Opening old display-referred edits - mixes new scene-referred modules into history stack

I’m using darktable 3.6 on Ubuntu.

When importing old display-referred edits with “add to library” all edits are changed as scene-referred standard modules like fimic rgb and color balance are added.

This unwanted update of the XMP file ends in a history stack with a mix of my old edit (basecurve etc.) and new standard modules added on import. Of course that leads to horribly looking images!

Preferences in the processing section are set to “scene-referred” and “modern”. But that should only be auto-applied on new images.
Do I have to change that preference back to “display-referred” every time I import old edits?

What am I doing wrong?

Do you mean color calibration? Color balance should never be automatically added unless you have created an automatic preset.

of course, you’re right - color calibration!

Ok next questions:

  • were the old edits actually “edits” (i.e. did you change module parameters on them? did you even open them in the darkroom view)
  • in what darktable version did you edit them? (prior to darktable 3.0 modules weren’t saved in the history stack until you changed them)
  • I assume the images were definitely not present in your library database before you imported them?

Generally automatic modules should only be applied the first time you edit an image or open it in the darkroom, except for those edited in v2.6 or earlier, where other known issues are present.

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The images were definitely not present in the library database, but i modified them, yes. I can see modules like “shadows and highlights” and “sharpent” activated. I probably edited them in old darktable versions. Opening the xmp files in an editor shows: darktable:xmp_version=“1”

Anyway - I don’t expect darktable to auto-apply scene-referred modules to images with an existing xmp file where display-referred modules like “base curve” were already applied - as this only leads to a mess.

Deactivating filmic RGB an color calibration module takes the image back to the original edit - but that’s requires me to work through all edits again.

Can you post such an XMP here (one not yet touched by v 3.6)? Since any XMP can be applied to any image, we could simply give it a try to see if we can reproduce the issue.

I tried the following:

  1. change preferences to : auto-apply pixel workflow defaults to “none” and auto-apply chromatic adaption defaults to “legacy”
  2. open folder with old images
    and as expected no additional modules were applied - things looked good
  3. reset presets to “scene-referred” and “modern”
  4. open folder again …
    and no additional modules were applied.

it seems that darktable auto-applies the scene-referred and modern modules to all images with older edits (darktabel 2.x ) which ruins them. Opening them without auto-application of the modern workflow modules in the first step updates the xmp-file and prevents darktable from auto-applying the modern modules in the second step - even when preferences are configured.

btw. I edited these images with darktable back in 2012 … seems I’m a pretty old and faithful user of darktable :wink:
In fact I remember to have used darktable 1.x versions … hmmm getting old and grey…

@kofa here is one of the xmp’s for evidence…
120907_3669.ARW.xmp (6.0 KB)

We aim for backward compatibility but that might be pushing it. I think we rely on a flag in the history to determine whether auto-presets have been applied to an image. I very much doubt that flag was present that long ago. I mean we’d love to help but honestly you might be better off sticking to your workaround.

If you apply a no-op style to all of your images (after importing them with legacy settings) that might force the flag to be set. For example you could apply color calibration to them all but in an “off” state. I choose color calibration here because it’s very unlikely to interfere with an existing edit.

So the process would be

  1. change to display-referred/legacy
  2. re-import
  3. apply a style that appends color calibration (off) to all of the imported images
  4. change back to scene-referred/modern
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This is a different, but somewhat related problem I posted about last year:

You may be interested in reading through it. I submitted a bug report and a feature request (see the last message in the thread).

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Thank you @elstoc! That‘s what I will do, that‘s a good workaround.

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If you can tell me what that flash is, I’ll try to build a small shell snippet to add it to the files.

I don’t understand

What that flag is, it’s just that my smartphone’s autocorrect was playing ‘smart’.

I’m only going on vague recollection of reading the code – see here and here – I certainly wouldn’t know how to identify it in an xmp file. I still think the easiest solution is the one I’ve suggested.

Ah OK. I thought it was some simple XML tag, not a specific bit in an integer value.