Filmic RGB defaults


I’m trying to create my Filmic RGB workflow and I defined a my preset for Filmic RGB. My camera has roughly 13EV dynamic range, so I have defined that my white and black relative exposure is ±6.50. As a result I have to increase my exposure in exposure module 1EV – 2EV, even more to get the histogram pushed to the right. I understand that the middle gray is not in the middle and at the end the relative exposures are not symmetrical.

Have I understood something wrong and should I use different default white and black values to get the Filmic RGB roughly right from the beginning.

I think you can’t rely on a generic filmic preset because it is a scene related tool. That is, each scene depiction will have its own specificities regarding those parameters.
However, there are a couple of generic presets that come bundled with filmic.
I prefer to start from neutral (18,45), any white, any black, and contrast 1).

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TBH - just go and watch @aurelienpierre’s videos on it + @s7habo’s recent videos with linear workflow.

Generally - as @gadolf said - it’s not “camera related” but “scene related”.

If I remember correctly - yup: gray to 18.45 % black & white to appropiate spacing, contrast to 1 and have fun.
you can check relevant section from here:

and this is interesting bit about setting for most “range” of adjustments:

It would be nice to be able to apply filmic rgb and apply all the auto color pickers automatically, since they do a decent job.

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I have minimal filmic style that I use to replace not applying a basecurve by default. It just enables exposure in auto mode (this shifts the average exposure to middle gray) and filmic with the 7EV preset. Base_Filmic min.dtstyle (975 Bytes)

Of course this is just a posible starting point, in this case to give you a rough idea of what the picture can look like including the non-linear conversion. Some people prefer not to apply filmic and evaluate the image directly on linear space. In any case, I think the important point is to be consistent.

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In rawproc, my default processing includes a filmic tone operator, but I’m finding it’s really only to have the tool in the chain for subsequent tweaking. The needs of the scene are really specific to the scene, it would seem…

After yesterday’s fun trying to accommodate subjects in the shadow of a barn backlit by the pre-twilight sky, I’m thinking of a U3 setting that enables the two-image HDR mode of the camera.

You can only pull any curve up so much…

What’s the difference between middle grey at 18 and at 18.45 ? It seems most people reference it to 18 %, but when I look up middle grey I stumble across several tones based on which colour space they’re defined. :thinking:

They do shit almost 50% of the time. The biggest problem of filmic is it uses a logarithm, which goes to - infinity when your RGB values are close to 0. But 0 is a valid RGB value, and Rawspeed is scaling RGB values between 0 and 1, by offsetting the RGB values with a detection of the dark current on the non-exposed pixels, at the periphery of the sensor.

The logarithm is very desirable for what we do, since it aggressively pushes low lights. The problem is you have to clip the dynamic range somewhere, because an infinite DR is not an option. The question is “where to clip ?”, and “based on what ?”.

So you could naively think that clipping to the camera sensor DR is a good start. But the RGB code values have been massaged already, scaled and offset, possibly more than once, when they enter filmic. Because we are near the end of the pixelpipe.

Filmic OCIO does it the other way around. It’s a collection of pre-computed LUTs, so the filmic curve is hard-coded in different variants (more or less dynamic range × more or less contrasted intent), then your job is to adjust the exposure and black level before filmic because it wont change.

Anyway, there is a style with most of the useful sweeteners tuned by me, apply it, adjust exposure centile and black so everything fits in inside filmic’s DR, and that’s the most automated image processing I can offer you so far : Auto-filmic - Aurélien Pierre.dtstyle (2,0 Ko) . The next step is simply to hire me to shoot your pictures…


Yes, the autos can fail hard. Every time I follow a filmic workflow it is fast and easy to do per image. But maybe I am in the minority considering the hullabaloo.

Thank you all for your comments and styles. The current COVID has reshaped my schedule and I have been only sporadically following the discussions here.