Detail Contrast

I have been using the local-contrast module for some time but am now trying to ween myself off in favor of using an all screen referred process.
The diffuse-sharpen module should do the trick … right? Somehow I simply do not appear to be getting the result that I need.
As an example … somebody kindly offered a ‘detail’ setting for local contrast that is quite useful for snow and other applications. Settings in attached image.
How can I achieve a similar result with D/S?

I think you are going to have to share the image so people can tweak the setting to match…I don’t think there is a 1 to 1 conversion by looking at your LC setting… can you share the image that has this grid/window??

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I can certainly share the image but this is more of a general question. How does one push fine detail in any part of an image and achieve a similar result to that of the display-referred modules using scene-refereed modules.

There was a recent thread on this module and @s7habo I believe has done one or two video’s on it in addition to Aurelien’s… also @nwinspeare has a couple of nice ones… quite a few people struggle to manage it… there are really a good range of presets that by simply changing iterations, the two thresholds along with opacity you can generally dial it in… Its not really a thing related to scene vs display…its about how the modules math works… if you get good results with local contrast but don’t master the D&S module you are not gaining anything by simply making yourself “scene-referred” only… I will add the threads if you have not happened to notice them…


Here is one and there are for sure others…

Personally I don’t see the problem using the local contrast module if it is giving the look that you like. In V4.7 there is a new preset called local contrast fine in the diffuse or sharpen module. It is a really nice preset to add clarity but it is not a 1:1 match of the local contrast module.

Does local contrast offer benefits over the contrast equalizer module? When D&S is too complicated, I think contrast equalizer might be a good alternative. Also, when using the chroma pane, you can get some nice contrasting colors that you can’t really do with D&S.

While I agree that D&S has good presets, and playing with them is a good place to learn, I have to say that it’s quite annoying that selecting between the presets also resets the masks. I wish there were some way of toggling between presets to see their effects without having to redo any masking.

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For punch I like the HDR preset in the LC module…you almost always have to dial it back but it can really pull up the image if that is needed…

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Once you have changed a preset, go to “drawn mask” and “add existing shape”.

This doesn’t keep things like feathering , thought, and also doesn’t work at all for parametric masks.

I agree with @Frisco that it would really be nice to have an option to apply a preset without changing mask settings. But might be best to discuss this in a feature request.

For parametric masks, and for the same image, you have to go through the tabs you have modified “LabCh” or “gRGBHSL” or “gRGBJzCzhz” with the same range based on an area.

In certain circumstances you could invoke a raster mask. Create your mask in a duplicate instance of say exposure and then it’s one click to reuse it… it won’t always work but if your going to cycle presets in one or more modules and or be looking to reuse a masked area in more than one module it can maybe be a useful thing to do

In certain circumstances you could invoke a raster mask. Create your mask in a duplicate instance of say exposure and then it’s one click to reuse it… it won’t always work but if your going to cycle presets in one or more modules and or be looking to reuse a masked area in more than one module it can maybe be a useful thing to do

Yes, there are workarounds, but in general the masking mechanism is not as orthogonal to processing modules as it should be. In an ideal world, you’d be able to put parametric masks in the mask manager and union and intersect them just the same as drawn masks. You should be able to select which module in the pipeline is used to compute a parametric mask independently of which module it is applied to, even though the default should obviously be to calculate from and apply to the same module.

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Is this not exactly what the raster mask allows for… any mask from a module earlier in the pipeline can be used… also using parametric masks can be tricky if you start to modify modules that come before them after they have been created this will change the area defined by the mask and so it may no longer define exactly what you expected…

If this is feasible it would be a nice feature.

It would be easier to share the picture so people can share their takes.

Personally I use the local contrast preset, capture sharpening preset (no AA) and then the lens deblur preset, depending on my image. Both sharpening and deblur are masked so they only target the details. Important to note is that I use them in that order, I don’t recall where I read but people advised to apply local contrast first and then other types of sharpening.

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You read the manual… :slight_smile:


Seems like I still got the lens deblur and capture sharpening wrong :smiley: I need to re-check my defaults when I get on the PC.

I’m sure there have been other suggestions along the way…

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@davidvj As others have alluded to in this thread, I don’t think you should feel the need to ween yourself off some older modules. In particular, the contrast equalizer and local contrast modules are two excellent modules that still have a place in the scene-referred workflow.

I have played around extensively with Diffuse or Sharpen, as well as the other two mentioned, and I often struggle to tell the difference when comparing their equivalents. Each one has its strengths and can do things the others can’t do, so I use all three. But when I’m just looking for a little extra punch or sharpening, I’ll often just use the easiest one - and that is NEVER Diffuse or Sharpen lol! Of course, if you’re just using presets, then DorS is fine, but if you want to tweak anything, it’s much more difficult to use than the other two.

As far as I know, local contrast and contrast equalizer are not on the chopping board for deprecation. And if ever they were, I would campaign hard to keep them or get updated versions of them. Diffuse or Sharpen doesn’t replace them in my opinion.


Yes, in hindsight I realizes that going to the extreme in the use of the modules was not going to help anything … so several of my ‘old favorites’ now still remain in operation.
D&S is a fine piece of software but it does bother me that I only feel comfortable when I use the presets. It is possible that somebody will ‘distill’ all of that material in the same way that much of the ideas in filmic have been distilled into sigmoid.