Let's learn Filmic RGB! Your one stop shop to understanding filmic-based approach to edits!

“safe” is only recently implemented in filmic v5, which will be a part of darktable 3.6 release.

Sorry, I use the git-Version, forgot to mention.

Well I have some troubles using filmic too.

It works great to give you a great look in medium tones and with default parameters.

But when I have skies with clouds with billiant lights (and a bit overexposed in some places) I don’t get very good results. It tends to make skies dull and I want a bit more dramatic effect.

It is understandable to some point as any S curve or contrast curve will give you contrast in midtones at the expense of compressing highlights and darktones.
But It was easier for me to expand lights previously using curves or other tools.

With filmic I do not find easy to do that even if I am using color balance to expanse highlights (and apply it only to them with parametric masks).
There are many options in filmic, it does lots of things at the same time and I cannot understand all that technical stuff (even if I have read it several times in the last year, from version 3 of filmic, but it is getting more and more complex each version).

Here is an example with a raw photo of mine.
I have used color balance to tweak highight, midtones and darks separatly, some local contrast, contrast equalizer, and so.
I have upgraded the edit to use filmic v5.

Here is the raw (of course you can download it and play with it):
Creative Commons — Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International — CC BY-SA 4.0
DSCF0262.RAF (23.9 MB)

This is the xmp with edit.
DSCF0262.RAF.xmp (17.2 KB)

I will try to edit it using DT 3.7 and color balance RGB instead and the new diffuse module to make the focusing and debluring.

Share this on playraw you will get lots of feedback…don’t try for dramatic skies with filmic…use it to manage tone then use other tools…the new colorbalance rgb has a lot of tools to work on the sky also be sure to visit the master tab and use the picker to set your white fulcrum and you can further adjust shadows and highlights with internal masking…I think you should have what you need…

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OK, thank you I had thought it was here the place to share it.

Here is good too, you should expect only results achieved with filmic though.

It also appears you attached a jpeg and an XMP but no raw file :slight_smile:

That would be great: how to get best results from filmic only first, and then if needed I will try other modules like color balance RGB to expand highlights (may be curves, but I think curves will change color and affect hue in most cases).

For sure you can share here with your specific question but if people don’t read the post they may not see it…so playraw is scanned may many users…people share images just curious as to what others would do or with a specific question…sorry for any confusion. You would need to share the original raw. You have provided your xmp which is great. Others will share theirs with you. You just also need to add a creative license tag so that others will feel that it is okay to edit it…so just add this when you post images… Creative Commons — Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International — CC BY-SA 4.0

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DSCF0262.RAF.xmp (14.2 KB)

Perhaps this is considered cheating, as I didn’t use only filmic, but I wanted to create a dramatic sky. Maybe a bit exaggerated :wink:
DT 3.6

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Don’t worry, it is OK for me.
Perhaps it would have been better to put it in the thread I opened using play_raw (as this is more for filmic) after been adviced of opening it.
Help to improve skies using filmic and other modules. - Software / darktable - discuss.pixls.us

This kind of edit is what I was looking for: do as much as you can with filmic, but then use other module to expand hightlights and give light to the darks.

Using color balance and parametric masks does not give many times the effect I want: you cannot push light as much and it can create halos.

DSCF0262.RAF.xmp (32.7 KB)

What level should “latitude” be set to by default? I see it is set to 25% and my program defaults to 0.01%
Generally, I’ve never used it, and here I read that it adjusts the contrast. Hmmm

More recent versions of filmic set it essentially to zero for a full transition using a curve from white and black to midtones… you are free to set as you like …


Thank you for your answer. All clear :slight_smile:

I understand that if I don’t raise the exposure, there is no need to adjust the relative exposure of white and black?

You will almost always have to tweak them depending on the look you want… they will establish how the shadows and highlights are compressed relative to the middle grey. If your image is very well exposed you might not even have to use filmic at all. Otherwise you are adjusting exposure to establish well exposed midtones and then mapping the rest of the tonal range around that with filmic so this is where you would change them…

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Boris explains it in one of his videos, but when working in scene-referred, exposure is essentially used to define mid-grey (which would usually be where your subject is). Getting this right is important, since several modules relies on this to work in a predictable manner.


If you are using a parametric mask to exclude shadows and highlights, then why bother with 50% local contrast settings for shadows and highlights anyway?

The latitude is not so important anymore, since desaturation doesn´t occur anymore by default in highlights and shadows. Latitude used to protect your midtones from desaturation in earlier versions of filmic. However, it still defines the range of tones to which a linear contrast curve is applied.

Take a closer look at the parametric mask.