May 2020

What are LUTs?

Simple & Technical explanations

what are luts color balance

In Simple Terms

A LUT is a color preset/filter that is universally compatible in nearly all video 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 tone and color correction of an image. A LUT is the most efficient way of color grading or to transform the colors of your image. For example to add dark tones or edit clean, crisp colors. LUTs are also compatible on 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 or to give you nice colors while shooting in Log color space.

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.

LUTs take in color values and give out corresponding colors, some LUTs increase saturation, others punch contrast and some even change colors entirely for a cinematic color grading effect. 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 of color correction 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 within one app. LUTs are universally read by all major editing software.

LUTs are beneficial & easy to use

We want to introduce everyone to how easy and beneficial applying a LUT is.

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

Why should you use LUTs?

LUTs in simple terms, is a video color grading preset that is compatible with all major editing software. There are different types of LUTs and has many uses, from beginners all the way up to the professionals on Hollywood films. You should take a look at our article on 5 Reasons why you should be using LUTs.

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

They can also bring log or flat footage back to life by adding specific looks and styles, or converting it back into a Rec709 color space. You can even load a LUT into your camera monitor or desktop monitor. On desktops, we use LUTs to calibrate your monitor so you have the perfect true colors using monitor calibrators. On camera monitors they give you an idea of what the finished look of your film might be or even just to be able to see a standard look if you are using Log profiles.

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

Important Guidelines Before Using LUTs

  • Ensure white balance is correct when using LUTs! This will dramatically change the look of the LUT.
  • Ensure your exposure is correct when using LUTs. You can use a histogram to help in camera or editing software.
  • When using LUTs, your footage may need small adjustments to get optimal results, such as exposure, saturation, contrast, etc. depending on your preference.
  • Shooting conditions such as lighting, weather, locations etc. can vary which can drastically affect a LUTs look. Some LUTs will work better in different scenarios. It’s best practice to experiment with which LUTs work best for your style and scenes.

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.

Tips & Tricks Using LUTs Blog

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will sutton


Will Sutton


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