Apassion project or a professional campaign, the process is always more or less the same: you pick up your camera, you follow your vision and get your shots and then go to your computer to transfer your footage over and get editing. Color grading is usually the last and arguably one of the most important steps in this long creative process. We have all wished there was a way to make this process a little quicker and thankfully, there is! Enter: LUTs.
In case you are new to them, LUTs are a quick and easy way to simplify the color grading process and help you get the best results for your work and better realize your vision. This tutorial will show you how you can install and use LUTs straight onto your desktop computer. Our hassle-free guide has been created by experienced professionals and all you have to do is follow the steps below to get started.
In this guide, you will find tutorials on how to install your LUTS in Davinci Resolve (2 ways).
You will also find a tutorial on what camera settings to use when you shoot. This will help you get the best possible results when you transfer your footage on your desktop for editing and apply your LUTs.
Video shooting gear covered in the tutorial is for DJI, Canon, GoPro, Sony and RED.
As every video is different (exposure, white balance, etc.), small adjustments are recommended to achieve an optimal result. Please ensure your White Balance is correct before applying a LUT. This can drastically change the look of the LUT.
You can find a variety of cinematic LUTs available, expertly developed by our professional team of videographers, simply by following this link: View Film LUTs
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.
How to add LUTs in Davinci Resolve (2 Steps):
1: How to install LUTs in Davinci Resolve
- Open Davinci Resolve on your computer. Open a project.
- Click on the settings icon located in the bottom right corner. A new window will pop up.
- Go to Color Management. Scroll down and find 'Lookup Tables'. Then click on 'Open LUT Folder'.
- The LUT Folder window pops up. Drag and drop the entire downloaded and unzipped folder into the LUT Folder.
- Close the LUT Folder. In the 'Color Management' tab (step 4), click 'Update Lists'.
- Click 'Save'.
You are done! Have fun using the LUTs!
2: How to apply a LUT in Davinci Resolve without installation
- Open Davinci Resolve. Then open a project.
- Go to the 'Color' tab (find it on the bottom).
- Right-click on a node. Go down to '3D LUT' and find your LUTs.
- Choose a look from the list and voilà: your footage is graded!
BOUNCE COLOR LUTS
Camera settings for optimal results:
We've all been there, you pick up your camera, put in the work, get your amazing shots and then transfer your footage over for editing, exited to use those new LUTs you just got the other day. Only when you apply the LUTs to your footage it just looks all wrong. Well we can help with that. More often than not, the way LUTs look on raw footage will be massively impacted by the way the shots were taken.
So let's talk camera settings for optimal results!
- - Shoot in BMDFilm and you're good to go!
- We have included in our packs a BMDFilm - Rec709 Standard conversion LUT. Also we have included direct BMDFilm - creative LUTs so you're good to go no matter what.
We also have a well crafted Natural LUT specially created for all Blackmagic cameras.
Take a look here - Blackmagic Natural LUT
- - Shoot in D-LOG.
- - Expose your image so the Histogram is centred.
- - It should look close to the one shown on the right:
Shoot in a flat picture profile.
Some Canon cameras will have a color profile called C-LOG, this will be your best bet to maintain a high dynamic range.
If you don't have C-LOG, please use a neutral profile and apply our Rec709 LUTs.
Make sure you have ProTune turned ON.
The settings we use are:
- ProTune: ON
- White Balance: AUTO
- Color: FLAT
- Shutter: AUTO
- ISO: 800
- Sharpness: MED or LOW (depending on your taste)
- - Shoot in SLOG2 or SLOG3 if available for your camera. Or shoot in Cine4 or HLG if you prefer.
- - Don’t overexpose or underexpose!
- - Rule of thumb: Better to underexpose than overexpose, although with grading with SLOG2/3 footage, it’s good to keep on +2 exposure while recording as when you grade, the footage darkens -2 exposure.
- - We have a LUT created to help with grading your SLOG2/3 back to a clean look.
Take a look here - Clean LUT
- - Shoot in RED RAW.
- - We use Gamma Curve: REDLOGFILM
- - If you want Rec709, with RED you can change the Gamma curve in the RAW settings from REDLOGFILM to Gamma3.
Shoot in VLOG if available on your camera. If not then use a neutral color profile & use Rec709 LUTs.
We have a VLOG - Rec709 LUT here - VLOG Clean LUT
All other cameras:
- You can use any camera with LUTs. You will just need to find the optimal setting that works for you. All of our LUTs come with Rec709 versions, so you can apply these to any standard color footage from any camera.
And you're done!
Now you can go ahead and get your favorite LUTs installed on your computer and apply them on your video footage to get the best out of your work. Get those creative juices flowing!
Should you find yourself troubled with any of the above, fear not, we've got you! Just let us know by emailing us at email@example.com and we will get you going in no time.