3.0 How to get good results automatically?

I was able to read it, but I don’t talk English so good… :smile:

In the spirit of a quote from “Tongue and Quill”, the U.S.Air Force guide to speaking and writing: " ‘Write as you speak’ doesn’t work well if you talk funny… "

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Not surprised. It was wonky back when it translated @David_Tschumperle’s material, esp. the more technical parts.

I will redo it with deepL tonight

While checking the pipeline order I opened a new photo ( with no sidecar file ) and i found that channel mixer is not at the end of the pipeline.it Is also before Filmic RGB. How the default pipeline should be?

Here is a comparison of boosting saturation with 3 different modules. I think the contrast brightness saturation module is really not the best, I especially dislike the way the blue shadows under the petals are oversaturated. But in this case, I like the saturation slider in the basic adjustments module best. Color balance is a bit too magenta for my taste.

basic adjustments:

color balance:

contrast brightness saturation:

@aurelienpierre Thanks a lot for the time and effort to create this article – and for all the other work with darktable.

Some of the article left me as a newbee with confusion on a higher level - which is a really good thing.

The last part, on recommendation for “A minimal workflow for a beginner” and clarifying which modules we are advised to use and avoid with the aim of starting out with dt 3.0 in a “linear mode”, was pure gold.

Thanks a lot!.

(By the way, is there a bank account, other than PayPal, to which we can contribute?)

Why should it be at the end ? It’s a linear module. The default order is sane in that regard.

Here : https://en.liberapay.com/aurelienpierre/ Thanks !

Hi’ @aurelienpierre

Thank you for a thorough answer as always.
In the release notes it is strongly recommended to disable sharpening when using the RGB workflow. I think I recall that you in your new filmic tutorial used another tool to sharpen your images? But you recommend to disable the sharpen tool, do your filmic tuning and then do sharpening with the standard sharpening tool?

I’m surprised of your reaction to my statement that an raw image is “dull” when no type of s-curve is applied. I’m just quoting your very own words from your excellent tutorial. You demonstrate the need for filmic or base curve by showing a picture og some fancy modern architecture with the base curve and filmic module turned off: you get an image that is “very dull and very dark”!! I quite agree…….

I think it should be easy to open a photo in dt and get a good starting point for further editing. Expert users can choose to apply a lot of different tools but a new user needs or appreciates a good starting point. That could the image with the base curve applied (as it is now), filmic in auto mode or the new basic adjustments tool in auto mode.

Why has the new basic tool been released if not to make it quick and easy to do some basic editing? Therefore, I think that dt out of the box should open with the basic adjustments tool in auto mode.

I’m looking forward to study your article in the English version……

Everyone has a different module they want on by default. We should have as few modules on as possible by default and let the user auto apply a style or turn on what they want.

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You can define a style for that and let it be autoapplied for your images

When I open a RAW first I want to see what’s ging in in the file. Means: how much CA, noise, clipping, sharpness is in the RAW and how do I have to handle with them later.
If everything is fine in the RAW then I can apply my style with some presets. If not, I have to go manually in some of these issues.

If darktable applies edits automatic, that would Heide some of these problems. I could overlook them or See them after I already applied some modules. Them I have to rework parts of my edits or discard them.

Therefore I don’t want darktable to apply any automatic style at all.

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Hi @all,

altough a huge amount of the discussion is about the (pretty awesome) article from @aurelienpierre, I’d like to come back to the origin topic, because it also bothers me since a couple of years. In the last years I went back and forth if I should use DT or not (long story here: On the search for a good DT workflow, although already a bit older). I had some good last years with Capture One but am now at the point where I will definitively stick to an open source workflow at all.

I understand the thoughts of the TO. I also am absolutley with @aurelienpierre that no-one can expect that photography should be easy and should be doable in 15sec and also no-one can expect to have some 1:1 Lighroom, C1, whatever clone. One needs to be willed to learn. But I do not think that a normal enduser does need to understand all the stuff regarding algorithms, pixelpipelines, and so on. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutley honor the awesome work (especially everything in 3.0), but from an enduser perspective this is VERY technical (and I am an IT guy).

I know, opensource software works different in many regards and the scope very often is driven by the people contributing to it, but as far as I understood, DT should (besides much more) also be a Lightroom alternative. And IMHO the normal LR user does not know anything about pixelpipelines and all the other stuff to achieve some good results.

To make a long story short (I know, too late :-))
I am now at a point where I do not really know anymore, which modules should be used, which should be avoided, which can be combined, which are a good starting point to use in general, which should be used just for specific purposes, which module should be used for denoising?.. Is any module meant to replace another one or not? I would be really thankful if someone could just tell me “Hey. stfu and take this 8 modules in the beginning. And if you’ve mastered them, go further with this and that”.

I hope it is not to bold to ask for something like that. But at the moment, I am a little frustrated by the sheer amount of information and my inability to find my way through it. And maybe it is just me, but I do not know for sure if I even want to understand all that deep technical stuff. Yes I am willed to invest time, but is it really needed to be that deeply technical?

Thanks for reading.

all the best

PS: I wanted to pay something to you via paypal but have read that you will have to pay a fee for every payment. Do you have a direct paypal account, so I can send money via the fee-less “for friends” function?

PPS: I am looking forward for this book: https://www.amazon.de/geht-das-Darktable-Einführung-Fotografen/dp/3864906814/ref=sr_1_1?__mk_de_DE=ÅMÅŽÕÑ&keywords=darktable&qid=1578592115&sr=8-1
Anybody knows the author?

  1. Exposure - push your histogram towards the middle
  2. Filmic RBG - select the preset that matches your scene’s dynamic ranger. This just spreads your histogram over the whole (or desired range).
  3. Tone Equalizer - make specific tonal adjustments to luminance ranges.
  4. Color Balance - shadows/highlights color manipulation, overall saturation and contrast
  5. Contrast Equalizer - “clarity” type functions, local contrast, color contrast. Also perhaps sharpening if you need it.
  6. Color Zones - for working with specific colors
  7. RBG Curves

Some modules are old and should be avoided (for new edits) but the developers want old edits to be “readable”, so they are not removing old modules. I think that’s good. There are also users who want to keep using certain modules. Nobody is forced to use certain modules.

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@paperdigits AWESOME, thats something I can start with. Does this involve disabling anything from the default settings? Basecurve for example, as I understood has some disadvantages, isn’t it?

@betazoid: Yes, thats what I understood but which modules are those? Wouldn’t it be useful if they only appear, when an image already was edited with them in the past (or if an option “Use deprecated modules” was selected)?

Additional to Micas list if necessary:
White balance
Lens correction
Denoise profiled

Just define them as favorites and then use whatever is appropriate.
Basecurve and sharpen can be disabled in the settings dialog


Yes, base curve and filmic should be mutually exclusive.

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Thats the same for color balance and shadows/highlights?

The 8th module you’ll need is your imagination and the will to experiment!



It would be nice if the modules could be entered into the ‘favorites’ list in the corrected working order but the list gets rearranged and even the pipeline list does not show modules in that same order.
I know that I can move items in the listing but am reluctant to do that.