Style usage -howto questions

My idea of using styles is to define several preset files and use then as starting point for further refinement. But it really does not work as expected. I open an image, set my processing parameters like white balance, velvia, shoadows, etc. and the use the history stack to save it as an style.
then I open another image and chose to apply this style. That works, but not as expected.

One problem I could not resolve is white balance, which I want applied as it comes from the camera (and I also set it that way). But in the new image it does not apply the camera setting but something else. So I always have to open the white balance and reset it to “as from camera”, which is a nuisance.

Can someone help me on that?

(normally using the german interface)

Assuming you use a fairly recent version of darktable, the white balance setting depends on your choice of workflow (see auto-apply pixel workflow defaults at darktable 4.6 user manual - processing).

When you create a style from the processing stack, you can choose which items to include. Check that you don’t add white balance by mistake.

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Just moved to Darktable from Rawtherapee (no support for Sony compressed raw what I use in my new camera). Therefore using 4.6. under Windows with filmic workflow.
Adding I can choose the items (in German Auswahl=choice or Zurücksetzen=restore or none of both).
settting white balance to not active (does not look nice) and saving the style does not turn the white balance on when choosing the style and therefore white balance is way off.
Setting white balance to active but not activating in style does not set the white balance to camera, setting the restore/reset option for white balance in style does not set to camera white balance but to camera reference point (D65).

Hi @JH_fd_pk_se and welcome to the forum and darktable. I use styles all the time for what you want to do. I have a preset that applies color calibration module to as shot in the camera. See the scene shot. BTW, if you change the workflow to sigmoid you may find it easier than filmic to master. Sigmoid can often be left untouched to do its tone mapping and produces pleasing colors straight out of the box. Filmic is more involved and produces flat colors which need to be enhanced using the color balance rgb module because that it how filmic is designed. This is just my opinion that sigmoid is easier to master and I know many DT users may disagree and use filmic.



If you have the processing set to filmic or sigmoid…ie scene referred then by default your images should open with the CAT adapted illuminant essentially equivalent to as-shot WB which is generally very close to legacy wb as-shot. So you should not need to include any wb changes in your style as each image by default should have “as shot” wb. If you do add a setting to the style that is a fixed setting so there will be no read of the camera and instead you will apply a fixed wb to all your images based on the wb settings that were in place when you made the style… If you don’t like the results of modern wb you can work around it and use the “none” for the workflow setting in preferences and this will use the traditional shot wb from your camera rather than setting D65 wb/CC module CAT illuminant. You will have to add filmic or sigmoid by creating an auto preset in the module so that it gets applied as it will no longer be added by that workflow setting… I think you should be able to work with defaults but that is an option.

have a look at the manual darktable 4.6 user manual - styles
You will be provided with the option to select which history stack items you want to include in the created style. For any module, you may also choose to “reset” that module’s parameters – this will cause the module to be included in the style but with all controls set to their initial (default) state (as if you had clicked the module reset button).

That’s also valid for edit, so you can revise the created style later to decide, which modules should be used with their defaults and which with specific parameters used during creation of the style

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I assume that means:

If so, darktable uses the ‘modern’ chromatic adaptation method to set white balance. That means, white balance is set in two modules:

  • white balance is set to camera reference. It provides an approximate white balance, fixed at 6502 K;
  • color calibration reads the white balance from the camera, and performs the final adjustment. The reasoning is that white balance uses a simple matrix for the conversion, whereas color calibration tries to take the peculiarities of human vision into account.

There is no need to include the white balance module (or color calibration) in the style, they are applied automatically.

If you only use white balance, without color calibration, there may be a problem (I’m not sure it is there, but it could be): maybe what gets included in the style is not settings: as shot (in red), but rather the multipliers (channel coefficients, in yellow). The second will change from image to image:

I leave white balance on camera reference (that is how it is applied automatically, without any style or preset, the multipliers depending on the camera, set automatically by darktable):

The next is, strictly speaking, not necessary. I’ve found it may sometimes bring a tiny improvement:
I use a preset (not a style) for color calibration to make sure it is set to as shot in camera (which does not store a fixed set of values, but rather the instruction to read the camera’s white balance settings):

Then, I created a new preset:
And set it to be applied automatically to all raw images (but not to JPG etc.):

But even without that, the module reads the camera white balance with its default settings, anyway; the only difference is, if it finds a ‘close enough’ illuminant, it may switch to that:
I prefer to keep it on as shot in camera.

However, this is a preset, not a style (applies to one module, not to a group of modules).

If you still have questions, please export the problematic style from darktable and share it here. But honestly, just don’t add white balance and color calibration to any style, and you should be OK.

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I actually include this preset in my basic editing style. I usually want the WB as set in camera and the default settings obtained from the color calibration module sometimes dosen’t give the same result as given by the camera. This is probably the case that you mentioned that “the module reads the camera white balance with its default settings, anyway; the only difference is, if it finds a ‘close enough’ illuminant, it may switch to that”

However, in using this method of as shot in camera it is critical that the WB module is left in its default state so DT can adjust correctly for new images. I do not include WB in my style but just put in Color Calibration with the illuminant set to as shot in camera. This works well for me.

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