Monochrome March

After a few more successful conversions, I’ve decided to merge this branch into dev.

All in all, I think this was a successful conclusion to my first Monochrome March.


Build for macOS 10.11+ (runs on Qt 5.11)


If the goal is to reproduce realistic BnW-Film Look, there’s one best practice, you should have a look at. I’m working 90% BnW and this is the last piece of proprietary Software I still have to use. It’s Grubba Software’s “TrueGrain”. All you’re asking about can be found there in perfection. They split the work in three Tabs: a) Spectral Response, b) Dynamic Range, c) Film Grain. a) and b) in Filmulator 'd be my wet dream :wink: So thanks for having a look. Btw. I’m not affiliated in any way. It’s just the best piece of software I could find/try in 20 yrs. Cheers from Germany, Helge

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If you’re looking for the ability to mimic specific films, I’m not sure that Filmulator is what you are looking for.

What Filmulator implements is stand development, letting you control the dynamic range via depletion of developer, because I believe that this effect which occurs mildly even in normal development is the underlying cause for people’s fondness of film.

Spectral response is out of scope, aside from the monochrome channel mixer, mainly because I intend to keep the user interface as simplified as possible. If you can still get the response you want, then that’s good, but in color output, Filmulator has color shifts towards primaries that might interfere with spectral response emulation by software downstream in your workflow.

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Well - hard to explain, as I am not so tech-savvy … It’s not important for me to mimic a specific film. One of the mainsteam BW films with their characteristics like Tri-X or HP5 would be sufficient for me. The other way round: What I tried is devloping raws in color with filmulator then do the transformation to BnW with TrueGrain. That worked great. It already spares me using Rawtherapee in combination with darktable to get the color devek right. So one software less. Would just be really nice for me to have it all in one Software and yours is very close to what I would need. Filmulator Output in BnW compared to the output I get this way nevertheless still is lightyears apart. I guess the main problem here is the contrast. The BnW Output of Filmulator looks really flat in comparison. - I know: not everyones mainstream usecase here. And again: Thanks for your great work!

If you want more of the harder shadows found in film instead of the flatter, high-dynamic-range look, the latest versions have the Shadow Rolloff Point slider. Raise that up and you’ll get a darker, high-contrast look similar to the toe in film.


(the bottom one has the slider maxxed out; if you want me to increase the upper threshold I can)


Well I guess I’m using your latest build already.

Just to show you what I meant … What I did: Develop a ‘correct color image’ in Filmulator, export as TIFF. Then took same color image and transform 1:1 via a) Filmulator and b) Truegrain for comparison.

You’re right, maybe it’s more a philosophical question I’m dealing with. I like to stay as truthful as I can with what really was shot. And then mimic what it would look like in BnW film. Using Filmulator I can reach a close to that result, but I have to do guesswork in terms of how “blacked” it would be. With my current workflow I can stick to getting the colors right and the rest is some sort of batch-Process. (TrueGrain can do Batch-processing so it’s still easier for me to stick to Truegrain getting the colours of 100 pics right, then just do a batch to convert to BnW).

Thanks for taking the time, anyways!

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obviously you working on filmulator should implement some kind of silver halide crystal simulation and have tone curves such as


Yeow, just reading the first page makes me oh-so-thankful for digital… :scream:

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I know this thread is basically dead at this point but does anyone have a TrueGrain 2 license I could borrow to test the software out? I’m a college photo student with limited resources and don’t have access to a darkroom anymore due to corona but really wanted to test the software out and see how it compares to other methods of emulating the HP5 look. THANKS!!

We don’t condone piracy, nobody is going to “loan” you a license. You can download a demo. That software isn’t even proper Free Software.


