Make it feel like film play raw challenge #1

So digital imagery can often lack some sort of character that film tends to have. For some reason the various chemical imperfections tend to pull on you very different then what typical accurate digital representation provide.

In this particular play raw I am looking to see what others can do to replicate that feeling of film. The only rule is you CAN NOT use a LUT/CLUT instead you must try to manually try to recreate the feeling of film. You do not need to try and replicate a actual film stock.

Provided is a DNG file because my camera shoots CR3 RIP. I look forward to what you can come up with.

20200620-0020.dng (25.8 MB)
This file is licensed Creative Commons, By-Attribution, Share-Alike.

Here is my take:

darktable 3.2.1: 20200620-0020.dng.xmp (9.9 KB)


20200620-0020.dng.xmp (12.7 KB)

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Difficult to remember, how real film prints looked :wink: .

I tried nevertheless:

20200620-0020.dng.xmp (8.3 KB)


I also don’t really know what you mean, but I tried to go heavy-handed… :slight_smile:

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… who knows ?

20200620-0020.dng.xmp (11,4 KB)


Let’s see how an amateur can do…

20200620-0020.dng.xmp (5.3 KB)


challenge.1.dng.xmp (9.9 KB) darktable 3.2.1

An attempt to get the Kodak Vivid Colour (portra?) look. Hard to visualize what the prints from back then looked like… Definitely less contrasty compared to the current (digital) prints.


Love the edits everyone. Each edit feels very different and each has interesting color and contrast choices.

With Filmulator.

  • Exposure Comp +1.6
  • Shadow Rolloff Point 0.0028
  • White Clipping Point 0.75
  • Shadow Brightness 204

color balance + mask 20200620-0020.dng.xmp (9.8 KB)

I could play like this for hours. It is addictive :star_struck:


20200620-0020_01.dng.xmp (32,3 KB)


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Yes! Here is my version 2.

20200620-0020.dng.xmp (7.7 KB)



20200620-0020.jpg.pfi (41.7 KB)

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Glad to see that I’m not the only one that is still playing with this one :grinning:

I gave my old love, Kodak T-MAX 3200 a try.

This was done with GIMP.

I still think that the grain in digital is to even (spread and granules). If anyone knows how to create more realistic (more uneven) looking grain please enlighten me!

Gave it another go myself because it is really fun to be honest. I spend a lot of time trying different combinations of stuff to shift things. Though I have not tried to emulate a particular film directly. This one I have done I tried to make it a bit less warm but also bring magenta into the shadows similar to the one Kodak film I can’t remember the name of.

20200620-Macro-0004.dng.xmp (9.3 KB)

Yes grain in digital is a bit too even. I used the grain module in dt. The only grain I have seen that tends to bring the film like grains to digital without the uniformity issues is Capture One and the DxO Film Pack. This is because they are maping the grain to the image so grain only ends up where it should and the grain maps are from actual film. dt does a good job as well mapping the grain but it seems to only have one pattern.

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I do think I have a way to do it but it will take some time to create it: One could create a image that contains random noise (think old TV noise/static). This is inherently random and does vary in size. It does need to be fairly big in size (for me it should be able to easily cover a D750 RAW (FX roughly 6100X4100).

This image, as a new layer and after using some filters/effects, can be merged (grain merge?) with the below layer. Works in theory…

could put the grain on a 50% gray layer then use Overlay + Luminosity mask. Still a pain. I always found grain a bit easier with something like Photoshop if doing it manually because of blend if allowing you to mask it into the realistic areas quickly. This method can also be used with film grain overlays that were taken with film cameras against 50% grey cards that you can download off the internet.

#3 :slight_smile: .

20200620-0020.dng.xmp (9.1 KB)

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Never used, or played with, Lightroom and/or Photoshop and am thus not sure if GIMP is up to par. That is if comparing them is wise to begin with, one tends to know more about one over the other.

(Layer) Mask and blend modes will definitely be needed to get a good result. I really need to give my (and your) idea a try. So little time, so many potentially nice things to do :slight_smile: