Notes on Astbury's `MyBase' video


I’ve decided to start posting my RawTherapee notes online. I’m only a hair past absolute beginner, so I don’t have any personal expertise to offer. But maybe my efforts will help supplement the extraordinary work that @Andy_Astbury1 has done. Particularly, his videos are wonderful for a deep dive into a particular topic, but perhaps not so easy to skim through and pick up specific details.

Case in point, his Do this first! video provides a very thorough review of the seven options he recommends we apply by default. Having watched it once, I didn’t really want to view all 26 minutes again, but i don’t think there’s a written summary available anywhere (is there?). So I made one, and posted it on my website.

If I’ve misunderstood anything from Andy’s video, or you have any other suggestions, I’d be glad to hear them.




I think your summary is well done, Andy went through the steps of making “mybase.pp3” in his first two RT tutorials but this video is a summary and expansion of that. I’ve benefited from his older videos and now I’ve changed my base profile to also:

  1. Enable Lab adjustments, Contrast by Detail Level, Black and White, HSV Equalizer, Color Toning, Wavelet module and its Contrast, Chroma and Denoise and Refine tool. Local Adjustments, Post-resize Sharpening tool in Resize module (but not the Resize module itself).

  2. Change the LH, CH, HH in L*a*b module, and the H, S and V curve (and also the Defringe curve if you only enabled the module but haven’t change the curve mode yet) to Equalizer.

These changes give me a Lightroom-like experience where I can adjust the parameters and immediate see its effect without having to remember to enable all those modules first (I’ve seen some many people asking why isn’t a module working and found out the tool’s not enabled), and all these changes doesn’t have any effect on the photo by default. I feel like this slows down the exporting process a little but I don’t really know, I’m not exporting photos in a large batch so I don’t really care about slight performance drops anyways.

That’s a good idea, thanks ssyrmb! I’ll add a comment next time I’m editing the page.

Updated to include Andy’s recommended second video, three ways to lighten an image.

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@plantarum, In a more recent video I seem to recall that Andy said to leave “avoid color shift” under “chromatic aberration” on rather than off until needed.

@plantarum Nice and clean notebook. I like the style. However, content wise I am not so sure… To be honest, I have not watched any of Andy’s video’s (video tutorials are not my cup of tea), but I have some question marks for some of your notes.

However, by default, RawTherapee doesn’t offer ProPhoto as an output profile.
Only do this if you want to use and maintain a fully ProPhotoRGB workflow between RawTherapee, Photoshop, and Lightroom.

Do Photoshop and Lightroom not respect embedded color profiles?? I would assume they actually do and then you can simply choose the RTv4_Large output profile to use ProPhoto primaries and keep the respective gamut.

Uncheck ‘Clip Out of Gamut Colors’
In the exposure tab. Mentioned in the Pinned comment below the video.

I would be very hesitant to do that, tbh. If you cannot explain what this checkbox does, you should leave it on.

Don’t turn on Dead Pixels and Hot Pixel Filters
Astbury previously recommended this, but no longer considers it a good default setting. These options are in the Raw tab, in the Preprocessing section.

Why not?

Method 3: Abstract Profile

YMMV if you use this. I am still opposed to the idea to use this to correct your images in a creative sense, because you are working very early in the pipeline and are ‘abusing’ colorimetry concepts that are intended for different purposes.
Also, I have the impression that nobody seems to really understand why this type of profile exists in the first place. Pages like this (ColorWiki - The 7 ICC Profile Types), do a bad job of explaining their intended use with nonsensical phrases such as “We are just beginning to scratch the surface of the powerful capabilities of these profiles.” :person_shrugging:

I would love to hear from @Andy_Astbury1 as to what is his take on all of this and additionally what his recommended settings are now.

Ping @Andy_Astbury1 :slight_smile:

Thanks Thanatomanic!

I’m just a beginner, so in no position to weight in on these issues. Particularly the colour profile stuff, which is still a bit baffling to me.

My main objective here is to capture the advice in the videos, so I can quickly refresh my understanding on key points. Most recently I had the thought “Andy explained that really well, what did he say again?”, and then needed to sit through a 30 minute video to get my reminder. I’ve also tried to fill in a bit of detail on things that are mentioned briefly. Again, not from my own experience, just from digging into rawpedia.

