Color grading / Split Toning improvements

I’m really enjoying PhotoLab 5 having moved over from an older version of Lightroom, but there’s one feature I’ve really noticed the absence of:

A better developed way of color grading / split toning or as another user posted recently: “Shadows, mid-tones and highlights can’t be addressed individually in the HSL panel”.

I don’t mind which way that’s approached but really notice a lack of fine tuning there vs. other software on the market right now.

Is there any word on development in this area?

Split toning(shadows and highlights) is available if you have licenses for both Photolab 5 Elite and Filmpack 6 Elite.

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Thanks Mark, do you mean the “Style - Toning” section?

I do have access to that but find it’s not as functional as some of its counterparts on the market:

Here’s Lightroom:

And CaptureOne:

And here’s what I’ve got in DXO:

Yes. Click on the Sepia Gold or Ferric Sulfate box and a dropdown menu will appear. Choose the Custom option and your choices will appear. It may not look quite as fancy as the LR or C1 versions, but it is very effective. Have fun!

color grading and split toning are two different tools, not to be confused.

the split toning tool in PL is really limited to few colors and to open more you need filmpack, which is still very limited and not even close to those screenshot you got from Lr and C1.

Screen Shot 2022-01-11 at 11.09.02

Got you, I do have access to that but am finding it’s just not as robust as I was hoping for! I’d like to see a more developed module for that (and ideally not have to buy the Filmpack to access it, though as it happens I already have that… I don’t think it’s fair to ringfence core functionality in that way).

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Thanks mikerofoto - sounds like we have basic split toning here but not color grading?

(In other words: Color grading isn’t a functionality that DxO currently has)?

This feature request already exists here and can be voted for:

Hope that helps.

if you look at your screenshot, you can see split toning is composed of highlight and shadow that only hue and saturation can be adjust, then a “balance” to add more or less on one side over the other.

Color grading has highlight, shadow and midtone, which have more control on hue and saturation adding balance and blending ability.

Looking at my screenshot (fp5), you can see colours are limited to 6 colours to choose from, not a full hue range, maybe fp6 has full range but I haven’t tried it or looked at.

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so far the Windows version (PL5)

with “Custom” introduced by FP6

Hi, do you think you will continue to lock this feature ? What the link with FilmPack ? 139€ just to be able to use split tone…I don’t understand. It’s a basic feature, all image editing software do that.
I really like DXO PhotoLab but this lock make me crazy. I have to export to another application to make the color grading then export the final result and have to clean the intermediate file…huge wasted time.
So I don’t know if I upgrade to PhotoLab 5 or if I come back to Lightroom… :frowning:


There’s a couple of energetic debates on the DxO licensing, feature set and add-on options here and here, as someone brand new to DxO myself I found it interesting to understand some different viewpoints.

Welcome Rudy,

You get a lot more for your 139€ than just split toning when you buy Filmpack 6. Why not use the free 31 day trial and see for yourself?

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Hey folks, don’t forget to vote for the feature - if you want it.

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Filmpack is not about splittoning.(atleast i never use those functions who are telling me they are splittoning, can’t see the benefit from it as a non profesional editor nor photographer. Probably just my ignorance😀)
1 duh Filmemulations, lots of emulations of celuloid film types who used to be epic in use.
(find one or two you like for monochrome and classic B&W and done.)
2 much more usefull advanged contrast sliders. Working fine contrast for softer microcontrast. (is like a bigger brush with feathering) great for skins and older structures.
3 vignetting manual correction and creative vignetting.
4 tiny town perspective. (blur above blur below, sharp in the middle. )
Fun to try but can’t see a real function in my type of images. (not very creative guy i am afraid.)(sorry that’s in viewpoint i just see.)

The discusion about if it should be default inside dxopl elite or not is made often.
My take on it.
The default DxO PL is elite suite. (pl + viewpoint + Filmpack elite)
Do you want to cut down in costs? Remove options you don’t need.
Viewpoint? You could use an other type of manual correction. (Can’t recall exact what’s inside viewpoint now but see here

Dxo’s take on there products is also based on standalone sections as plugin for Adobes products.
Pure raw = base development rawfiles to dng for step 2.(you get there excelent optical modules and excelent denoising but not much else.)
Viewpoint, uses as inbetween step in your common development application.
Filmpack, use as creative part in your workflow. Like DxO NIK is.

Or use it integraded together as a suite , note NIK isn’t complete integrated and doesn’t work on rawfiles but on developed towards 16bit tiff export which is placed back in the folder after return to PL.

Take your poison.:grin:

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FilmPack is built into PhotoLab and can be activated by entering a license code.

FilmPack adds to PhotoLab

  • almost 200 presets
  • a fairly large bunch of film emulations
  • four fine contrast sliders to the contrast tool (1global and 1 each for highs, mids and shadows)
  • and more

This is how PL, FP and VP tools have evolved over the last years:

I agree, I get much more out of FilmPack and FilmPack is a good tool for the film photography simulation. But I don’t want FilmPack because I don’t want to simulate film photography. That’s what I don’t understand, split tone is a basic tool, not related to film simulation.
In my point of view, it’s like Microsoft Word doesn’t allow to change the font color except if you bought Age of Empire :sweat_smile: I am caricaturing, but that is the image I have.

No. I only use the film emulations occasionally, but I use split toning, color filters, fine and advanced contrast sliders, creative vignette and the channel mixer all of the time and while you do get some color renderings(not counting film) without FP6, you get a lot more color renderings with FP6. This is another FP tool that I use all the time. IMO PL5 is not the same great program without FP6 as it is with FP6. Whether or not one uses the film emulations, PL5 is simply not complete without FP6.


Just to clarify, the way you have worded our question assumes that by posting in this forum you are talking to DxO. However, despite it’s URL involving ‘feedback.dxo’, and although DxO staff do read and frequent this forum, it is primarily a user forum.

I’m one such user and I think the answer to your question is, no, DxO will leave it within FilmPack, thus requiring you to spend more money with them.

This suggests you are either using a lower version of PL or you are investigating PL via the full featured 30 day trial. Either way, you should not buy PL5 at this time because PL6 is due out before the end of this month (October). At the very least you should wait until PL6 is out and then take advantage of the full featured 30 day trial before you decide whether or not to part with your money.

It’s a safe bet that PL6 will be launched at a discount price. If the launch discount offer follows the same pattern as previous launch offers, it will end not long before Black Friday (end of Nov.) In previous years DxO have then run a Black Friday deal that is an even greater price reduction than the launch offer. HOWEVER, there is no guarantee that DxO will do that again. Only you can decide whether or not to buy at the launch price or to wait for a better deal on Black Friday (which might not be a better deal after all).

As noted already by @danielfrimley DxO’s licensing causes much debate here. For example, although you do get a lot more than split toning in FilmPack, I did not consider it value for money at full price. Consequently I waited until it became available at a heavily discounted price (on a Black Friday) before I bought FP. Similarly, although FP6 came out last year, I’ve yet to upgrade because I do not consider the difference between FP5 and FP6 to be value for money. Others here will disagree with me though.


Indeed. Silly looking sales decisions. Like having to pay a subscription fee to use the steering wheel of your car. :crazy_face: