Quick Guide: LUTs | Look-Up Tables FAQ
What is a LUT?
A LUT aka "Lookup Table" is a .cube file for color grading video footage and images.
Essentially, it's a color grading setting exported as a "preset" (.cube file) that you can easily apply in most photo and video editing software.
Why use LUTs? What is the benefit of using a LUT? What is the purpose of LUTs?
Just like any other shortcut, it gives you a quick and easy set of specific looks directly on your footage or images within a few clicks.
There are all kinds of luts and lut packs to achieve unique color grading styles: cinematic luts, heat map luts, infrared luts, film luts, and more.
What software can LUTs be used in?
LUTs (Lookup Tables) can be used in Premiere Pro, Photoshop, Final Cut Pro X, Davinci Resolve, Avid, and more.
How do you install LUTs?
Here's how you install and use LUTs in each of the following software:
- How To Install LUTs in Premiere Pro
- How To Install LUTs in Photoshop
- How To Install LUTs in FCPX
- How To Install LUTs in Davinci Resolve
- How To Install LUTs in Avid
Which LUT is best?
The "best" LUT is the one that gives you the look that you are envisioning. It all depends on the specific style you are imagining and wanting to achieve.
Do professionals use LUTs?
Yes, pros use many types of LUTs as a starting place, the most popular being conversion LUTs.
For example, an Alexa LogC to Rec709.cube (lut). Which instantly color grades the Alexa LogC picture and converts it to the standard Rec709 gamut.
However, see the difference between how amateurs and professionals use LUTs in this great tutorial by Qazi.
Where can you find LUTs / LUT Packs?
There are a number of different sites that sell LUTs and LUT packs for download.
Here's a full list of the best free and paid LUTs the internet has to offer.
Some of our favorites are...
What is Camera Log? Why shoot in S-Log?
Camera Log aka S-Log is a camera profile that looks "flat" but retains the widest dynamic range of color and tone in the picture.
Its one of the best formats to film in because it provides you with the most amount of color range or latitude when you are color grading footage.
Can you use LUTs on S-Log Footage?
Yes, you can apply LUTs to most any footage format.
We hope you’ve found this Guide on LUTS FAQ to be useful and practical.
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