I’m also starting to find this useful as I work through more videos. Some things are mentioned briefly as a rule of thumb in one video, and discussed in more detail in others. So my first note is “don’t do this”, which may become “don’t do this because…”, and eventually “these are the things to consider when using this”.

In any case, thanks for your suggestions. I’ll do a bit of reading on the issues you raise, and update my notes accordingly.

And to be clear, I find the videos super useful, and I’m a big fan. My little notes are not meant as a criticism in any way. Really just a study aid for myself, which may (or may not) be helpful for others.

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Of course they will!
I can open a raw file in Ps from RT that’s outputted in the RTv4_Large colour space, not a problem - unless of course, I implement strict CM policies - where I’ll be greeted by:

Screenshot 2023-01-21 at 16.40.43

If I choose option 2 - convert - I see no change in the image

But say you wanted a jpeg - you would output the image in RTv4_sRGB - great!

Try sending that jpeg for stock - it would get rejected because its tagged with a non-ICC standard colour space.

Some external printer rips might well chuck a wobbly because they don’t recognise the spurious profile header when they try to convert to the in-house profile.

Simple fact of life Roel, if the profile header nomenclature doesn’t meet ICC standards, then getting your image to interface with the outside world might prove problematic.

But RT easily allows you to head-off any problems by allowing you to use the ICC profiles - colour-wise they do the same thing.

Darktable doesn’t use spuriously named profiles, so avoids the potential problems. It uses the same standard profiles as everything else.

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Hello @plantarum
I can’t believe you consider yourself a beginner. It seems to me that you understand a lot about what you write. Your notebook is a wonderful overview and because it is in writing, I can take it, translate it if necessary and copy it into my own RT notes. A wonderful help.
I am especially pleased because lately all the big hypes are limited to ART and dt.
But RT is my favorite raw converter and I still get the best results with it.
With your help, newbies will certainly have a much better introduction to what I think is the best raw editor.

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I like this idiom!

Please show me the list of ‘allowed’ or ‘standard’ color spaces by the ICC. As far as I am aware, RawTherapee ICC color profiles are entirely compliant with the ICC standard, which you seem to disagree with. Is it not the whole purpose of the embedded ICC profile to ensure that proper conversions to local working color spaces can be made? If some software or hardware does not do conversions properly or only accepts some hardcoded profiles as being ‘right’, I would argue they are not compliant with the ICC standard, not us.

That being said: I believe the reason why RT does not ship with the exact files that represent some common profiles is because of potential legal infringements. ProPhoto was developed by Kodak, AdobeRGB by Adobe, etc. I’m not sure how valid these risks are.

They only do for sRGB and AdobeRGB. darktable also does not include the ProPhoto ICC profile as is. They have an option ‘Linear ProPhoto RGB’, for which Photoshop gives a conversion prompt as well.

Correcto! I forgot about that one.
Screenshot 2023-01-22 at 11.28.10

But you can give DT the ICC standard output profiles by placing them in the correct folder and restarting DT - just like you can with RT.

You asked for a list of industry standard still imaging output colour spaces - it’s real easy and a very short list:


I think @Thanatomanic meant “standard” as in formalized and written down, as in an ISO standard, and not “standard” as in popular and widely used.

I would like to understand this function. Once it is called on, once off.
When do you see a difference? And what do other RT experts say about it?

And you think those I listed are not???

I get a bit brassed off with your comments sometimes, so I’ll make you a deal - I won’t partake in this forum anymore except by PM - that way you won’t make my head ache.

No, as I understood the discussion, Mica was saying that there would be more than those you listed.

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I was hoping that you’d link to the standard that you’re taking those profiles from. Best I could find is ICC Profile Registry which looks like its print profiles only.

Sounds like a bad deal, I’d like it if you’d continue to participate.


Mica was entirely correct here: I meant that I highly doubt that any official ICC document describes any color space as ‘standard’. Since you claim RT does not hold to ‘the ICC standards’, this was my point of contention.

What I will concede is that the profiles you list are in fact described by standards. Just not by the ICC. And the ICC does not prescribe the use of these profiles as far as I am aware.



AdobeRGB(1998) / opRGB