Basic semi-automated style for darktable 3.0/filmic

I assumed that the setting of auto-applying scene-referred took it’s place.

Thanks for answering

Is Auto-filmic - Aurélien Pierre.dtstyle recommended to use in 3.2.1? Or does it interfere with the display-referred mode?

What would be best practice here?

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filmic isn’t for display refered mode, it’s more geared towards scene refered mode.

Best bet would be to refrain from using it in dt 3.2.1 since scene refered mode pretty much automatically does “the good thing” ™. (But I’ll let @aurelienpierre correct me :wink: )

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I think it will interfere with the resulting output, yes, because then you’ll have both filmic and base curve activated, which is contradictory in terms.
Either you choose to work in display referred mode and do not use filmic, or you choose scene referred.
At some point, I was applying the style 95% of the times, so I choose none mode (since the style would be activating filmic and some other modules anyway).
Now, you should be aware that the style is not using the latest filmic version, so, if you change it to 4, I guess you’ll have to tweak it again.

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Instead of just using a style it’s better to understand the tools. So have alook at


My question was about 3.2.1
T tried the first method of the first link with dt preset to ‘none’ and ended up with a near black image of a daytime picture.

Obviously this ain’t working. So what does work?

IMHO darktable lacks a quick start guide. That’s why many try it for a few Minutes and remove it. It’s probably too complex to be intuitive.

The descriptions are also valid for dt3.2.
If it’s not working for your image it’s hard to find the reason without the image and the history stack in the xmp file.

Here is an older A7 one, RAW

…and my shot at it:
3.2.1 display-referred preset
filmic applied with no setting
exposure auto

then some color balance, local contrast, contrast equalizer for sharpen&denoise preset

It works, but I wonder about the best way with the different dt presets.

just opening it with development setting to no → is far away from being black - just dull like each raw file without any further processing.
step 1: activating filmic bring up exposure (just automatic exposure control) as described
step2: a bit of more staturation and contrast like described brings even more
step3: some local contrast (default setting)

far away from “near black”

In the first link it ask for set white and black point in filmic, this is what I get:

So this method seems not to be applicable in 3.2.1

A workable 3.2.1 method seem to be:
Preset: none
filmic: ON (no other change)
basic adjustments: Auto

This seems to get me a very good starting point to go further, I made this a “basic_start” style.

I had a quick go and set exposure to +2.5EV in the exposure module.

I then used the autotuner in filmic and it gave a very good starting point, certainly without any of the darkness you were experiencing.

In everything I’ve read you need to set exposure before using filmic.

My Nikon raw files also look very dark in the scene-referred method (using 3.2.1), as dark as in the screenshot a little higher in this thread. I was playing around with a +2 in exposure. I tried the basic adjustments module now for the first time and that seems to work better, even on auto.

If the exposure needs to be set before filmic (as is mention in this thread), why is the default order in DT 3.2.1 exposure after filmic?

I can’t answer about the default order, I took exposure before filmic from the darktable manual :

It isn’t. Exposure comes before (lower down) filmic RGB.

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@durian: Where do you get that order from? If I look in the left-most module tab (and in my styles) I see exposure below filmic. That means it’s applied before filmic…(note that those need to be read from the bottom towards the top).

And the reason you want to set exposure before adjusting filmic: exposure determines the “18% gray point”, which will not be changed when you adjust filmic. So setting exposure gives you the midtones where you want them, and filmic adjusts the shadows and highlights to be within an acceptable range.

I have used the preset a lot, and most of the times, the initial render was dark as you’ve mentioned.
The only change I did to get a good starting point was tweaking exposure. Only that. I never changed filmic settings, only exposure (if I recall, that was Aurèlien’s instruction about that preset)

@rvietor Odd… this is what my history look slike after an import:

Do not look at the history list at left.
Instead, look at the module order, at right.
There is a difference between legacy and current (v3.0) module order.

Have fun!
Claes in Lund, Sweden

Right, okay, learning every day, I like it :slight_smile:

It’s on “v3” order and in the active modules tab, filmic is above exposure, so all is good if I understand correctly?

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