I just did a noob investigation why multiplication blend mode works in some cases and found out that besides Local Contrast Module you have to change (increase) the contrast in the respective areas to get a pleasant result.
Here are a few examples that I tried using RGB curve. I applied these curves after the Filmic and then Local Contrast Module:
I’m surprised that you are able to get such a milky look that needs a boost of the contrast by means of the rgb curve. I have a hard time reproducing similar situations. Look at the screen shot below. I don’t think the image needs additional contrast.
In other situations, I have noticed a loss of contrast in the output from filmic, just like you do. You have demonstrated how to deal with this problem. Thank you!
Another issue: In some situations filmic outputs heavy and clipped shadows. How to deal with this problem? The tone equalizer has a hard job to fix the shadows but you could also use the screen blend mode in filmic to make life easier for the tone equalizer.
As you might have noticed I do not use the middle grey luminance slider in filmic rgb. I set it to 18.42% and never touch it again.
I like to get the blacks as good as possible and the main subject to middle grey using exposure and than use filmic to produce a base that is solid enough (no clipping in output/histogram) and gives me some wiggle room to continue with the more artistic modules.
“Flatness” after using exposure and filmic rgb might not always be avoidable but this can be solved with other modules afterwards. Then again, it might also partially be my lack of experience 'cause it starts to happen less and less…
I always underexpose a little bit, so I correct this with an exposure-module-preset. Otherwise I used only filmic in the example.
I’m not an expert, but it seems to me that your procedure of setting the middle grey to 18.42% and never touch it again is not according to what the user manual describes or the guidelines of several videos on the subject. As I understand it, 18% middle grey and white relative at 3.45 is a recommended starting point for further fine-tuning the sliders in the filmic module.
I personally like to see more of the foreground trees as well. Actually, I like your version a lot. I note that your middle grey is as low as 4.50% and that you have some clipping of the blacks mainly due to the contrast equalizer and some caused by the local contrast. The clipping is shown here:
There are a few ways of dealing with the filmic rgb module. The way you mention is one and the other is the way I approach it.
I did get the impression that you didn’t and wanted to point it out to you as an alternative. As you can see in the image I posted I do not have any problems with the blacks and I am all but certain that this is due to the 18.45% and use exposure approach.
Aurélien mentions setting middle grey to 18% many times in his replies. Here are 2 of them: one, two
Others also started using this method of working with filmic rgb. Boris Hajdukovic, starter of this topic, is one of them. This editing moment and the few replies after it might be worth your time.