Time to change default rc settings?

In darktablerc wouldn’t it be wise to change the default to


1 Like

Not sure about that.

That would require to enable filmic by default. But with which settings ? Aka settings adapted for which Brand × Camera × Picture profile ?

Or just open a really raw picture with no brightness/contrast sweeteners by default ?

I don’t know. The whole thing is a smelly can of worms anyway, with people assuming they should recover in their raw processor something similar to their OOC JPEG by default.

1 Like

I think that the default options should be set with the new(er) to intermediate users in mind. Those have certain expectations, real or not, and are used to OOC images and what they initially see on the back-screens of the camera. Seeing a RAW image in darkroom view that looks (half) decent is a good starting point for them.

Once you are familiar enough with darktable and know how to unleash its power you can easily set the preferences to your own liking.

Although I try to convince people to use the linear rgb way of working, I don’t think it is a good idea to push them, which you would probably be doing if you turn the base curve off.

As already mentioned by @aurelienpierre: If you turn off the default base curve it does need to be replaced. But with what? And based on what?

1 Like

For a beginner its more useful to have an initial edit which will be ok in most cases from their prospective.
The intermediate users are aware of the settings and will disable it :wink: thats on click done once.
So it’s a waste of time to discuss about this mouseclick an intermediate user will do when tuning their environment


After a few hundred hours in darktable, an intense study and application of the scene-referred workflow, I would consider myself an intermediate user. I still have to find that magic click to customize the default set of modules when I load a new image.

What is the way to “disable settings” which you are referring to? What’s the recommended mechanism to switch to a default subset/worspace, which covers the (or even better ‘my’) Filmic RGB flow and keep the rest in “other modules”?

1 Like

@dabbler hi & welcome.

There are two options in the Preferences to disable the auto application of Base Curve and Sharpening.

1 Like


Thanks for the suggestions, I had turned off sharpening but not the base curve in the core options yet. I have tried and used a style to “pull up” the relevant modules for a filmicRGB-based flow and disabled the base curve this way as well. However, for a single style to work to pull up modules into the first tab, I had to turn on everything I potentially wanted to use and thus this slows down initial adjustments. Later I discovered the presets defined in the ‘more modules’ menu, but it is far from obvious how to customize any of it, and the handbook doesn’t seem to mention this feature at all. This seems to be the most fitting place for what I’m looking for, in conjunction with the core options to turn off the base curve and some module presets which auto-activate.

I do have an entry in the “more modules” presets mostly fitting my needs - but don’t actually remember how I got it in there, nor how to make any adjustments to it now. The manual only contains "However, you may store various settings at your choice as presets for later reuse. " in the “More modules” section, there are edit and delete preset menu items (which only seem to edit the name), but no option to add a new one based on the current selection of module visibility.

Maybe a predefined workspace and/or subset definition in darktable-3.0.1/src/libs/modulelist.c for modules, which do make sense in conjunction with filmicRGB would be useful.

Altogether, core options + styles + module presets + module visibility and or favorites settings + maybe turning that into “More modules” presets all may come into play. Quite a few things to fiddle with in order to create a “smooth” user experience for a filmicRGB flow after having learned about which modules to use or avoid in conjunction with it.

I just put all the modules I use in the favorites tab. There are only 10 or so of them, so it works OK and doesn’t slow the initial demoasic. I actually like to see the initial raw histogram so I know what I have to work with.

Somehow magically, I again get an option to define new “more modules” presets - so I’m able to do some adjustments again from the UI. Still wondering when exactly this does or doesn’t show up.

I just stumbled across the related discussion buried in the “darktable 3.0 for dummies” thread, which I hadn’t found earlier, where a post references the presets, a later post and MStraeten provided the reference how to redefine the module groups in darktable 3.0 for dummies (in 3 modules). It may be a bit of a maintenance burden for upgrades to do so, but it looks easy enough to undo as well.

I still think adding and properly naming alternative presets and somehow hinting at disabling the base curve in the software itself rather than supplemental documentation would go a long way to make the filmicRGB-based flow more accessible.