There are different kinds of software to color-grade you footage, like Da Vinci, Final Cut and of course Premiere Pro, the one we use. With every software, it’s possible to use LUTs when color grading your footage. But what are they and how do they work? In this tutorial we will explain how you can give you footage the wanted look with a LUT.
Before you can use a LUT, you have to have footage. Preferably you want to film your shots as flat as possible, with a Log video. The Panasonic GH5 that we are using uses a V-log. Shooting in Log is primarily designed to maximize the dynamic range. This comes in handy when your shot has very bright and dark parts, this way you can prevent the under or over exposure of your image. But when shooting in a controlled environment like a studio, you don’t always have to use a Log, a neutral setting can be flat enough for shooting in the studio. We just find it easier to match all our clips to each other when filmed in Log.
After editing your clips, it’s time to colorgrade and give your clips that awesome look you want. You can achieve this but manually grading your footage, like we recently did in our complete color grading tutorial. But you can also use LUTs to grade your footage, just keep in mind that using LUTs is a fast way of achieving a look and won’t have that professional feeling like a manually grade. So when combining a LUT and some manual tweaking, you can achieve some awesome, even cinematic, looks for your video.
A LUT is basically a modifier between your source file and the displayed image and can be seen as a mathematical formula. There are different types of LUTs you can use, like viewing, transform, calibration, 1D and 3D LUTs. But they mostly have the same purpose, emulate the final printed image as displayed on the screen at the end of the film process. Being very popular these days, you can find endless amounts of Free LUTs online or more professional ones, which come at a small price. And if you want, you can always make your own custom LUTs of course.
So when using LUTs, it’s perfectly okay to use them seperatly, for a fast and descend look. But if you are going for a more professional and cinematic look, we advise you to use LUTs combined with a manual colorgrading for that extra popping look!
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