I’ve had quite a challenge with developing images with filmic, which looked ok to me.
Now its absolutely impossible to describe what the ok would look like. Only I would know, so its not really something that lends itself to a specific enquiry.
Yes it has been busy in terms of my recent participation on the forum, lots of posts from this “stranger”.
But there has been a method, and I hope my explanation below clarifies this sufficiently for you.
I was not able to get my images to consistently look like a picture, using filmic. Sometimes, it would work, at other times, it was frustrating me. Filmic has a number of controls, and it takes a while to learn them all. A lot more involved that what it replaced or became an alternative to - the base curve module.
The next step in the search led me to try out other tools, and I was able to obtain varying degrees of more immediate gratification from these other tools, typically raw to image, or what we now know to be scene to display referred, tools outside of the internal universe of darktable.
Thereafter only a few hours ago, I watched fortuitously a video on youtube, and saw a really accomplished photographer, displaying pretty impressive images via workflow developed with filmic, which led me to revisit filmic, and the other tools to better understand the context in which each of them excels. And I also invested even more efforts to really get to the bottom of my understanding of filmic. Guess seeing what someone else was able to do with it, which was quite impressive, is a part of the education process.
This thread, with the yellow flower, as you can see starts off with being able to get in my opinion, subjectively pleasing results with filmulator, with not too much effort.
Thereafter, I have given filmic another go at it, and if you read through, the results are interesting. And the images speak for themselves.
As it has transpired with me, the journey and back and forth has not been wasted. More than ever before, it has helped explain to me, and I hope to others also, the love/hate relationship with filmic. Some like it, some do not, some want to like it - Just read comments and opinions all over the web.
The search was to discover what works for me. But it has provided more than that, I also from looking at the pictures posted on this thread, also understand why each image processor evokes a different impression from the same image.
No need to repeat my earlier expressed conclusions. I publish these thoughts here with the hope that others may also glean from journey, and benefit from my thoughts on the issue.
Looking at these images, reveals the whole story. And I hope others benefit from my thoughts and come to their own conclusions.
It has been quite frustrating, and as I found solutions, and answers and explanations, I’ve put these thoughts out there. That’s all.
Where does all this challenge actually come from. We’ve all grown up with a lifelong view of images, in print and on digital media, and our eyes have been accustomed, like vinyl, to things looking a certain way. Absolutely nothing wrong with that expectation. Then some like me encounter filmic, and the image does not look like what we have spent all our lives seeing in film photography, television, films, facebook, or our in-camera jpgs. Neither does it look like the images we are getting in other photo editors, huge dilemma.
Then its taken for me about a year or more, and a very intensive recent two months, to get to the bottom of this. Eventually it all makes sense. And the images show the direction each processing approach has taken.
In summary - filmic takes a purist approach to the transform, than most, and many of us like me have been so accustomed to the less pure approach taken by everything else we have seen. If you look at the images, the filmic version renders the most distinct separation between foreground and background, between what is in focus and what is out of focus. i.e. in truth - a more realistic view, but one which we are not accustomed to seeing, in print and digital media.
So contrary to what some might have thought, this is not about knocking filmic or darktable, simply about discussing, what we see and know. After all this is the discuss space on pixls.
It has been a search to solve a seeming anomaly, which has ended with a bonus, an understanding of why filmic appears to render a bit differently from what our eyes expect (based on a lifelong history of what we have been used to seeing).
I hope others also get something out of this, and especially anyone who has been in the same quandary as I was, with filmic.
I also hope my observations will assist the developers of imaging tools, to understand their algorithms much better, not just from the technical viewpoint but from the viewpoint of especially the uninitiated user who is trying to succeed with their tools. Hopefully good feedback, which for engineers should feedback into their tool improvements.
This reminds me of one of the features that is enabled in 3G telephony - which is rarely used - video calls, because tools must go beyond their intention, to accommodate human behaviour.
We can’t force people to like something. And if there is a clamour by some including me, that a tool is not well appreciated. we should ask - Why?, rather than just dismiss the assertion, with a response that oh - the tool was not built for people like you.
My threads have really helped me outline what the issue is, and eventually understand why we have this issue, and hopefully for those with the patience to read through rather than be dismissive, to see that there is a valid reason for the marmite opinions on filmic.
But there is also a solution - some education to manage expectations. filmic is a decent capable tool, as I have eventually found out, but it has its own unique look(from its own unique algorithms), which is a bit distinct from most other raw image processors, and it may take a while to get familiar with that look., or learn how to complement that look, with the other tools in darktable.