Filmpack to Photo lab workflow

(Damian) #1

Why is there no work flow integration between filmpack and photolab?

It seems illogical to me that filmpack presets can not be imported to photolab directly when saved. Are there usage rights restrictions that are not allowing this to happen?
With the popularity of film emulation and DXO’s own photo editing program not able to utilize DXO’s own film emulation presets, presents a frustrating delimma. Especially when Lightroom and CaptureOne are making the implementations and ease for a massive amount of presets available that are film based. The power and accuracy of the filmpack emulations could be serious competition but the workaround to get them into photolab without destructive layer properties is unfortunate.

Any feedback or suggestions to get the film looks into photolab would be helpful.

(Pascal) #2

I have neither used FL standalone.
You can find all the FP corrections in the eponym palette in PhotoLab.

(Damian) #3

If you have never used Filmpack standalone, you might not realize that you cannot achieve (in any regular sense of time) the same effect or look that filmpack provides in Photolab via the film type palette.

Filmpack5 is providing a very complex formula of settings per type of film that has base settings not disclosed in its editor panel. You can’t just manually copy the effects by setting the same in photolab. It’s very similar to “Profile” settings in Lightroom, the details are in the .xmp file and not displayed.

You should try Filmpack5 to see what I am talking about. And realize how unfortunate it is that DXO does not allow crossflow integration of its own product and technology. Which is far superior and far more accurate than any other film emulation that I have seen prior. Easily outperforming Mastin, VSCO or even RNI.

(Pascal) #4

If you say so.

(Damian) #5

The facts say so.

(Platypus) #6

I’ve tried to see the difference in processing in FP and PL. Took an image and applied the film emulation in both apps, starting from a “NoCorrection” setting.

What I found is that

  1. FP has more aggressive sharpening compared to PL
  2. PL suppresses noise a bit more than FP

I then added lens sharpness in PL with its default values and found that

  1. sharpening is comparable now
  2. noise increases in PL with the sharpening, but is still lower than in FP

The thing that struck me most is that an image displayed at 100% is a little bit larger in PL than in FP

Himeji Castle, EOS 5D with EF 24-105 f/4 IS USM, Screen at 100%

(Damian) #7

Thank you! Those are excellent observations and details. I noticed the same on sizing also and my only conclusion was that the DPI sampling might be different in PL. The notes sharpness are also good points, I will look closely at that now also. There are also some base HSL settings, especially for Provia and Velvia that I have a hard time getting right in PL. Even though they look spot on in FL.

It’s really an incredible amount of work to do when DXO could easily just make the xmp file for preset export compatible to Photolab. If FL was not so damn good I wouldn’t bother but I just love those film colors too much :blush:


(Melbourne, Australia) #8

It’s quite possible that I’m completely missing the point :thinking:, but; isn’t it so that FilmPack is fully integrated into PhotoLab (when PL install finds FP already installed) ?? … such that, for example, all the FP film-types are available within PL’s “Color Rendering” tool.

(Platypus) #9

I thought that FP is integrated in DPL too. After checking results in both applications, I find that some differences exist. I have not compared functionality one to one though. Rendering differs between the two and you might prefer one over the other.

It will be interesting to see, how Nik will be added to the mix…

(Melbourne, Australia) #10

Ahhh - - That’s completely unexpected !

Since FP must have its own RAW processing function (in order to be able to process RAW files) - and since the differences between images processed by FP vs PL (as mentioned above by @platypus) are mainly related to sharpening - then perhaps its simply the RAW processing function that’s a bit different … AND, FP does not have Prime NR.

As I recall, I looked at the film-type options in FP when I first installed it - but, when I found they were all accessible from PL’s Colour Rendering tool - I no longer bothered running FP as a standalone tool.

(Damian) #11

Hello John,

Filmpack5 is not installed or functional in Photolab, nor is there any direct workflow from Filmpack5 to Photolab. There is workflow from Filmpack5 to Lightroom (which I just don’t get) … But not to their own photo editing program. Seems self destructive, and it is.

Photolab has film emulation modules -yes- but they only apply a very unsophisticated color render of the film type selected and those emulation modules lack a lot of nuance details that are beautifully featured in Filmpack5… The very same nuances that actually make Filmpack5 so amazing are not present in Photolab.

