May 2020

How to add LUTs to Final Cut Pro X

Quick & easy (2 Ways)

New & Updated 2020

how to add luts to final cut

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 out how to install your LUTs in Final Cut Pro X (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 Blackmagic, DJI, Canon, GoPro, Sony, RED and Panasonic, as well as advice for all other cameras.

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 to Final Cut Pro X (2 Ways):

Way 1: How to install LUTs Using Color Finale 2

This isn't compulsory but we highly recommend this incredible plugin to use our LUTs in Final Cut, it's called Color Finale 2. You can get a free trial to see how it works.

Get a free trial of Color Finale 2

This add-on to Final Cut Pro X is a very high quality color grading plugin designed by film industry professionals. You can easily import and view LUTs, also it’s designed with the ability to customize your looks, using Color Finale's in-built color tools.

Color Finale has all the advanced tools that you will see in the likes of Davinci Resolve, some of which are: curves, mask tracking, film grain, in-built presets, LUT loader, color wheels and much more. The guys who created this plugin know exactly what they are doing and shine above all other color tools for Final Cut.

install luts davinci resolve
install luts davinci resolve

This is how to use Color Finale 2 LUT Management System

Way 2: How to install a LUT using FCPX tools

Final Cut’s Way:

This way is a simple quick 3 step process. Super easy to use LUTs.

  • Open the ‘Effects’ Browser and click the ‘Color’ tab
  • Drag and drop the ‘Custom LUT’ Plugin to your footage
  • Then you can simply import your LUT

Note:

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 apply a LUT in FCPX in 10 seconds

custom lut
apply a lut
apply a lut in fcpx

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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!

Blackmagic:

  • -  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
dji logo

DJI:

  • -  Shoot in D-LOG.
  • -  Expose your image so the Histogram is centred.
  • -  It should look close to the one shown on the right:
dji logo

Canon:

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.

canon logo

GoPro:

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)
gopro

Sony:

  • -  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
sony

RED:

  • -  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.
red gemini

Panasonic:

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 support@bouncecolor.com and we will get you going in no time.

Have fun!

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