This is what my #3 refers to and now that I’ve gone back and reread the Rawpedia it is stated there. Therefore, this reduces the complaint to lack of intuitive operation. In that, no other software that I’ve used involves a need to study the documentation in order to make it (i.e., crop) work.
I’ve also now noticed, upon reread of Rawpedia, that there is “Reset” capability. Therefore, we have again identified something where a lack of intuitiveness is the problem.
That leaves only #2 & #4 on my list as things that I have yet to figure out. #2 is sufficiently serious for me that I find myself unwilling to use RT for this purpose which is something I do on nearly every image.
I’ve been a RT user for about 6 months now. Coming from Lightroom, I had to re-train my brain where to go when I needed to accomplish a given task. Cropping isn’t more or less intuitive in RT than in LR, it’s just different. And while the official documentation is really good, what I’ve seen needed (and something I’ve been thinking about how to contribute) are some good tutorials and demonstrations on YouTube. You can find some, but I think they could be more descriptive and in-depth. Just my 2/5 of a nickel. In any event, I’m a lot more comfortable getting around in RT than I was 6 months ago.
Thanks Rick, it’s good to see the opinion of someone who moved from LR. I see too many people saying that RT (or DT, or anything non-LR software for instance) is not user-friendly, too complex… But as you said, you just have to re-train your brain, and once it’s done RT is not, in my opinion, less user-friendly than LR. Some time ago, I’ve tried to run LR for the fun, and being used to RT I thought LR was not user-friendly.
I agree with you that what is lacking for RT is blog or video tutorials, to complement the documentation. But it takes time to do so, as well as good spoken English skills for video.
I’ve never used LR but RT devs have stated that flexibility and choice overrides simplicity. I’d be surprised if Adobe has the same ‘calibration’ of their goals. The usability is likely to be reflected in this. I probably prefer the flexibility myself but I’m not surprised if people find RT confusing.
I’m one of those that find the RT crop tool less than ideal. It’s a simple tool with pretty strong existing conventions but behaves in an unexpected way in RT.
For me setting the crop area to a non transparent colour helps. I only learned about this recently.
I must confess that LR is not among the software included when I said “no other software that I’ve used …”. Maybe I should say that this experience includes MS Paint, Picasa, GIMP, Canon DPP, as well as UFRaw and Picture Window Pro. Maybe intuitive is NOT the best word. It would be fair to say that some trial and error (hacking) is typical but RT is the only one where documentation needed to be consulted and even then, as mentioned herein, it was less than straightforward to use the crop tool. Most, if not all, include the ability to specify a custom aspect ratio and make it work without consulting documentation.
With that said, I don’t mind reading the documentation and for the most part the RT documentation is pretty good. There is no objection here to power, sophistication, and flexibility verses simplicity. However, effective custom cropping is needed.
But you can custom crop. That’s actually one of those things that took me a while to figure out, but eventually I got it. Simply turn crop on, and then unclick ‘Lock Ratio’. You can either free select, or fill in the X/Y/Width/Height coordinates. Or use both for fine tuning. For me, that’s easier than even in GIMP. Given that information, am I still missing something? Not trying to be contrary here, I’m just trying to understand your position more.
I think so, I suppose custom can mean different things to different folks. While there is some need for what I might call free form (i.e., just play with the mouse until you’ve isolated some part of the image), my frequent need is to LOCK THE RATIO to a value of my choice. So when told to start by disabling the lock ratio setting you have the idea that this is not going to work as desired. While the standard set of available ratios tend to fit a wide variety of paper choices I often like to add a border to images and then have them fit on standard paper that I can then print where my printer is capable of what is called border-less printing (i.e., it prints the entire page right over to the edge). Trying to do this with RT has been a nightmare and I’ve given up.
According to Rawpedia you do a custom crop ratio as follows:
You can make a custom crop ratio as of RawTherapee 5.1.
1. Disable “Lock ratio”,
2. Make a crop, use “Width” and “Height” values to define the ratio, e.g. to make a crop using a 5:4 ratio set width=5 height=4, or width=1280 height=1024.
3. To resize the crop while maintaining the custom ratio, hold the Shift key while dragging the edge or corner of the crop frame with the mouse.
I’ve yet to get the correct result from following the above. But of course, the only way to know is to perform some arithmetic on the new numbers that end up being displayed for “width” and “height”. In that, the crop ratio that corresponds to the result is displayed nowhere that I can see.
