So, I recently noticed that the feature that I have been eagerly waiting for since I first read the announcements has finally arrived in my Darktable installation: A big thank you to the developers for making it possible to now color-correct images based on a Color Checker. Great work!
Now, the more I have been playing around with the scene-referred workflow in general and the calibration module in particular, the more I have come to believe that the calibration module would actually be the correct place in the pipeline to apply any film emulations. I know that, traditionally, people have used all kinds of tools for that (curves, contrast and brightness, shadows and highlights, color zones, LUTs… to mention only a few) and most presets for that other well-known RAW development software seem to make heavy use of very similar techniques. However, now that we have that amazing and well-working color calibration module, I like to think that this would actually be the best place to do that - not only from an artistic, but also from a technical standpoint. (After all, most film looks can be described in terms of shifted primaries and modified transfer curves.)
So, I have been thinking… Would it be possible to allow the color calibration module - and in particular the calibration derived by measuring a color target - to work in reverse - i.e. assume that the color checker that I’m measuring shows the desired look that should be applied to other images? I’m assuming that in this case the calibration module would not actually need to apply any adjustments, but merely store the computed adjustments as a profile, which can then be applied to other images.
Any thoughts on this? Or am I thinking in the wrong direction and there is some fundamental obstacle?