #6

You can open a converted raw in GIMP - there is an export target (provided you have lua support compiled in) provided by a lua script.


Since I started using RT only a few months ago, and the memory is still fresh…
I agree that it can be overwhelming at first. Especially the fact, as you mentioned, that several roads lead to rome. The youtube videos I found weren’t that great in my opinion and I’m toying with the idea of making one to show a basic workflow.

If it helps you, this is what I regard as the basics:
In the Expopsure tab:

  • Exposure
  • Lab Adjustment

In the Color tab:

  • White balance

In the Detail tab:

  • Sharpening
  • Noise reduction
    - Contrast by detail level - This one is optional, but i find so powerfull that i use it almost always

(peter) #8

Hi, I suppose Lua is something for Linux ?
Not all people are on Linux :slight_smile:

(Colin Paul Adams) #9

No Lua isn’t Linux-specific.

(peter) #10

Hi, Mccap. I agree about the quality of the Youtube-videos. Looking forward for yours.

My workflow for the moment looks like this

In ColorTab : whitebalance
In TransformTab : cropping and lenscorrection
In ExposureTab : Raw opened with Equilibrated-profile. First set exposure correct if necessary. In the first curve adjusting white-point and black-point.More or less contrast.
Adding a graduated filter in the ExposureTab if needed (for skies for example).
Looking to correct the highlights if needed. Setting Lightness.
Adjusting saturation : mostly in LAB in the exposure-tab / sometimes in the ColorTab preserving skintones.
In DetailTab : noisereduction if needed + sharpening.

Some further finetuning beyond the above described basis.

Open (as Tiff) in AffinityPhoto for final version.

(peter) #11

Oh, great, must check that one. Thanks.

(Andrew) #12

You’re probably aware that you have a default profile used initially when any raw is opened for the first time. And that you can put what you like in this and save it in your “personal folder”. I have crop set on in my default, so when I need it, I can just drag the boundaries in from the edge, and the annoying cross lines are never present because they’re turned off in the default. And I haven’t had any trouble dragging them back to the boundary should I need to. Hope that helps.

(Phil Howcroft) #13

When I first started using Rawtherapee I used quite a lot of the “PreSets” (especially the portrait one’s) and then worked my way through the settings to see how the look had been created.

Now I am more confident I start with neutral and work my way through the tabs…starting with exposure, wavelets, shadows and highlights and I really love the tone mapping.

Stick with it and you will start to love it.

You might want to use the Hald CLUT film emulation ‘plug ins’ they are truly awesome. @patdavid on here wrote a fabulous piece about how to use them. The monochrome film emulations are second to none.

I also use Darktable which is another superb editor and appears (in my opinion), to handle noise reduction and colour management better than Rawtherapee.

When I want to edit a RAW file now, I sort of decide what look I want from the finished shot and then decide whether Rawtherapee or Darktable will get me there. Well they will both get me there, but which one is easier :slight_smile: …If that makes sense :slight_smile:

Anyway stick with the editor it is a steep learning curve but well worth the climb. Check out videos on you tube and yes read the wiki pages. In fact I am probably unusual in that for both Rawtherapee and Darktable, I read the manuals first before editing !!!

(Daniel Nagy) #14

Hi I am new to RT as well and I don’t know if it’s there a possibility to generate film grain.
I haven’t found anything …Guys could you shed some light on this topic ? Thanks.

(Mica) #15

I don’t think there is a grain module. You can do it in gimp or with gmic.

(Daniel Nagy) #16

Ok thanks thats what I expected :frowning: it’s a pity, that souldn’t be so hard to implement,just some simple grain filters. They could be used to create real film look coupled with HaldClut film simulation :slight_smile: because now I have to use aditional editor for this …

(Morgan Hardwood) #17

(Pat David) #18

It’s a bit more complex than you might think at first glance. (Hence @Morgan_Hardwood’s link).

For a long time now I’ve personally used a normalized scan of actual film grain set over my image in an “Overlay” (or “Soft Light”) blend mode. For instance, here’s a nice one I got from Petteri Sulonen ages ago that has served me well (11.5MB):

(Daniel Nagy) #19

Thanks for answer, Yes you are right to use a real film grain overlay is a little more complex…You have to scan different films structure etc … But wasnt’t there a plan for this in the future to actually implement this inside RT, becuse every major Raw converter has this feature so it would be nice to have it :slight_smile: I am just asking . Thanks

(Morgan Hardwood) #20

Nobody is working on that.