Also, it’s been stated herein as well as in Rawpedia that you can “clear the crop” but this simply undoes the crop it does NOT (appear) to make any changes to the values in the tool. I guess it intends that when/if the tool is turned back on it will restore the most recent values for the crop tool. However, what seems too be missing in what I’d call reset. In that, lets start over from the beginning. I still haven’t figured out how to do that.
BTW, I find the crop tool in GIMP to be both simple and powerful. Match that and you’ve got it.
- I recorded a video how to do it: cropping and resize problem
- The “Reset” button is in current development builds and will be in RawTherapee 5.5, to be released next month.
The video proves, as have I, that it is possible to obtain the desired result. However, I think the video also makes my point. In that, we want to LOCK the aspect RATIO at 3400:2400 so the first thing we do is to uncheck the box that says “Lock Ratio”. Does that really make sense? Then you enter the desired ratio into fields that have a different purpose. Does that make sense? Then what isn’t shown but I assume is being done is you remember to hold the shift key while you adjust the crop area to what is desired. When that is done the aspect ratio is NOT displayed anywhere. Why not? The values for “Width” and “Height” have been changed to the new size of the crop area (I think). I was able to get out my calculator and perform some simple arithmetic and sure enough the ratio is correct. However, there are things that I can do (no fault of RT) that mess it up. I think the most significant might be moving, either intentionally or unintentionally, the mouse without holding the shift key. So now I’ve messed it up but RT provides no indication that the aspect ratio is no longer 3400:2400. If I get out my calculator and do the arithmetic (which I have done) I then learn that the aspect ration is NOT what I wanted.
Since in this case “Lock Ratio” is desired why not allow the user to enter the desired ratio in a way that it can be displayed to the user. Then it becomes the job of RT to make sure that no crop area is produced that violates the specified ratio. In that, RT is providing a very helpful service by preventing me from messing it up. Isn’t this exactly what is done when one of the predetermined ratios is selected? Why NOT do the same thing when a custom ratio is wanted instead of a predetermined one?
A reset button will be a very nice improvement.
and thanks for the feedback first of all.
While I don’t agree that the crop tool needs to be fixed (because I don’t think it’s broken), I do think that you make valid points about its suboptimal usability. Changing it so that it behaves more similarly to the crop tools of other image processors would take quite some work (and in fact, I’m not even sure that I would like it, to be honest), but I made a couple of tweaks to it regarding your suggestions about the custom ratios. Here’s a demo video (note that with this change there’s no need to hold the shift key anymore to keep the ratio while resizing the crop area):
Do you think that this would make it more usable? If so, @Morgan_Hardwood, are we still on time for 5.5 or would it be better to postpone this to 5.6?
@agriggio nice! Please merge today unless someone from the team objects, as tomorrow I have set aside time to make a release candidate.
@agriggio great! But IMO it would be more intuitive if the ratio ComboBox would be editable. I don’t know if GTK allows it in an easy way. In Qt it would be as easy as setting the combo box to editable, set InsertPolicy to NoInsert and an appropriate inputMask for the box.lineEdit.
It sounds like my choice of words was not optimal. To fix implies it is broken. Since it works, I shouldn’t have implied it is broken. A better word than fix would have been improve.
What you suggest doing are huge improvements to my way of seeing it. If I understand correctly, you’ve done the following:
- Compute a ratio and display it in plain sight. If RT insures that this is what is being used then that’s very helpful. Do you display a similarly formatted ratio in the same place when one of the predefined ratio’s is selected? That would make for some nice consistency.
- Getting rid of need to hold shift key eliminates opportunity for user error. Very good.
- Checking “Lock Ratio” when that is what is desired adds more consistency.
The only irregularity that remains is using the “Width” and “Height” fields for entering values used to set the aspect ratio. I obviously don’t appreciate what’s involved with the underlying code but I do know enough about programming to know that best practice avoids such overloading of variables. It looks like this is what Franz is suggesting and I agree with his thinking. However, if retrofitting causes the need to deviate from best practice I’d say your suggested improvement is very well worth it.
It’s a great improvement of the crop tool. Nevertheless, if you select a custom ratio and then press the “Reinitinitialiser” (in french) button, then the selection doesn’t cover all the image.
I am currently using Version: 5.4-1329-g033b021b9 on “Branch: dev” and “Build type: release”. It’s not a big issue by the way.
I hope it could help.
Merci, this is known and will probably be modified: https://github.com/Beep6581/RawTherapee/issues/5045
Ah ! OK, sorry, I haven’t check the issues list.
Crop tool works fine for me, but then again, I have been using Rawtherapee since early high school, so I intuitively understand behavior that might seem confusing to others.
And that’s been my point this whole time. I don’t think anything is broken; it just might not work the way you expect it to.