Getting started with DxO FilmPack 5
In collaboration with Gilles Theophile
DxO FilmPack 5 faithfully simulates on digital images the renderings of many legendary analog color-negative, black & white, and slide films – 96 in all, of which 16 are new to this latest version of the software. This version also offers a large palette of creative presets and effects, as well as many custom settings, so that you can give a truly unique look to your photos.
In the standalone version of DxO Filmpack 5, you can JPEG and TIFF files, and RAW files (Elite edition), and apply automatic corrections for noise and lens defects, as well as color protection.
Of course, the external editor modes for Photoshop, Photoshop Elements, Lightroom, and Aperture remain available, and DxO FilmPack 5 can also be integrated as a plugin into DxO OpticsPro’s RAW workflow.
To follow this tutorial, you will need:
- DxO FilmPack 5 (standalone application)
DxO FilmPack 5
Opening an image file
- 1. Launch the program via the Start menu > Programs > DxO filmPack 5 (PC) or in the Applications window > DxO FilmPack 5 (Mac).
- 2. When the Image list opens, double-click on one of the demo images, which will open in the editing pane.
- 3. To open a different image on your hard drive, click on Menu (PC) or on File (Mac), and then choose Open a file or Open a folder.
- 4. A system dialog box will prompt you to select a file or a folder to open.
- 5. When the file or the folder contents is displayed in the Image list, double-click on the thumbnail of the image that you want to work on in the editing pane.
The Image list is a browser integrated into DxO FilmPack 5 (standalone application mode).
The standalone version of DxO FilmPack 5 lets you work on RAW (Elite edition), DNG (Elite edition), TIFF, PSD, and JPEG files.
Application of automatic corrections
If you open a RAW file or a DNG file from an Adobe program, a DxO Optics Module will be automatically downloaded and installed. In case of ambiguity about what equipment you used to take the photo, FilmPack 5 will prompt you to enter the information.
The Optics Module download dialog box
Confirmation of the application of automatic corrections
Once the Optics Module is installed, DxO FilmPack 5 will automatically apply the following corrections:
- Noise reduction
- Lens corrections
- Color protection
The Automatic corrections palette
You can also make adjustments to settings and corrections via the Development palette.
Downloading DxO Optics Modules requires an active internet connection, but you can also download the Modules in advance and then install them manually when disconnected.
DxO FilmPack 5 can also be used as a standalone application, and as an external editor for host applications, as well as as a plugin for DxO OpticsPro:
- DxO OpticsPro plugin: From the dedicated DxO FilmPack palette, directly apply predefined presets and your custom settings.
- External editor for Lightroom: Select an image in Lightroom, click on Photo > Modify in > DxO FilmPack 5 in the menu bar, modify the format and characteristics of the transferred file (TIFF, PSD, or JPEG) in the export box, then click on Modify.
- External editor for Photoshop or Photoshop Elements: Open an image in Photoshop or Photoshop Elements, click on Filter > DxO Labs > DxO FilmPack 5 in the menu bar.
- External editor for Aperture: Select an image in Aperture, click on Photos > Modify in a module > DxO FilmPack.
2- Correcting and processing an image with a predefined preset
DxO FilmPack 5 lets you apply a certain number of color or black & white presets to your files. These presets consist of color or black & white negative films, slide films, or Designer presets. A film preset film is a collection of predefined values that can be applied to an image to simulate the color, the contrast, and general appearance, and the grain of an analog film. Designer presets apply aesthetic and creative settings to your images.
If you own a DxO FilmPack 5 Elite Edition license, you can create and apply to your images your own custom presets, and save them so as to be able to apply them to a series of images, for example (see section 3 below).
Opening and processing an image
- Step 1: Open your image, following the instructions in section 1.
- Step 2: In the Presets pane on the right, choose and apply a preset.
- Step 3: If desired, after clicking on the Modify > Modify settings button in the upper command bar, make any other corrections via the Controls panel on the right.
- Step 4: To save your work, go to the upper command bar and then click on the first button in the Save > Save As group.
- Step 5: In the dialog box that appears, choose the placement of your new image, its format (TIFF or JPEG), and, finally, modify the proposed name, and then click on Save. The new file will be created in the place you specified.
The Presets pane
How the presets are displayed depends on the filtering and sorting options you choose (selected in the right-hand pane).
With TIFF or JPEG files, the Save command replaces the original image with that processed in DxO FilmPack 5, and the Save As command lets you create a new file (while keeping the original).
This same principle applies when using DxO FilmPack as an external editor for Photoshop or Photoshop Elements. With Lightroom and Aperture, however, saving automatically generates a new image in the host application.
3- Applying custom presets
Many creative color and black & white settings, along with graphical and lens effects, are available in DxO FilmPack 5. You can infinitely combine the different film presets and effects, thus giving free rein to your creativity.
In addition, in the Elite edition, you can save all of your corrections and settings in the form of custom presets, which you can re-use at will and share via the export/import function with other users of the software.
Creating a custom preset
- Step 1: Open an image file in DxO FilmPack 5.
- Step 2: Choose and apply the predefined preset of your choice, and then proceed to make the desired adjustments to the settings or corrections (HSL, Tone curve, Channel mixer, frames, etc.).
- Step 3: In the upper command bar, click on the second button in the Save > Save settings group
- Step 4: Enter the name of the custom preset in the window that appears on top, then click on Save.
- Step 5: You can find the thumbnail of your custom preset in the presets panel at the right, by selecting Filter > My presets.
Context menu interface for creating a custom preset using current settings.
Display of custom presets.
Exporting custom presets
- Step 1: Go to Menu, then Import presets > Export all custom presets (PC) or to File > Export all custom presets (Mac).
- Step 2: In the system dialog box, choose or create a destination folder, then click on Select folder.
- Step 3: The custom presets are available in the form instruction files in the folder you have chosen in the previous step, and are ready to be shared however you would like (for example, via email).
Importing a custom preset
- Step 1: Go to Menu and then Import presets > Import presets (PC) or to File > Import presets (Mac).
- Step 2: In the system dialog box, locate the custom presets to import.
- Step 3: Select one or more custom presets to import, then click on Open. The presets are now ready to be used.
Custom preset export files are only a few KB in size, so they can easily be transferred between one computer to another or sent as email attachments.
To learn more about the different editions of DxO FilmPack 5, their installation, software and hardware compatibility, and the new features and functions, we invite you to consult the dedicated Web page, the user guide, as well as the dedicated tutorials.
You can download the Essential Edition, or you can download the Elite Edition to discover all of DxO FilmPack 5’s creative possibilities.
Photo credit: Olivier Revon