contrast and saturation - which modules ?

Given there are many ways to do the same thing I’m trying to get to a consistent process.

Are there any obvious downsides if I follow the below please ?

Contrast - use the tone equalizer module rather than contrast in filmic and colour balance.

  • Contrast looks to have been removed from the next version of colour balance so there is no point in using it now - see rebooting color balance.

  • Tone equalizer adds a lot of flexibility and the presets are a very good starting point, plus I like being able to use the mouse wheel to make adjustments.

Saturation - use the colour balance module rather than midtones saturation in filmic

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Yes, that makes sense.

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Why not using Filmic for contrast and saturation?

because filmic black and white exposure levels are designe for global tone mapping. You’d better use the tools that give full control on shadows and highlights.
…of course you can use an axe to cut your steak, but its more precise to use a knife …

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Contrast Eq as well…

I use basic adjustments. This underloved module works just fine.

It also has a nice ‘vibrance’ slider, they should also but ‘clarity’ there. Would make more sense.

It’s a great question which is why I created this post.

I did like the idea of using filmic for contrast and saturation for simplicity however I think tone equalizer and colour balance are far better suited to the tasks and are more flexible.

I wanted to avoid using filmic for contrast in one image then using tone equalizer for contrast in another where I need the added flexibility. Using each module for just one purpose avoids this.

I turn mid tones saturation in filmic to 0, as I prefer the look of saturation given by other tools. Previously I used color balance saturation, but now ive taken to using channel mixer (color calibration). In R, set r 2, g -0.5, b -0.5, in G, set r -0.5, g 2, b -0.5, in B, set r -0.5, g -0.5, b 2. Make sure CAT is set to none bypass with no gamut compression. Blend mode can be normal or chroma. Then you just use opacity slider to determine amount. Can also use masks to take it out of highlights, shadows, and highly saturated areas if you want it to be more like vibrance. Save preset.

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Does it mean that you set up contrast = 1.0 in Filmic?

You make a good point that I need to look into. At the moment it’s at the default of 1.350.

I use filmic to set the black/white exposure levels along with its contrast and saturation controls to get the image roughly where I want it. I’ll then use tone curve and color balance to refine contrast and saturation to further refine the image. I’ll use other tone and color modules as needed… some are better than others for certain requirements

I like the tone equalizer for dodge and burn but it seems like too much effort for contrast control. I can see using the contrast equalizer for local contrast, but not for the global contrast as you might under the basic controls (or tone curve)

In filmic, contrast is around mid-grey, and setting it too high may lead to clipping in the curve, which is responsible to bring your linear, scene-referred input to the display-referred, non-linear part of the workflow.
With tone EQ, you may set the ‘contrast fulcrum’ anywhere you want. So, if you want to increase contrast in the highlights (clouds, snow, whatever), you can do that using tone EQ, but not using filmic.
Check out Aurélien’s latest video:
The part about filmic is near the end, from about 1 hour into the video (but he has separate videos about filmic and tone EQ as well).