Struggling again with colors

Here I am, struggling again with colors on my edits. I did a custom white balance setting with my R5 for the shooting using a color checker passport to get a neutral grey. Out of camera jpegs look great and true to what I see the person’s hair for example. Yet the raws, obviously, looks different but I don’t know where to start even.

The RGB matrix in the color calibration module is the way to go I suppose but I fail to grasp how I would create a setting which mimics the jpg at least closely in skin and hair tone. It doesn’t even need to look like the jpegs, a way to make it look more brown/less color x/ etc would be fine already. Too many degrees of freedom for a clueless person as me it seems…

Is there an easy way to create a matrix with given color values for lets say pixels? I don’t know if that makes sense or if I am just stupid to grasp basic concepts of color but this is driving me crazy. Any pointers in stuff to read or try would greatly be appreciated! I tried changing colors the way Nicolas Winspear describes in his youtube video about the module but it doesn’t seem to work for me the way I want it to.

left jpeg, right raw

the hair looks like washed out hay to me compared to the jpeg brownish tone

The right-hand crop is contrastier, which has at least a bit to do with the difference. I’m often surprised at how even small changes in contrast can significantly affect colors. If you have post-processing exposure compensation dialed in, you might back off that a bit and see if it helps.

That’s about all I can suggest from the crops, would really need to look at the linear RGB right after demosaic to tell more…

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This is right after demosaicing

Have you tried this …you seem to have a color card…darktable 3.8 user manual - color calibration

Edit hard to say much more with out the raw and xmp and are you applying anything in camera that will impact the jpg??


Tried darktable-chart?

I took this jpeg and applied an s-curve to it, and was able to approximate the color and tone of the OOC JPEG. Here’s a screenshot of rawproc with your image, the tone curve in the lower-left, and a snapshot of the left-hand side before processing:

Ignore the leftmost part, that’s the OOC JPEG further amped with the tone curve.

Now, this is a rather hacky demo, but I think the right variables were presented for play. Really, you’d be surprised at how much a simple tone curve will affect color presentation…

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You need to apply a few modules to get a good starting point in darktable. Adjust exposure, filmic, color balance rgb. What modules are you applying?

Yeah, I forgot to mention it, sorry. I am trying to follow the scene-referred workflow with the modules you wrote.

Thank you, I’ve still got a lot to learn with filmic it seems!

Never heard of that, I’ll take a look. Edit: This functionality has been integrated into the color calibration module, hasn’t it?

Yeah, something still on my to-learn list

darktable-chart is a way to copy JPEG look.

Note that going through the process described under extracting settings using a color checker will not lead to out-of-camera JPG colours; instead, it’ll lead to closer to reality. All camera manufacturers apply colour manipulations. test image, CR3 with (bottom) and without (top) color checker fine-tuning:

The ‘fine-tuned’ CR3 (top) vs the JPG (bottom):

Source: EOSR5hSLI000050NR0 CR3 and JPG from Canon R5 Review - Samples


Please post at least one typical problematic image from your camera as a play raw. Theoretical discussions are difficult and very time consuming.