RAW Tools

Ansel – organize and develop images from digital cameras

Ansel is photo-editing software for digital artists, designed to help you achieve your own interpretation of raw digital photographs.

Ansel lets you interpret your raw photographs much like a music instrument, when most software tries to automatically play the score for you. It aims at being an underwhelming, boring, tool that just does what you ask of it, without getting in your way.

Ansel is a fork of darktable.

This is free and open source software.

Features include:

  • Color work – ships a recent color science, compatible with HDR : the chromatic adaptation CIE CAT 2016, the HDR color space JzAzBz (2017) and the perceptual color space darktable UCS 2022, developed specifically to manipulate color saturation without the fluorescent effect:
    • Color calibration – fix white balance and get high-fidelity colors in just a few clicks, by calibrating colors with a Color Checker directly in the darkroom.
    • Color-grading – give ambiance and character to your pictures by polishing their color palette with nuanced and fine-grained controls, in RGB, Ych or HSB color spaces, for creative and corrective purposes.
    • Color matching – force the chromatic adaptation such that any selected object matches a predetermined color, input from CIE Lab coordinates (for logos and brand colors), or by sampling the color of the same object in another shot, as to even the color rendition over the series.
    • Hue qualifying and keying – use the hue, chroma and lightness qualifiers to quickly define masks and apply selective effects. Combine parametric masks with drawn masks and boolean operations. Refine and feather the edges of masks by blurring or using clever edges detection.
  • Tonal work – designed to manipulate luminance without affecting hue nor saturation, in order to respect the color work, done apart.
    • HDR tone mapping – recover deep shadows and compress the dynamic range while retaining original saturation and hue, with gamut mapping to ensure the colors fit in the output color space.
    • Zone-system editing – balance densities based on exposure zones, by preserving local contrast thanks to an edge detection algorithm, and select the exposure zones to affect directly from the picture, through the interactive cursor.
  • Image reconstruction with lens deblurring, dehazing, denoising, and highlights reconstruction.
  • Specialized features: Automatic perspective correction and censoring.

Website: ansel.photos
Support: GitHub Code Repository
Developer: Aurélien Pierre
License: GNU General Public License v3.0

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Ansel is written in C. Learn C with our recommended free books and free tutorials.

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1 month ago

Ansel is a stripped-down version of darktable, started from the disagreements between Aurélien Pierre, a darktable developper, and the rest of the darktable team (I hope I am not dumbing down too much the situation). I used the then-called Art&Darktable and later renamed Ansel for about a year or a bit more. The program has less lines of code, is supposed to be more efficient and has a “less is more” approach. I recently swiched back to darktable because I missed a few specific stuff that had been removed in Ansel and also because I love to be able to switch between the two tonal range map tools “filmic” and “Sigmoid” (Ansel has only “Filmic”). People may want to try both before setting on one or the other. Darktable is more popular though, and to be honest I didn’t notice on my PC real differences in performance between the two softwares. Whatever, these two softwares are the results of amazing work from the developpers, so thank you to the whole darktable team.

17 days ago
Reply to  Yopyop

Thanks for explaining, if is “filmic” only then I’ll stay with darktable, as I didn’t get to understand how to work with filmic and use “scene” as a default.