FAQs

3D LUTs or Look Up Tables are nothing more than a table of numbers that apply a color transform to an image. What makes color grading LUTs unique however is their ability to apply complex color grades that can imitate the look of major motion picture films. It’s now possible to accurately emulate all the subtle nuances and color shifts of your favorite film!
Color grading systems like Adobe Premiere, DaVinci Resolve, Final Cut Pro X and Cinema Grade plugin support 3D LUTs as well as other editing applications that support LUTs in the .cube format.

Conversion LUT/Camera LUTs be used to make a clip look as it was originally shot. Assuming good exposure, you can use the LUT as your grade, or as the starting point of a grade. Of course you don’t have to use a camera LUT at all – you can always Convert LOG to Rec 709 by adding some contrast and Saturation .

Note that Camera LUTs are applied first in the processing chain, so they can therefore clip shadow and highlight detail that isn’t recoverable in the grading process. With a well-exposed shot this usually isn’t an issue.

A Creative LUT goes beyond normalizing the footage to a specific color space by also making creative adjustments. These LUTs are great for mimicking the look of a particular film stock, popular effect, or other stylized look. It’s not uncommon for a director, DP, and colorist to work together to create custom Creative LUTs before production begins that can be used on set to monitor what the final images will look like more accurately. This LUT can also be applied to dailies and then brought back into the mix during post production to serve as a starting point for the final grade. Perhaps even more so than Display LUTs, creative LUTs should be camera-specific

You Get two categories of LUTs

  1. Utility/ Conversion LUT -> To convert Cameras’s LOG footage into usable footage for proceeding with more stylistic color grading.
  2. 108 Stylistic LUTs -> To define mood and compliment your color shot.

NOTE

Conversion LUTs must be applied before any other color adjustments.
You apply a conversion LUT to your footage, then you color grade or apply a second LUT for the look.
The generic LUTs (LOG to 709 and 709 to LOG) may be useful under certain conditions
(low light, high ISO, underexposed or overexposed scene, etc),
or for reset the image in order to match multiple cameras using different profiles.

Many cameras, including those from Sony, Canon, RED and ARRI cameras have a Log recording mode. When the Log modes are activated, the image becomes flat and desaturated, but you can still see it on a monitor. This should clue you in that Log recording is just standard video recording in the sense that all pixels display color and brightness information. Log isn’t raw; it’s video. However, it’s a special way of capturing that maximizes the tonal range of a sensor.

The idea of Log recording came about with Kodak’s Cineon system for scanning film. The system scanned film into a Log format that corresponded to the density of the original film. This maximized the information from the film that could be stored in the video format. Because this information has many shades of gray—very low contrast—it needs to be corrected for proper viewing on a monitor.Sony, Canon and ARRI have all taken the idea of Log film scanning and applied it to their sensors. They map a “Log” gamma curve that pulls the most information off of their sensors. Sony calls their map S-Log, Canon’s is Canon Log, and ARRI’s is LogC. Each is designed for a specific camera, but all have a similar result. Because Log is a video image, manipulations like white balance and ISO are baked in. A transform of this video data, known as a lookup table (LUT), is required for proper viewing, which makes the video look more “normal” to us. A standard LUT converts the Log video to standard (Rec. 709) HD video. 

Rec 709Rec. 709 is the standardized format for color in high definition video. This is the look produced by a video camera that is white balanced and exposed properly. When a video camera is setup and used correctly to shoot a well-lit scene, the results are going to be favorable and usable for the editor.

METHOD 1

  • Step 1 Apply the “Lumetri Color” effect to the footage in your timeline. This effect can be found in the “Effects and Presets” browser, within the “Color Correction” folder.
  • Step 2 Navigate to the “Creative” tab inside the Lumetri Color Effect Panel and select the drop down menu next to “Look”. Then select “Browse”.
  • Step 3 Select your desired LUT and it will be applied to your clip.
    This method works perfectly in Premiere Pro, however each time you want to switch to a new LUT you will need to repeat steps 2 and 3.