Let me point you to the commandline version of the tool I have been using to do pretty much every monochrom edit in the past years:

I designed it (spoilerhead did the coding) many years ago, because all monochrome converters have at least on of a group of major design flaws in my opinion:

a) they try to bring film 1:1 to digital, which is a nuisance, because with digital workflow we are not limited to hardcoded films, filters or papers but can do anything parametric.

b) they work on a pure mathematical model without going for perception.

c) they ignore the fact that a good monochrome conversion has to build upon a perfect color edit. So a monochrome converter has to be the last step in the edit process, not somewhere inbetween.

If you want to try out a graphical implementation of Silicon Bonk, you would have to get a version of AfterShotPro (30 days tryout if i remember right) and install the plugin.

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I’d be great if that code had a license assigned to it.

Not where it is expected: it’s in the doc folder.
GPLv3. … that’s for the standalone tool.

The AfterShotPro Plugin version is licensed as GPLv2+ or LGPLv2+:

I am late to the party. I just downloaded Filmulator after work and played with a token RAW file for giggles. I love the concept of this and the execution seemed good to start and exactly what I want out of street and documentary work.

I am a street photographer. My work is film and digital. I keep my edits minimal. Mostly crop, contrast, exposure, convert to B&W, play with the RBG channels till I am happy, move on.

In my film work, I use filters on the lens, develop, scan, crop, done.

I would like to contribute to this in any helpful manner I can. In my street and documentary work I will use exclusively this for a few months as I love the idea of it.

My portrait, model testing and commercial product work will have to use other tools for now. But my heart is my art and that happens in the streets.

So, how can I be useful while playing with the software?

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Mainly just spread the word, and share your work in #showcase!

I love to see people enjoying Filmulator.

If you have any suggestions to make it nicer to learn or use, or if you find any bugs, feel free to let me know.

I will be happy to do so. I shoot street on the weekend right now. My day job is in downtown Chicago, but we are all working from home due to covid, so I hit the loop on the weekends and develop and edit on Sundays.

I will keep my suggestions quiet until I am more comfortable with the UI. Not being familiar with something is not a basis for constructive criticism.

If I do find what I feel is a bug, I will have to ask for aid in proper bug reporting. I used to be involved in the OSS community heavily in 2001-2006., but I mainly use. This is the first project in 14 years that I thought…hey…I would like to use this and get involved in whatever small fashion as I can.

#showcase starting next week. I will tag ya in my insta posts. I am working on a new zine right now, I will give some love in my credits page on that. Don’t get too excited. I limit my zines to 25 units. Scarcity creates urgency which drives sales. :slight_smile:

If I have any questions or comments as I go, since I will be mainly in the BWW world, I will keep them on this thread. I will lurk the others to learn more.

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Good thoughts, and please let us (me!) know about the zines you make, and also “how” you make them (I’m now working with Scribus to put together a photobook to upload to Blurb… I love the cheap paper formats they have, and made a few with their free app when I was on Mac OS, but now I’m full Linux and I want to use only open source software).

But mostly, I’m interested in zines! (you know Dan Milnor right?)

I know of him, but we have never sat on my balcony and smoked a bowl together.

Scribus is exactly what I used for formatting. I send them off to a printer, have sheets cut, and then take em home to fold and staple. Interior pages are lustre and a easy turn stock. Heavier stock and glass for the cover.

Consider uploading to Ingram Sparks instead of blurb. More freedom and possibilities. I am a big fan of indie booksellers.

When I went out yesterday, everyone was hurrying inside for the snowstorm we are in the middle of.

Love the cropping tool. Did not expect that. But I do.

The one thing that I do feel needs to be changed is the RBG channel sliders in the black and white. I am about to explain this poorly.

I would like to have less changes with more slide. It is a fine tuning process and it does not take much slide to end up in all white or all black currently.

Everything else is hard to say like or love or hate as it is new.

For street I am an aftershot pro user. I have a down and dirty simple workflow.

Open/crop/adjust exposure/white balance/contrast/local contrast/black point/noise and sharpening as needed if needed/export to jpeg. I spend less than a minute on each pic.

When I am doing portraits and model testing I am in Luminar Land or Portrait Pro. It is what it is.