Darktable and Filmulator - Image comparison, from same raw image - OK1-Red Flowers

One must eventually conclude that each raw processor will imbue its own “look” on the image, cos there are only so many parameters you can give a human operator to meddle with. A lot of the look is already baked in by the algorithmic choices, made by the developer of the raw image processor.

This is the raw file, in case you wish to tinker, tinker with it.

DSC01997.ARW (16 MB)

This 1st image is the best I could achieve in darktable with filmic. I wish I could do better. I have seen youtube videos with images that were displayed in darktable 3.4 so I would think they were using filmic, and these images were stunning, but I can’t seem to match these achievements.

This next image is from Filmulator.

Either of them is usable, but their rendition is not identical.

Their pixel dimensions are not identical, even though they generate images from the very same raw file, but I’ve gotten over my pet peeve about this discrepancy.

Definitely the Filmulator one was a lot easier to achieve, in time and effort.

You be the judge of the results. I know which one I prefer, which also looks most like the subject of the image., But I’ll prefer not to say. Not wishing to start any wars here.

Note that you lost the details in the petals.
Here’s one possible rendition in darktable (I didn’t try to match yours):


Here’s my rendition (again) with darktable master:

DSC01997.ARW.xmp (6.7 KB)

I don’t know what you mean when you say the look is baked in. There’s certainly more than enough flexibility in darktable for the user to have full control over the final look of the image – just look at all the playRAW threads and you can see how many different results can be achieved with the same toolset.

Also you’ve said on other threads that you prefer the filmulator rendition but I find the one you’ve posted to be oversaturated and you’ve lost detail in the flowers. Seems you’re getting much better results from darktable now.

As a side note, you need to add a licence to your RAW. And people will be able to help you with your technique more if you post an XMP file alongside your edit.


Kindly explain the licence and how do I add this?

Yes I will add xmp’s whenever next I upload anything relevant to darktable.

Thanks for creating your version. I will study the xmp in darktable. Extremely useful learning opportunity. and appreciate your comments.

Cool. and I mean that cool… it definitely looks cool…(as in modern lingo for cool.)

See: PlayRaw stuff to keep in mind. Select a licence out of the ones suggested by Creative Commons.


I actually think mine is overdone (and cool – in terms of colour temperature, that is) and prefer @elstoc’s version. I have some artefact along the petals’ edges, which seems to come from (probably just emphasised by) color balance RGB. The history stack should be included in the JPG.

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Perhaps it is not just the starting point but I remember Filmulator having a really clear and logical set of adjustments laid out in a way that most people could go through the process without having to read a manual. I really liked it.

A similar comparison, with a different image, and pretty revealing results.