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What the LUT are you talking about?

What the LUT are you talking about?

One of the most popular posts on this blog, is Technicolor Cinestyle. In that post I talk about how its OK to use the Cinestyle LUT as a preview or calibrated view, but not as a “color correction” and linked to Jay Friesen who states, “LUTs are not used to creatively grade a final result, they’re used to make up a difference between a source and a result.”

Well flash forward 4 years,  LUTs (or Look up Tables) have become more commonplace, and their uses are wide and varied.  Not only are there still various LUT’s to make your camera’s log image appear correctly in the edit, but now LUTs are being used for a variety of reasons, both technical and creative.  You can load them into monitors and use them for on-set preview,  use them for film emulation, or even use them like a preset.  Furthermore, many more color correction tools incorporate the use of LUT’s natively in their workflow which allows you to use them as a preset or share them among different color correction platforms. This can be a time-saver and great place to start, but they shouldn’t be used blindly, and should always be used in concert with additional color correction, because every shot is different and needs it’s own settings.

Red Giant and Stu Maschwitz have released a great new video showing how you can use LUT’s in Magic Bullet Looks, but it also illustrates my point clearly and visually.

LUT’s are a very powerful tool in your workflow, from on-set monitoring, through sharing and collaboration.  To learn more about them check out the following excellent resources:

 

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