Tutorial: Using Local Adjustments to create off-center vignette

I have been RawTherapee 5.9 Dev for a while, and one of the biggest additions to it is Local Adjustments. It recently occurred to me that they can be used to create a vignette centered anywhere on an image.
DSCF5819.RAF (21.3 MB)
DSCF5819-vignette.jpg.out.pp3 (16.7 KB)

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My starting point was neutral + auto-matched tone curve.

Step 1: Lower the exposure compensation.

Step 2: Add a local spot centered where you want the vignette centered. Add the Dynamic Range & Exposure tool and set the scope to 100 (this will allow the spot to affect all the image regardless of color or tone). Raise the Exposure Compensation to the to the same value that you lowered the whole image.

Step 3: Make sure the Show Additional Settings [] box is checked. The Transition Value slider will function akin to a feather or radius control. The Transition Decay slider will function akin to a strength control.

Transition Value:

Transition Decay:

Step 4: Play with the shape and size of the spot to your liking.


That’s pretty cool. I just tried a different approach based on your post since I’m not so happy with changing the global exposure for the vignette.

Try this:

  • Add new spot #1 – Spot method: Full image; Scope: 100%; Tool: Dynamic Range & Exposure → lower Exposure compensation
  • Add new spot #2 – Spot method: Excluding spot; Scope: 100%; Use transition value for feathering

Should look exactly like your approach but you can switch it off and on as you like and you can even save it as a preset.

Thanks for the Inspiration. :slight_smile:

EDIT: You know what? You plant that first full-image spot somewhere in the background on the lower midtones and after adjusting your vignette you slowly pull back the scope slider, slowly dialing some of the highlights back in. That’s pretty amazing, actually.



@Alpacalypse @chaimav

Thank you for your tutorial…it makes me happy to see the personalized discovery of the functionalities, it is really like that that the good learning takes place

One remark, you can also replace “Exposure” by “Tone equalizer” which is “finer” in the adjustments



That is a good suggestion, but I would still use a regular spot in step 2. Using an excluding spot limits the ability to use future spots in that region.

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Thank you for all your hard work in making this possible. I feel that with the ability to use a whole image spot, RawTherapee can be reduced to the Raw, Transform, and Local Adjustments tabs and still be a fully functional raw editor.

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I think excluding spots only affect previous spots so you should be fine using further spots. Unless I’m missing something which is not unlikely… :sweat_smile:

Ah. I did not know that :roll_eyes:. Is there a way to change the order of spots after they are created :thinking:?

Not that I know of. But it would certainly be helpful. :nerd_face:

@jdc how hard is it to make a function to change the order of spots?

Difficult for me, it is a GUI problem. You can also “duplicate” and “delete”…(for one spot)

Another remark “excluding” always leads back to the original image, but of course you can make this “excluding” active with all the attributes of a normal spot (Color and light, etc.) and if you overlay it, the data will be those of the new spot that overlay it.


I have been really impressed with both RawTherapee and Darktable, I have felt RawTherapee had the more intuitive GUI, but Darktable won out for me because of the ability to do localised adjustments. It looks like RawTherapee is taking a step in the right direction. Well done to the developers who give their time so freely for both of these projects. In my alternative universe I image a program called DarkTherapee which combines the great features of these two FOOS RAW editors.

There is an effort to share some or RawTherapee’s wealth…
GitHub - CarVac/librtprocess: A project to make RawTherapee's processing algorithms more readily available.