darktable 0.9 is out with blending modes and more

darktable 0.9 is out with blending modes and more

Few days ago a new version of darktable, digital photography workflow tool for Linux, was finally released to the masses with a bunch of changes.

I'd say there are two most important new things in this version. The first one is blending modes. Yeah, you got it exactly right: just like blending modes for layers in GIMP or Photoshop, except they are per darkroom plug-in. Not every plug-in has that, because blending don't make sense everywhere. Apart from Normal mode there are 14 modes, including vivid light and pin light that used to be Photoshop specific. Well, not anymore.

The second big change is beginnings of localized editing, namely spot removal tool. It's implemented as another darkroom plug-in and more or less mimics Lightroom's spot removal tool: you just click on an image where you need to heal a circular area and drag to locate a sample area. You can adjust changes by shifting circular areas and changing raadius (mouse wheel above a circle).

darktable 0.9

Additionally there are 6 more new plug-ins: two denoise plug-ins (one works before demosaicing, another works on L and AB channels of LAB separately), color contrast (linear control of a and b curves steepness, in LAB again), highpass (that's where you really need blending modes), hot pixels removal and frame (draws a single-color frame around an image).

Plug-ins can now be set as favourite, so you can switch between the usual set of preferred plug-ins and a smaller set of favourite plug-ins.

You can download source code, or you can install darktable from PPA, if you are on Ubuntu:

$ sudo apt-add-repository ppa:pmjdebruijn/darktable-release
$ sudo apt-get update
$ sudo apt-get install darktable

What's next? Well, first of all, the team is now switching to a shorter release cycle with fewer new features and more fixes in each new version. The next release is going to have at least a dozen of bugfixes and configurable shortcuts. After that more changes will be integrated one after another: automatic detection of similar features, some new plug-ins and masks (yes, indeed).

The project participates in Google Summer of Code 2011 with just one, but very passionate student Robert Bieber. Some of his work is already part of v0.9, configurable shortcuts you will see in 0.9.1, and the plan is to implement advanced color picker with sample points (like in Photoshop and GIMP) and Levels plug-in.

Darktable has been progressing at a speed of light lately, so stay tuned for more excitig news!

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3 Responses. Comments closed for this entry.

  1. Looks very interesting

    Are their any plans to create a Windows compatible version - Win XP preferably

    Ivan Winters

  2. No, there are no such plans at this moment. It is doable, but so far noone in the team is interested.

  3. Just read a Lightroom vs Darktable comparison here: http://tutorialgeek.blogspot.com/2011/07/lightroom-vs-darktable-raw-photo.html where they try to mimic the Lightroom edits in Darktable, with varying degrees of success.