*Digital Film Tools – Film Stocks Plug-in!

Officially announced and available immediately for $95usd (still image plugin) or $195usd (video plugin) this new offering from Digital Film Tools gives you the same amazing layer based control as Tiffen Dfx v.3,  for 288 different film stock replications.  Read on for examples and more info…

Using a blending of layers from TriX400, Kodak Portra 160NC and Fuji Velvia 50

A great bang for the buck plugin, and beautiful union of cost and quantity compatible with Photoshop (CS3 and later), Aperture 3 and Lightroom 3 or later (or all three programs on the same computer) for all you digital photographers.  For the videophiles out there, the $195 plugin runs in one, more or all of the following: Adobe After Effects, Adobe Premiere Pro, Apple Final Cut Pro 6/7 and Avid Editing Systems if installed on the same machine.  *UPDATE it has been announced that the Film Stocks plug-in now supports Apple Final Cut Pro X and Motion 5. Existing Film Stocks video/film plug-in customers will receive this upgrade at no charge.   I’m no videographer, so I can only guess that the video filters are as cool as their still photo counterparts are.  I’ve run images through the plugin using Aperture 3, Lightroom 3 and Photoshop CS5 and can say, the interface and output is just as slick using all three.

A list of black and white film emulations accompany the color film filters.

Offering a quick, easy and very customizable image editing plugin, DFT allows photographers and videographers the ability to replicate the look of various film stocks.  Why is this interesting, or what does DFT offer that the other current film replication plugins don’t?  Well, for those who are familiar with Tiffen DFX most recent release (you can read my review article HERE) you gain a whole lot of control over these beautifully crafted filters, and the interface within DFT is all but identical, which is a really good thing.  By being able to mask, layer and blend each respective layer as one would do in Photoshop, the possibilities are endless and only limited by your creative vision.  If you have Photoshop, the ideas of layers might not blow your hair back, but for those of us that use Aperture or Lightroom, this is huge.

By opening an image in DFT-Film Stocks, you are met with an intuitive interface (identical in function to Tiffen Dfx v.3) which shows you your image and any added layers on the left, image with real time changes in the middle, your groups of presets along the bottom and the filters within each preset group on the right:

*Selecting a Velvia 50 slide film filter (click image to see larger)

As an added bonus, you get a real time histogram at the bottom right which shows changes as you tweak and manipulate your file to ensure you’re getting your info where you want it.  Once you’ve chosen a filter on the right, you can get into the parameters of each singular filter (via the parameters tab just above the histogram) enabling remarkable control to tones, colors, grain, color filters, sharpening, curves adjustments, vignettes, etc.  See below:

*The Parameters tab allows each filter a fine tuning treatment (click image to see larger)

Combined with the ability to add, mask and blend layers upon layers, this is a pretty amazing amount of software for the money.  There are other film replication plugins out there (I plan to review the upcoming Exposure 4 from Alien Skin very soon) but at this price, Digital Film Tools – Film Stocks provides a solid argument against anything I’ve yet used, and like Exposure, offers both black and white along with color filters.  Much like competition in the hardware side of photography benefiting everyone as it rises the game of all involved, so does the competition on the software side of the digital imaging coin.  At it’s price, I’d say it is perfectly placed between the more budget minded B&W Effects from Topaz, and the more intensive Exposure program from Alien Skin.  Choices at different price points which is good when looking to find the right plugin for each of us.

Going for an older Kodak Elite Color 200 look.

You can download the plugin, and use a fully functional 15 day trial (which I whole heartedly suggest) to see if this is something that works for you.  Download the trial, or buy this plugin directly from Digital Film Tools HERE.  You basically just need to download and install the software when prompted into your host program(s) of choice to initiate the trial and, after the 15 day trial expires you can purchase a license which automatically unlocks the software if you choose to continue with it.

No risk, and without commitment to buy all while getting a full trial for 15 days, the way it certainly should be. Give it a try if you’d like to see how some of your digital files might look if there were shot on film (or just like cool filters).

As always, we’d love to see any examples in our Flickr Group HERE.  

Thanks for the read and happy shooting!


9 thoughts on “*Digital Film Tools – Film Stocks Plug-in!

    • I’ve always really enjoyed using and uploading to Presetpond because it is free. I didn’t realize Thomas was selling presets now… I wouldn’t talk anyone out of that, but I am kinda against paying for Aperture and Lightroom presets. Try downloading some of the free presets for whichever host you choose (LR, Aperture, Photoshop, etc). Keep in mind that so many presets are so dependent on the lighting, color temp, exposure, etc of the file you’re running it on. So many paid presets look cool in their demos because they were tailor fit for the files they’re using and won’t necessarily look that way on a picture taken under completely different exposure settings, light, etc. I’ve really liked finding certain free presets and just reverse engineering them so to speak. If one looks cool, I’ll look at what the preset changes to see how it was done and use that technique to build my own presets for specific shots, or shoots. I tend to build my own presets for say a wedding, or a particular shoot by tweaking my other presets. This works best for me because normally I’ll have a series of shots that are taken with the same light, similar settings, etc and therefore are better fit for that particular series if that makes sense.

      There are tons of free presets out there, and talented people sharing them (and I fully endorse supporting these folks by way of donations or the like). Not to try and take anything away from people trying to sell their presets, but I’ve not seen any Aperture or Lightroom presets that I’d feel are worth the money that most people selling them are asking. Photoshop actions, yes (as they are much more complex potentially), but just slider tweaks in a host program like Ap3 or LR3, nah. It may just be me, but I like the idea of using a fairly topical program like Aperture or Lightroom to share presets that we’ve collectively come up with as a community myself. Check the presets post here:


      Lots of links to freebies, etc.


  1. How is Film Stocks different from Tiffen Dfx?
    I’m under the impression that Film Stocks is just a cut-down version of Tiffen Dfx. Are there particular effects that Tiffen Dfx don’t have?


    • Hi AJ,

      You are partially correct. Tiffen Dfx has a film stock grouping of film replication presets, but DFT Film Stocks expands on the overall amount of film specific presets offered. Very similar (basically identical) layer based interface though. If film like presets were the only goal, I think DFT would be the better bet, but Tiffen Dfx includes a ton of different types of filters from color filter replications, to catch lights, toning, etc. Pricing also reflects that though too.


  2. Pingback: Trick Photography Film Vs Digital Side | Trick Photography Secret

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