Even though you can make a full edited emulation in Filmpack and save/export the edit out as a preset, the Filmpack5 preset will not work in Photolab. Sound annoying yet? …

Unless DXO is an organization built around the principle of masochism, my only educated guess is they are licencing software traits from Adobe, and part of the deal is they can’t make this program too amazing. Honestly, there are some obvious workflow and features that are missing or half-hardheartedly applied which go against every other highly intelligent features of the program… which lend to the theory.

I fear the lack of in-depth tutorials, explanation of features and how they work, and lack of any real social media presence will lead to the conclusion that DXO won’t be around long. But who knows? I just hope they really start to make a game plan of how to tie-in some really powerful software tools to a consumer ready, workflow package. As of now, it seems to be a cluster of random tools and sophistication that is begging for refinement.

(Melbourne, Australia) #12

I have both FilmPack5 and PhotoLab - and FP happily integrates with PL (as does ViewPoint)

There does not need to be - 'cos FilmPack functionality is fully integrated into PL (assuming one owns both products) … as shown here;

  • this allows one to render any of the FilmPack film-types from directly inside PhotoLab … FilmPack itself just sits in the background - you don’t need to interact with it at all.

(Damian) #13


Though that is how DXO presents it… the results are quite different between the two programs. I could show the same screenshots. I paid for the Elite kit and have been extensively comparing the results from Filmpack5 to Photolab. If you do the same, I think you will find that there are some major differences in the results between the two.

As I said before, it seems DXO is only converting a color tone change to correspond with the film type chosen in Photolab. Where as in Filmpack there are base color, grain, contrast tones and cross process layers.

I suggest to take a photo, do a base edit in Filmpack, then try to emulate that in Photolab. Let me know how that works out. My results are very frustrating.

(Melbourne, Australia) #14

Ah, OK - - I don’t use FP in standalone state - so, I was not aware of the differences you have encountered.

All the same, tho, your requirement might be met if you use PL for your basic RAW processing - and then use the “Export to Application” feature to send the file out to FP for your preferred rendering. Would that work for you ?

(Peter) #15

Can you provide some examples in this matter? I bought Filmpack in the suite version because of the extra’s besides the film emulations so i don’t took much time to look at this specific color filter editing yet.
But i am interested in your tests and results.
As john is, i would be assuming that if you use FP inside PL the working capabilities should be the same as wel the outcome if you don’t mess with other adjustment settings.
But one thing came up in my mind:

  • a image in PL with your pl preset applied exported to FP (16bit TIFF?)
  • a image in PL with your pl preset applied and then processed in inside PL in FP tab (sRGB workspace?)
    that’s the only difference i could think of, color depth difference, fixed WB on the one and still freely WB space on the other.

But that would be indicating that inside PL FP would be preforming better because of the wider range of color, and you said it doens’t. FP standalone is working better.
So id like to dive deeper in this question.Out of interest that is, this kind of questions triggering me to find the “why”. (maybe DxO Staff can elaborate this matter and explain the difference between the plugin and the standalone if there is.)

(Platypus) #16

Comparing FP and PL is quite difficult as it seems that the two apps use different rendering algorithms and base settings. To produce equally pleasing results in both apps requires that you nudge sliders differently which is probably not worth while.

Again, DxO markets different apps that propose different subsets of functions that help you create the results you’re aiming at. User interfaces (obviously) differ and innards too (supposedly) and it would be quite some work to bring all (including the niks) into one unified and modular software architecture. Maybe DxO will go that way and if they do, they’ll take smaller steps, selling intermediate versions while we wait for the wow factor doitall release.

While we wait, we can simply use the apps that are best now (best being the one that gives you the results with the smallest effort) and see what the future brings and - not to forget - see if we like the same results in a few years time as we change with it.

Comparing can ruin your happiness.
Or search for ryoanji tsukubai to help handle the situation or get mad…

(Peter) #17

In the first post he stated that he couldend get the result he wanted as good as in standalone PL.
So aperently he tried to get the best he could get not as specialy the same. As far as i understood him.

well my personal interest lies in the fact that i would be interested if the FP standalone app vs FP pluginmodes in PL is a different application and thus different outcome if i use the same settings.
I am more interested in the why? Is the PL rendering the problem? So if i export as tiff 16bit out PL and render then with FP standalone does this give the same effect as using PL and FPplugin?

I am not a experianced user of DxO PL or FP but i like to solve a quest.
If you know the why then you can decide or adjust in the workflow.

