darktable 3.4.0 is out

darktable 3.4.0 is out. Downloadlinks are at the bottom of the github link…

Is there an intro how to use the new filmicRGB graph?

Screenshot 2020-12-24 17.41.36


it just displays the effect of the sliders …
explained here: https://darktable-org.github.io/dtdocs/module-reference/processing-modules/filmic-rgb/


Thank you for the heads up. I will download sometime this week. Looking forward to seeing what has changed.

Niiiice! I had lots of work with a photo book in the last weeks, so haven’t poked around with this version as much as I did with the dev builds of 3.2. Any big changes on filmic? I bet @aurelienpierre has a video explaining all that :smiley:

Big changes on channel mixer/white balance (now combined in the colour calibration module). And yes, he has a video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U4CEN0JPcoM


I don’t know about everybody else but I really dislike the new module groups (technical, grading, effects). It’s so confusing. I thought every module was a technical effect to grade a raw file. This just makes no sense to me now. It provides no order of doing things. The old base, tone, color, correct made much more sense to me. Like what’s technical group? Is that for engineers or machinists or is it for photographers? That naming makes absolutely no sense to me. or the groups. Grading would be just another name for color tab or color adjustment work so that’s fine.
But then again what’s effects? Aren’t all modules effects, why is haze removal under technical and not under effects?

I know I can customize it and I did but I’d just like someone to explain or me teach me why DT moved to “technical, grading, effects” module groups. But like really explain the reasoning behind it. I’d like to understand how that’s helping me and why and hopefully move to the new way of grouping modules and take advantage of that.


It exactly is the order of doing things.

Only visual changes.


Yes, I see but the naming is so confusing here. Usually the process is correction > grading > retouching and that’s ok but why is the group called technical? It should be correction or reconstruction group.

Technical is just the completely wrong name to have anywhere in the editor. It should be called corrections, reconstruction or something in that nature.
Grading is fine but it was easier to find your way around when there were color and tone groups.
Effects group seems to be just a bin to put everything else in. It should be rather named miscellaneous, various or other. It makes absolutely no sense to have retouch, watermark, spot removal and liquify in Effects group or not to have any modules from Grading group in the Effects group too.

To me this feels like a big mess atm.

if you feel it a mess, you can change it … customization now is more easy than it was before.

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Like I said:

I also think this will confuse the new users a lot. Doesn’t feel very ergonomic to me.

There is a “workflow : beginner” that looks logical to me. If I were a new user I would understand the groupings in this workflow, which are base, grading and effects.

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Technical has to do with hardcore signal processing. These are modules that come early in the pipe, clean up the pixels, and have to be set with external constraints in mind (like dynamic range, color gamut, etc.).

Technical is opposed to grading, which are modules that can be set freely for artistic purposes. Some users have asked for 2 years to have a such separation between signal processing vs. artistic expression modules.

So you have now 3 tabs : science, art and magic. Use them in that order, and things should run smoothly.

Formerly, you had “basic”, which was bullshit since it was meant both as “simple” and as “fundamental” depending on modules, “tones” with curves duplicating the base curve feature which was in the basic tab, “colors” with modules that pretty much all dealt with tones too, and… well “effects” with stuff like local contrast which actually means sharpness. How is the current division more confusing than that ?


LOL! :grin: darktable is wearing a Santa Claus cap.

Thanks to all the devs for the new release. It looks like I have a new learning curve to climb.

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I love it, let’s do that! :sweat_smile:

It may be that I’m just used to the old groups but I get what you’re saying about the old groups not being really great either. But this is also not good. I now think that this cannot be solved at all by having module groups exposed as the tabs at the top like this because we would need A LOT of them because Darktable just has many useful modules. We need to start thinking differently. Make a more concrete change in the way modules are accessed, sorted, searched, activated etc. The current way is imo not the way to do it and I think you’d agree that this is not a long term solution.

Say that to a new user and he will run away frantically.

Exactly, I think this is a problem (not really the problem but a change needs to happen to fully take advantage of a flexible pipeline a potentially endless amount of modules). DT doesn’t have a fixed pipeline, modules are piling up, there are to many of them to sort them in some meaningful small amount of groups. Even if you do that like now, you have too many of them in one group and half of them don’t belong in any of the available groups but if you customize it and make more groups then you’ll clutter your interface with so many tabs etc.

A bigger change needs to happen.

What if there was a different UI altogether? I think we are constrained by thinking that we have to use the module groups tab to sort all the modules and that modules have to be editable in all tabs.

Maybe instead of having 4 tabs, one for each group of modules as it is now, what if there were just 3 tabs. Active tab, Favorites tab and Groups tab (or better yet, Modules tab with groups in it). Then in the Groups tab you’d have all the modules exposed and sorted in different groups. This would grant the opportunity to have as many groups as needed to sort all the modules in a sensible way.
And the groups tab would just be used to browse/find and activate the module. Once the module is active, you’d do your edits in the Active modules tab.

I literally thought of it just now so please do give your opinions, suggestions, and pro/con reasons.

Other than this. Have you been thinking about moving to a node based system? I know that’s too radical, but at what point do we stop fiddling with this?

Let’s wait a bit, every change needs some time to get used to.


Yes, agreed but I’m afraid the current UI/UX is not a solution. Even if we can get used to it (I know I will), it doesn’t mean we should have this long term.

I’m working on some quick mockups right now and will explain in detail with references to other software. Pros, cons etc. Probably on GitHub.

And that’s just why you think the current UI/UX is not a solution. Not a solution for what and why? Here, you just don’t understand the purpose. And that doesn’t mean the current UI/UX is not a solution. That just mean you currently don’t really understand it. As you wrote quite above, you could keep older order and groups modules, even with that new module manager.

On your comments, you quickly state that the UI or choices made by darktable team is wrong, even without understanding the UI or choices. Those have been discussed a lot before being added. I suggest you to read pull requests on Github that describe those choices and here, link provided on Aurelien Pierre last comment. It’s always better to first understand why and after propose a better way if you keep thought that choices are not bad. Or, as you propose to compare with other software, just use a software that better suits your needs…


Yes, you are quite right there and I realized that on my own right away. But that may or may not be the case. It’s a possibility. I haven’t given it a proper chance yet to know for sure.

Be that as it may, there are obvious and objective common flaws of both the old and the new module groups. And those haven’t been addressed imo.

I now wish to do some mockups and try to imagine a better solution (that I’ve proposed above) and share it here or on GitHub so that it may be considered and improved by anybody, iterated and possibly implemented.

I obviously think I’m, not right, but on the right path with this. It will be up to the community to love it or hate it and up to developers to develop it or not. But I’ll be satisfied as I won’t feel guilty for not sharing an idea that could be helpful. I actually feel terrible for not taking a look at this sooner and now all this work has been done. Not that that would change anything but doing it now and “complaining” just feels like an insult from me to the devs and I feel really bad for that b/c there was clearly an opportunity to get involved sooner. Unfortunately imho it’s better late then never. You getting me?


Hello everyone

THANKS a bunch for this release. It sports a HUGE amount of features. It is a testament to what a group of very talented developers can achieve :slight_smile:

It’s always better to first understand why and after propose a better way…

Yep. But when you are young you usually don’t have the patience to follow this lengthy process. Just joking, of course… :slight_smile:


Yes, I remember the days of being young. I was in such a hurry to fix it that I sometimes forgot to make sure it was broke.