How to use RawTherapee to make images more like film

Sorry Anna, I overlooked that.

btw, the links overthere on RawPedia to the page of @patdavid are broken…

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My printing process looks like this:

  • Convert from raw and denoise during this process.
  • Interpolate to desired printing size (and resolution the Lambda printer wants)
  • Add grain using Exposure to mask artifacts from upsizing and add organic look.

Exposure has a nifty feature that let’s you get the right grain size relative to the printing too.
Screenshot 2021-12-30 at 12.28.52

I have not tried TrueGrain. And at this point I have no looked in to FOSS alternatives. G’MIC should have synthetic grain emulation. But I haven’t tried it. The problem is often color film grain. Lightroom still only has monochrome film grain, which looks as wrong as it could with color images.

Look alike my redirect from any *.patdavid.net haven’t been ported over to the new system yet to redirect to the naked domain patdavid.net.

I’ll see about fixing this soon.

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@LilianSharklord as mentioned here try these HaldClut film Sims. Once installed you can create your own user profiles and blend together these film Sims with other settings.

I’m personally coming over to rawtherapee from Lightroom where I had some nice film Sims. I can get similar results using these film sims in rawtherapee.

I’d also suggest looking at different cameras also. I shot with Canon for a long time after moving over from Canon film bodies.

I could never reproduce the same feeling I would get from film no matter what plug-in or presets I could used. I got hold of a fuji x-pro1 and have found it to output an image that provides me a closer feeling to what I used to shoot with on film. I also now a later version of that body and it has less of a filmic look. To me Canon images were always too clinical.

The majority of what I shoot now is jpeg output from those cameras coupled with recipes from fujixweekly.com. The ability to reprocess raw images in camera is a lot of fun. I use rawtherapee when I want additional control over special images… and shotwell to manage them. And now I’m far happier than when I had a Mac with all the editing software.

There’s also lenses… modern lenses are quite clinical. Investigate third party lenses like ttartisan for a different look.

Trying to emulate ‘the film look’ led me to playing around with curves for individual color channels several years ago. That was in GIMP, 2.8.something IIRC. That same basic tool exists in RT. Do a Google Search for those keywords and you’re bound to come up with what you’re looking for. Also, pixls.us’ very own Pat David came up with a useful article explaining this process, and his emulations now reside in G’MIC. However, learning how to roll your own is well worth the effort. You can apply these fundamentals to photos in the future when you want to create an effect without necessarily trying to make it look like film.

And if you want to add some faux grain, I used to have a .png file of film grain that I could use as a layer in GIMP. It worked pretty well, but it could be a lot of work just for minimal effect.

All that to say, spend some time learning and you can get your images to what you’re looking for.

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+1 for the Fuji suggestion

I also moved from Canon to Fuji, precisely for the reasons you mentioned here. Even though I enjoy the FOSS editing process in RT/GIMP, I love the Fuji film sim rendering just as well. I often shoot RAW + jpeg to take advantage of multiple possibilities for a single snap.