Firs of all, this is about using the new stuff introduced in DT 2.7/3.0.
I understand that a proper workflow would be to follow one of the two options:
base curve + tone curve
filmic rgb + tone equalizer
N. 2 would avoid the user to use shadow highlights and tone curve / rgb curve altogether, if I’ve understood correctly.
Can we add a number 3 perhaps? something like:
- exposure+rgb curve
Is there anything missing from such a simple sequence like this (obviously followed by denoising when needed, sharpening and local contrast)? Something to use for example when you don’t want to increase your blacks (so no need to resort to the old shadow/highlights or filmic with its ability to distribute light in a uniform way all over the photo)?
After this attempt of oversimplification, a bazillion other questions came to me, born out of confusing late-night experiments and assorted readings on this forum, watching videos while half-asleep etc. I’ll try to follow a certain logic, so here we go.
Tone curves in LAB mode
Is the tone curve in LAB mode (that until recently was my go-to module to do the bulk of my processing) deprecated or not?
I have read about the necessity to follow a complete RGB pipeline, so my understanding is that we should not do any more processing in LAB mode – which means I should abandon my dear Tone curve in LAB mode. Is this correct? Is this the reason for the introduction of the RGB curve module? And finally: is RGB curve module (linked mode) == Tone curves in RGB m,ode (linked)?
Correcting color casts
If the above is true, i.e. don’t use Tone curve in LAB mode, how am I supposed to fix color casts? I was used to adjust the A/B curves to do this, so is there an alternative for doing this?
I suppose the answer lies in the new color balance module and its ability to neutralize colors, but is there any other recommended method?
Exposure in the pipeline
What is the correct order in the pipeline for the exposure module?
I’m asking because of two contrasting sets of notes I’ve scribbled down. First this:
But I also have the following, from a message posted here on some other thread:
color profiles / LUT
color balance (colors)
denoising and [other enhancements]
So which is the correct one? Exposure before WB? Exposure after WB and filmic?
All the new modules (filmic rgb, rgb curves etc) default to suppress the famous ‘oversaturation’ effect. So what is the best/most correct way to add back some saturation to photographs?
A little background: back in my first days of Darktable I was happily using S-curve to not only increase contrast but also saturation. I think I’ve learnt this when using Lightroom and thought that this was a natural and desired consequence, until DT’s developers started yelling at me, saying “careful you moron! this increase in saturation is a by-product and it’s something conceptually wrong!!! You think you want it but in reality you should not-want-it-ever-again!”.
So how do I go adding back some saturation? Is velvia a good module to use (to me it seems like a module that adds the saturation in all the correct places; for instance vibrance I’m not sure what to make of it, while I distinctly remember that in Lightroom this was the slider to use as opposed to saturation; in DT it seems to me like vibrance doesn’t do much)? Or is the saturation slider in the new color balance module the one to use?