Soften skin in Darktable - Quick one from daily life

Newest attempt on a quick photo from daily life.
How do you soften skin in darktable? I really like the soft appearance on my SOOC JPEG.
CC or your attempt on editing is welcome.

Good weekend.

First photo SOOC and second my edit in Darktable.
DSCF6622.RAF.xmp (117.9 KB)

DSCF6622.RAF (53.9 MB)

This file is licensed Creative Commons, By-Attribution, Share-Alike.

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I don’t think the raw needs to be softened. I just tried to avoid sharpening and contrast in the skin by using masks.

DSCF6622.RAF.xmp (23.5 KB)

DSCF6622.RAF.xmp (15.3 KB)

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How did u do? :slight_smile:

You can use Noise Reduction (Luminance)

or Blur.

Sorry, I can’t tell you which modules are in DarkTable because I’m from RawTherapee :sunglasses:

Thanks for the tip. I have bad experience with the denoise module. It often results in wax-looking skin.


You can use retouch module for skin. And for denoising (profiled) wavelets.

DSCF6622.RAF.xmp (16,8 KB)

darktable 3.5.0~git1443.1984b9fd2-1 (20.6 KB) RawTherapee 5.8 Development

It did notice that darktable is being discussed here, but this being Play Raw and all and me being curious about doing this in RawTherapee…

I used RT’s Contrast by Detail Levels and decreased them till I was happy about the skin. Darktable’s equivalent would be using the contrast equalizer module and use negative values (down instead of up).

Whatever technique you use do watch out that you don’t negatively influence the eyes and lashes. A targeted sharpening might be needed if you do a global softening.

I did brighten the eyes somewhat and resharpened the softened parts (I applied a global softening).

Careful with the highlight-artifacts of the slobber.

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How about a quick contrast EQ with drawn masks over the cheeks?

This is the result:

(You may notice an instance of profiled denoise in my history stack; it makes no difference, I just have a chroma-only instance on pretty much all the time; I’ve disabled it after taking the screenshot, and it does not change a thing.)


Nice shot, thanks for sharing.
Personally, I don’t think it needs softening, but if you want to do it I think the blur tool in the retouch module, used with masks and on the appropriate scale, works well:

DSCF6622.RAF.xmp (53.5 KB)

Here is my attempt:

  • darkening the backround a litle bit
  • using low-pass filter for softening ( a littel bit)

DSCF6622.RAF.xmp (29.8 KB)