Layers and Blend Modes

For me DXO PhotoLabs is #1 Raw Processor but would like to see some improvements to match Capture One Pro.

I recently switched from C1P because i love how PL6 renders Colors and has a less clinical image.

But we need Layers and Blend Modes.

For me it would be amazing to have minimal Photoshop/Affinity photo use for editing and having layers and blend modes would complete my use.

Mainly for Dodge & Burning and having ability to use Check layers to analyze image imperfections.

B/W layer for analysis
Hue Saturation Layer for analysis
Solar Curve
Invert Layer for analysis

Dodge & Burn layers

This would be awesome to have!

Then I would only need Photoshop/Affinity for Healing

When i used C1P this was my workflow. I did all editing and Color work and only used Photoshop/Affinity for Rasterized work such as Healing and Frequency Separation

If Photolabs had all features, wowowowowowo!

I wonder why no Raw processors have ability to use Healing and Frequency Separation technologies?

That is the Golden Ticket

If you search all PhotoLab Feature Requests for the word layers, you’ll find existing feature requests you can vote for and add comments to. I think it would be worthwhile to do that instead of creating a new feature request to start over again and risking being ignored by long-time members.

You might also find that it’s already possible to do some of what you’re asking for in PhotoLab using local adjustments. I’m sure improvements can be made, though. Best wishes.


Well, there’s a workaround for one layer (2nd image) + blend mode, which is the signature feature.
You can select a second image as a signature file and use the signature blend mode.

I think ON1 Photo Raw has pretty much what you are asking for. Frequency separation is part of Portrait AI where you are most likely to need frequency separation. You can of course use DXO to denoise, lens corrections and colour adjustments and then fine tune in ON1. From ON1’s browser you can open a raw image in DXO for pre-processing.

I don’t think the kind of capabilities you are asking for are even on DXO’s radar.

IAN!!! This is AWESOME!!!

Dude Thank ya!!!

It has layers for RAW too!!! wooohooooooo

Runs plugins like Topaz Photo AI as well, so might run Pure Raw. Output of plugins comes in as a layer which is neat.

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Holy Crap! It also has Luts!!!

Bro, i think i found my software!!!

It has everything i need for RAW editing

Big thanks man!

Please no layers.


Well, what would you call the list of local adjustments?

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I’m not trying to tell anyone how to do their job/hobby, but one thing I discovered about myself when moving from Lightroom to Aperture to Lightroom to Luminar to… tried ON1 but not for me, so… PhotoLab and then adding Luminar, Topaz, and occasionally Affinity Photo into the mix… what you think you want isn’t necessarily what you need. Also (with a nod to @Joanna) what you want may already be there with a different name.

The way I edit in PhotoLab is nothing like I used to edit in Lightroom. The result? I far prefer what PhotoLab has enabled me to do. Never stop learning or experimenting. (Unless, perhaps, you are being paid to churn stuff out.)





Not in the sense that “layers” is usually meant - - in that the order in which layers are applied is specific and important … Whereas, the order in which Local Adjustments are applied is not so clearly prescribed.

A good question to ask, tho - Where are details of non-destructive edits/corrections stored ?

  • In yet another “black box” database … or, where ?

Also, I don’t think @Ian was proposing you replace PL (because ON1’s actual RAW processing is nowhere as good as PL’s) … I understood Ian was suggesting you first use PL (or DxO Pure RAW) to process your RAWs and then pass a DNG file to (say) ON1 for further editing at the pixel level.

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That’s what I was thinking but it’s personal choice. ON1 looks like it can largely replace a pixel editor like Affinity Photo.

If they need to be called something, I guess I would call them adjustment layers.
My wish is that DXO PL does not try to be Photoshop.
I am happy to do all my layer work in Affinity Photo.

Before DXO I used ON1 and found it consistently irritating.
I was happy to get rid of it.

I have owned a license for ON1 since 2018 and have upgraded every year hoping it would get better, but I am not upgrading to the 2024 version. I agree with you 100%, it is very irritating.


Perhaps oddly, I’m hoping that Photo RAW 2024 is “the one.”

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That is possible, however, after my initial disappointment with ON1 2018, I continued to upgrade in 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022, and 2023. While each improved compared to the previous version they all ended up being an irritating disappointment to me. ON1 2024 is probably an improvement on 2023, but I am guessing I will still be unhappy with it. ON 1 is clearly not the package for me. It seems to have lots of promise but I have never been happy with its design, tool implementation, and the results i get with it. I’m tired of spending my money on ON1 only to uninstall it after a few months.


I’m hopeful the overhauled interface will fix some of that - right now that’s somewhat of a disjointed mess.

Results are the key. In its current form, it gets by on its breath of features. But the competition is strong and adding features.

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I am not even going to bother with this upgrade. Let us know your opinion after you trial it.