RAW development with Vulkan darktable

The RAW converter Vulkan darktable outpaces its competitors with a modern node-graph-based architecture and massive use of the GPU.

Open-source photographers have access to a massive selection of RAW developers, the two best-known and most mature representatives of this category being darktable [1] and RawTherapee [2]. Both are aimed at demanding amateur users and professional photographers and have an enormous range of functions.

Some time ago a RawTherapee fork named ART [3] saw the light of day. ART tries to make it easier for beginners and technically less-experienced users to get started. In addition, a new version of LightZone [4] was released a few months ago, after a gap of several years. PhotoFlow [5] and Filmulator [6] are also two interesting new programs.

This group has recently been joined by a completely new program: Johannes Hanika, the founder of the darktable project, is now working on a RAW converter, the biggest highlight of which is its processing speed. Because the tool uses the Vulkan programming interface [7], which was previously mainly used in computer games, he has dubbed the software Vulkan darktable, or vkdt for short. (See the “Interview with Johannes Hanika” box.)


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