please don't kill "global tone mapping"

The module has been classified as deprecated because there is a replacement (filmic rgb, see darktable 3.6 user manual - global tonemap (deprecated) and darktable 3.6 user manual - filmic rgb). This forum contains serveral discussions about the pros and cons of filmic rgb. You should not expect that any developer will invest time in development of deprecated modules. Deprecation of outdated modules means concentration of limited resources on more essential developments.

I clearly stated that I was guessing

Note that darktable (like other tools which this site is dedicated to) is not simply freeware, but open-source software.

Sorry. Guess I was hoping some developer would pick it up and chime in.

I did.


actually, with “global tone mapping” exactly that is possible (and a lot more) what can be done in lightroom with the controls for lights and shadows.
attached a video for the demonstration.
(I know the picture is not photographically “valuable” ;-))


darktable does the stuff it’s way - there’s no need to do it like lightroom.
Filmic is the future darktable way to deal global tonemapping.
Deprecated modules are deprecated because no developer will spend time on these.

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hmmmm … really?

pardon the somewhat sarcastic question. :wink:
but why should there be a module called “shadows and highlights” in Darktable, which in my opinion is not usable? “global tonemapping” covers this aspect extremely well.

In my opinion, “filmic rgb” is a fundamentally globally usable module. and i really like “filmic rgb”. however, “global tonemapping” in contrast is extremely flexible.

maybe it is a suggestion to revise the module “shadows and highlights”. :+1:

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A somewhat sarcastic answer to your sarcastic question: you may be glad to learn that darktable developers share your opinion about shadows and highlights: just like it’s recommended to use filmic instead of global tone mapping (PIXLS.US - Darktable 3:RGB or Lab? Which Modules? Help!), it is recommended to use tone equalizer instead of shadows and highlights (PIXLS.US - Darktable 3:RGB or Lab? Which Modules? Help!).

The following is not intended to be sarcastic: darktable is developed by people out of passion, unpaid, in their free time. Please allow them the freedom to choose where they invest their time and resources. Global tone mapping will remain (it has been described that you can create a style and use it that way). You have access to the source code, and you may devote as much of your time and resources to maintaining and enhancing the module as you see fit.

Let me suggest again that you post examples as PlayRaw (e.g. the raw file used in the video), and maybe that way we can all learn from each-other.

Thanks for the answer.

Far be it from me to insult or coerce or be unacceptable. on the contrary, I think it’s fantastic what time and know-how is invested in darktable and how it is developing. :man_kneeling: :+1:

But it’s a discussion forum and it’s about exchanging ideas. so i see it more as a suggestion for possible improvements or innovations for this great software.

it is not as if I cannot achieve good results without “global tone mapping”. and i can also achieve “similar” results with other modules. but for me this “GT module” with its properties is in most cases the fastest method and in my eyes the most “pleasant”.


I’ve watched your video and see that you really know the module and achieve good results with what seems to be little effort. So, PlayRaw? :smiley:

Thanks :smile:

attached the raw from the video with the * .xmp to play …
the raw is not subject to any restrictions

_ND78694.NEF (24.2 MB) _ND78694.NEF.xmp (8.3 KB)

Here’s an attempt using filmic and tone equalizer (amongst other things). I’m sure it could be improved but you get the idea…

_ND78694.NEF.xmp (10.3 KB)

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One possible rendering (with code from the master branch). History stack is embedded in the JPG.


@Suki2019 First, I’m not a developer. Neither am I a power user. But I’ve been around in the forum for some time now, and followed as close as I could all discussions that led to the changes in darktable.
What I think you miss is a very important point: we’re not talking just about selecting what modules will keep alive and what modules should be deprecated.
The change darktable has been through is more fundamental: a paradigm change. Which implies a new development strategy: to focus on scene referred raw development. I don’t think this can be reversed, even more because it’s complying with current trends on image processing.
I didn’t see people saying that GTM is bad. It’s just that it fits the old display referred paradigm, so, they won’t invest more time in an old paradigm. Just that.
For more you ask for an overhaul for that module, it won’t happen.
But I saw developers clearly stating that the module will be kept, for the sake of backwards compatibility.
So, I think it’s kind of useless you trying to prove that GTM is better, and so on. If it’s better for you, then keep it going.
But take a time to deepen a bit on the meaning of that paradigm change (and study the modules that fit the new one), it’s worth the effort because, in the end, it’s basically very easy to get excellent results from just a handful of modules.
Again, these are words from a standard user, so take them with a bit of salt.


What I do find strange is why deprecated modules are hidden, not just marked with a warning. With code on the master branch, one can still assign shortcuts to a module (e.g. to global tonemap) which doesn’t seem to exist (unless deprecated is selected from the module list presets).
I understand the dangers of the global tonemap module, and I agree that

the white value is adjusted automatically from the maximum in the image, so the overall brightness of the image may change depending on the size of the export, due to the smoothing effect of the setting to scale (interpolation). To be expected: a lighter or darker JPEG than the preview in the darkroom.

is an awful flaw, but the current situation is quite confusing, too.

I agree with you.

i don’t want to prove that GT is the better module.
for me this “GT” is basically just one of the most flexible modules

As I have already stated, this is a forum for discussion, and my or other opinions can be seen as a stimulus to work on improvements or innovations. precisely because darktable is going through such a great development.
I only remember the discussions about the colorchecker or a windows compatibility. this was ruled out for a very long time. :slightly_smiling_face:


how can i read the historystak from the jpg in darktable?
and how can I read a foreign * .xmp in darktable so that I can see the settings in darktable?
simply replacing the * .xmp does not work.


‘load sidecar file’ darktable 3.4 user manual - history stack
Newbie having problems with highlights - #10 by kofa
Newbie having problems with highlights - #12 by kofa

I am just trying some stacked images, merged to DNG by darktable, they come out pitch black, as expected according to Bruce Williams’ episode ep 30.

Tonemap does a nice job in the video. filmic (3.4.0 I use) does not do anything to the image, it stays black.

Pushing exposure +5 gives me then a very green image, that I can correct in white balance or col calibration.

It seems there is no suggested workflow for the dark DNGs from darktables HDR merge. So how do you work with darktable created stacked DNGs now?