METHOD 2

Alternatively, you can also install the LUTs manually in a subfolder within the Premiere Pro application so that you don’t need to re-load them each time you want to use a new LUT.
To accomplish this, you will need to copy and paste the .cube files into the following subfolder:

  • Mac: Macintosh HD/Applications/Adobe Premiere Pro/Adobe Premiere Pro.app (right click and select “Show Package Contents”)/Contents/Lumetri/LUTs/Technical
  • PC: C:/Program Files/Adobe/Adobe Premiere Pro/Lumetri/LUTS/Technical

Once you have placed the .cube files into the correct folders, follow these steps:

  • Step 1 Apply the “Lumetri Color” effect to the footage in your timeline. This effect can be found in the “Effects and Presets” browser, within the “Color Correction” folder.
  • Step 2 Navigate to the “Basic Correction” tab inside the Lumetri Color Effect and select the drop down menu next to “Input LUT”.
  • Step 3 Select your desired LUT from the dropdown menu and it will be applied to your clip.
    Please note that although this method is more convenient than Method 1, Premiere Pro is technically using your LUT files as an “input LUT” as opposed to an “output LUT”. This may be an important consideration depending on your overall color workflow.

Step 1 Copy and paste the .cube files into the “LUT” folder located here:

Mac: /Library/Application Support/Blackmagic Design/DaVinci Resolve/LUT/
PC: ProgramData/Blackmagic Design/DaVinci Resolve/Support/LUT

You may choose to either copy the individual .cube files, or copy the folder that they are contained in. By copying the folder, the LUT files will be organized in a sub-folder when you later access them inside of Resolve.

Step 2 Launch DaVinci Resolve, and your LUT files will now automatically be loaded into the software.

Step 3 Apply your LUT in Resolve by doing the following:
In the Color Panel, create a new serial node and then right click on that node. Scroll down to “3D LUT” and then select your desired LUT from the sub menu. Once selected, it will instantly apply the look to your footage.

  1. Select a video clip in the browser or the timeline.
  2. In the Info inspector, click the Metadata View pop-up menu in the bottom-left corner and choose General, Extended, or Settings.
  3. Click the Camera LUT pop-up menu and choose Add Custom Camera LUT.In the window that appears, navigate to the LUT file you want to import, and select it.
  4. You can import 3D LUT files with the filename extensions .cube and .mga. You can select single files, multiple files, or a folder of files.
  5. Click the Output Color Space pop-up menu and choose the target color space that the custom camera LUT converts to.
  6. The target color space is usually indicated in the custom camera LUT name.Click Open.
  7. The custom camera LUT you imported appears in the Custom Camera section of the Camera LUT pop-up menu. If you imported a folder of LUT files, it appears as a submenu in that section of the pop-up menu.

Step 1 Right click on a clip in your Bin and select “Source Settings”.

Step 2 In the “Source Settings” window, click “Color Management Settings”.

Step 3 In the “Color Management Settings” window, click on “Select LUT File”.

Step 4 Navigate to the desired .cube files and click “Open”. Once the LUTs are loaded into Avid Media Composer, you can close the “Color Management Settings” window.

Step 5 In the “Source Settings” window, select your desired LUT from the drop down menu and click “Add”. The LUT will then be applied to your clip.

You can also use LUT files to color grade still images inside of Adobe Photoshop by following these steps:

Step 1 Open an image inside of Photoshop and then select “Layer” in the top menu bar. Navigate to “New Adjustment Layer” and click on “Color Lookup”.

Step 2 An Adjustment Layer will now appear on top of your image in the “Layers” panel. The “Properties” panel should also now be open. If it isn’t open, select “Window” in the top menu bar, and then click on “Properties”.

Step 3 On the “Properties“ tab, select the small grid-like icon on the top left (if it isn’t already selected), and select “3DLUT File” if it isn’t selected by default.

Step 4 Click on “Load 3D LUT” from the drop-down menu, and navigate to the LUT file of your choosing, Once selected, the LUT will be automatically applied to your image.

It’s also worth noting that you can dial down the opacity of your adjustment layer to decrease the effect if you want to create a more subtle look.

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