May 2020

What are LUTs

Simple & Technical

what are luts

In Simple Terms

A LUT is a color preset/filter that is universally compatible in nearly all editing software like Premiere Pro, Final Cut Pro X, Davinci Resolve, Filmora, Avid and much more. They have many uses, color correcting (basic), color grading (creative) and technical (monitors etc.). They are useful for editing the color and tone of an image. A LUT is the most efficient way to transform the colors of your image, for example to add dark tones or edit clean, crisp colors. LUTs are also compatible in many different camera monitors, this can be used to give you a live representation of what the LUT will look like in the editing suite.

Technical Terms

A LUT (Lookup Table) is essentially the modifier between two images, the original image and the displayed image, based on a mathematical formula. LUTs can be technical, creative or camera specific.

Color LUTs take in color values and give out corresponding colors, some LUTs increase saturation, others punch contrast and some even change colors entirely. Most of the time they will do a combination of things. No matter how complicated an image may seem, a LUT is simply a process that turns one color into another.

The good thing about LUTs is they can be used in nearly any program that adjusts color. Because LUTs work with so many programs, they are more useful than traditional color presets that only work in one app.

Introduction to LUTs | How beneficial & easy they are

We want to introduce everyone to how easy and beneficial it is to use LUTs.

LUTs are used in many different scenarios from creative looks, calibrating monitors or even log conversion LUTs. They are universal compatible in most editing software as well as monitors which makes them ultra handy to transfer between all your devices.

Why should you use LUTs?

LUTs in simple terms, is a video color grading preset that is compatible with all major editing software. A LUT has many uses, from beginners all the way up to the professionals on Hollywood films.

LUTs are most commonly used for creating and saving color grades, which can be used video projects.

They can also make log or flat footage come to life by adding contrast and style or converting it back into a Rec709 color space. You can even load a LUT into your camera monitor or desktop monitor. On desktops they are used to calibrate your monitor so you have the perfect true colors, on camera monitors they give you an idea of what the finished look of your film might be.

Read more:

Basic Correction LUT   

Used for Log to Rec709 Conversion LUTs

basic conversion lut

Creative LUT

Used for adding creative colors

apply a lut premiere pro

Good rules to follow BEFORE applying a LUT

  • Ensure white balance is corrected before applying the LUT.
  • Ensure your exposure is correct. Histograms can help.
  • It’s better to under-expose your footage, than over-expose. (Safer to enhance the darks as you cannot recover blown-out highlights).

As every video is different (exposure, white balance, etc.), small adjustments are recommended to achieve an optimal result. Again, please ensure your White Balance is correct before applying a LUT. This can drastically change the LUTs look.

Here you can learn how to place a LUT for:

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Learn how to apply a LUT in Premiere Pro
in 10 Seconds

This method is similar in all other editing software. Very simple and straight forward way to import a LUT in Premiere Pro. This process is very similar in all major editing software. All you need to do is find the effect inside the software that will import the LUT.

Please ensure you have corrected the exposure and white balance on your footage to see optimal results using our LUTs.

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