A bit as using idynamics for RAW files does this help? most people say no but infact the automodes does change (lower) exposure in 1/3steps to max -1 EV to prevent clipping so it influence your raw’s to keep you from blown highlight even in rawfiles. Only the contrast correction doesn’t apply to raw files.

(Damian) #18

Yes, technically that would work but the problem I run into with that scenario really comes down to time and my edit flow.

To have to edit in Photolab then export to another program to do another edit is an incredible time waste. If there was nothing else to compare an experience to, I might not know the difference. But coming from Lightroom and Capture one, the preset emulation and all edits are typically finalized in Lightroom and or Capture one. I rarely need to export to Photoshop, unless I need to make some type of sophisticated repair etc.

If DXO did not have a stand alone film emulation program that made incredible film emulations, I would not be as bothered. But since DXO does have filmpack5 and there is no workflow from Filmlab5 to > Photolab is really just weird, not to mention frustrating.

The 2 most easy solutions would be:

  1. An export option for Photolab to Filmpack5
  2. Allow Filmlab5 presets to load and be usable in Photolab which also set the base import settings of Photolab to match what’s happening in Filmpack.

Here are 2 examples:
Both were emulated with Portra 160vc with base import settings, no adjustments and grain set to default in both.

The only thing I had to do was turn off Noise Reduction and Smart Lighting in Photolab because with those on it completely skews the results and DXO imports the raw’s with those on by default. I do have to mention that with those 2 features on, the differences are much greater between the two programs.

In the coffee cup photo you can see that the white lid and the white tones in Filmpack5 are brighter and in my opinion more accurate to what Portra 160vc would actually look like. Also look at the color tone and detail in the “D” lettering on the cup. Again Filmpack5 is doing much better as a base.

In the wedding shot, look at the brightness detail in the dress by comparison, it’s again much more accurate in Filmpack5 where it is trying to emulate how analog film would blend contrast zones together on balanced exposure. You can also see in this shot that Photolab is doing a different adjustment in WB because her skin tone is warmer/darker.

The real problem starts coming up when adjustments are made in Filmpack5 and Photolab to these base settings. Taking grain as an example. In the 3rd image, I turned off grain in both images and the Filmpack5 photo has an even more distinguishable difference in mid-contrast tone and white balance.

These might sounds like nitpicks (and they are) but it’s really more about workflow, consistency and functionality between programs. By assuming Photolab was designed as a more sophisticated editing platform when compared to Filmpack5, and with DXO offering workflow from Filmpack5 and Photolab to Adobe… Why not allow workflow directly between Photolab and Filmpack5? Again with a lot of assumption- I assume they think you’re going to export to photoshop or lightroom to do further edits.

The base render and emulation of film look is just simply better in Filmpack5 and I don’t think it’s because Filmpack is a more accurate program, I just think it’s more finely tuned to articulate the emulations of those film types.

I shoot around 46-50,000 photos a year just for work projects alone. Time is money to me and time is “time”… The less edits and messing around I have to do with photos the better and I really want Photolab to give me what Filmpack5 is offering with no variations. I think if you pay for both, there should be something DXO can do to make sure you’re getting a consistent look between both programs.

Lastly, I want DXO to succeed. I truly feel that their concept is great. But they have fierce competition. Honestly pound for pound at this point, CaptureOne is still (in my opinion) the best photo editing software. I think DXO could easily advance past them, but they need to start shoring in all of these islands floating out there… Photolab, Filmpack, NIK … All of them are awesome but - None of them plug into each other and it’s just weird.

(Melbourne, Australia) #19

Thanks for the detailed explanations, Damian - - I have never used FP in it’s standalone mode - I naively assumed that, when embedded within PL, it produced the same results as in standalone state.

Just a couple of points that may help;

Are you aware that you can modify the corrections that PL uses, by default, for each new image? - in your case, you could turn off NR and SmartLighting.

Your option #1 is already possible … the Windows target is “C:\Program Files\DxO Labs\DxO FilmPack 5\dfpv5.exe


(Jim Scott) #20

I don’t have FP5 - I have FP3 and use it as a stand-alone. I do not use FP3 for the emulations - I use it for the granularity of control over the images, particularly B&W. I’ve always thought DXO foolish not to provide this capability in Optics Pro ~ ne PhotoLab… people will still pay for emulation shortcuts.