What Are LUTs and How Do You Use Them?

What Are LUTs and How Do You Use Them?

My time on the set is the least of my involvement. Most of my time is in pre-production and post-production.

-Charlie Kaufman

Have you ever wondered what a LUT is and how to use them to make your film better? Well, do we have an article for you! Read on to find out all about it. After you’re done, you’ll be begging for some awesome LUTs for your next project. If you want to learn more about post-production, how about checking out what a DIT does!

What Are LUTs?

Let’s dive right into it, what is a LUT? Since you’re reading this article, I’ll assume that you’re new to this. So, I’ll keep this very basic. LUT stands for Lookup Table. Essentially, it’s a color preset that can be used in virtually every color correction software that’s available. A few examples of this are Premiere Pro, Davinci Resolve, and Avid, just to name a few of the popular ones. These LUTs are built for color correcting and color grading your film or video. If you find a LUT that you like somewhere (we suggest here), you can easily and quickly add this look to your film, without very much knowledge of color correction! 

Another extremely useful thing that a LUT can provide is the ability to upload it to certain monitors on set. This allows the director and DP to know what the image will look like after color correction is completed in post-production. 

LUTs are used across the entire industry. Whether it’s a small indie film or the next massive Marvel movie. There’s always a use for it!

How Do You Use Them?

You typically apply a LUT to a log image. So it is important that when you’re shooting your footage, your white balance is correct and your image is properly exposed. That kind of goes without saying but you should know that LUTs can’t always save the look of your film. You have to be applying it to properly shot footage for it to work well. You use log because you get the most dynamic range and latitude while color grading.

Unfortunately, there is a different method for applying your LUT depending on which software you’re using. Instead of us going through it step by step, software by software, we have this handy article from AbelCine for you! This covers the following programs:

  • Final Cut Pro X
  • Adobe Premiere Pro CC
  • Avid Media Composer 7
  • DaVinci Resolve 10

Do You Understand What A LUT Is Now?

I hope this article is informative! You can definitely dive deeper into LUTs if you’d like, we barely scratched the surface and there’s a lot more that you can learn. A LUT can truly take your film to the next level and move your audience in a way you never thought possible just by adding a few color tweaks. If you’re new and want to get your LUT right away, check these ones out

As always, I’d like to suggest creating a free FilmLocal account with us. I can guarantee that it will help boost your film career!

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