A new fork of RawTherapee offers tools for photo editing

Putting It Together

Article from Issue 246/2021
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RAW converters are the first tool to use in editing photos, and new solutions and programs have the potential to make users' lives easier. How does ART stack up?

ART, which stands for Another RawTherapee, is a RAW converter for photo editing. This young project combines some tools and concepts found in two well-established programs, RawTherapee and darktable, and attempts to offer additional functions, while also providing a user friendly, streamlined program. This article takes a look at the current state of this project and how it's progressing toward those goals.

A Surprising Fork

Three major RAW converters are available for Linux so far. Darktable is the most comprehensive and complex of these programs. RawTherapee is a bit smaller, but scores points with users for its "good-natured" behavior and ease of handling. A third option that appeals to many users is LightZone, a Java application that was formerly proprietary but is now open source.

Darktable offers new releases at short, regular intervals that often extend or completely replace its current collection of 60 or more tools, but RawTherapee's development is proceeding at a slower pace. To date, it includes a number of excellent exposure tools, but it still may not have all the features you're looking for. For example, RawTherapee has nothing like a cloning or stamping tool, which even the far older LightZone has. Similarly, darktable has offered masks for years, but RawTherapee has not. They are, however, under development.

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