How to COLOR GRADE your footage using LUTS!

Color grading is an essential process in the world of videography and filmmaking, as it has the power to transform the mood and tone of your footage. One popular method of color grading is using LUTs (Look-Up Tables) to achieve a desired look or style. LUTs are pre-made color grading presets that can be easily applied to your footage to create a cohesive and professional aesthetic. In this blog, we will explore the ins and outs of color grading with LUTs, including how to apply them, customize them, and make your footage truly stand out. Join us as we dive into the world of color grading and elevate your filmmaking skills!

How to COLOR GRADE your footage using LUTS

How to COLOR GRADE your footage using LUTS!

What’s up everybody, Peter McKinnon here, and today, we’re talking about color grading, LUTs, and presets. You’ve been asking for it, so here it is. A few months ago, I put out a video called How to Make Your Footage Look Cinematic Fast. You guys loved it, I loved it, it was a good time to be had. Since then, I’ve been asked so many times “Do you use LUTs? Do you use presets? “If you do, where can I buy them? Do you sell them? “What’s the deal, what’s going on? Hit me back.” Today, I’m answering that question. And the answer is yes, I do use presets, LUTs. For those of you who don’t know what that means, it’s a short form, LUT for look up table. Essentially, it’s a file that contains code, and once you put that file on your footage, it makes your footage look a certain way. So because you guys asked for it, today I have made my seven LUTs available for purchase, using the link below, you can check that out. You can download those, apply them to your footage, and get the same kind of look that you see in my cinematic cut-ins in the vlogs and the B-roll stuff that I do.

Applying LUTs to Your Footage

When you open up the file, you’re gonna see these seven cube files. Can’t really double click ’em and open them, they’re not really gonna do anything, but We’re gonna use them through Premier Pro and apply them to our clips. Firstly, save them to somewhere you’re not gonna lose ’em. Dropbox, maybe have something locally, on an external, and in the cloud. Three things are always a good way to back up your files. So check this out. We’ve got a clip here of me shooting some B-roll in the forest, we have a clip here of the street from an airplane, and a dude busting a manual in Venice Beach. Make sure your Lumetri tab is open, hit Window, down here, under Lumetri, that’s available in the CC version of Premier Pro. That’s gonna give you this tab on the side here.

Adjusting Opacity and Applying LUTs

Come over here to the first frame here of the clip, making sure that adjustment layer is selected. In your Lumetri panel over here, it says Input LUT, you’re gonna click on that menu, hit Browse, And that’s gonna open, you’re gonna navigate to where you saved those LUTs, and now you have access to them. We got Arctic Circle, Black Eye, Clean and Tidy, Fade Out, Kodak Killer, Noir, and Teal and Orange. Start with Arctic Circle. It’s gonna make things look colder, that’s why it’s called Arctic Circle. Right away, I can tell you that it’s coming on too strong, like someone that’s got some bad cologne, and you’re like This is why you apply it to an adjustment layer. Change the opacity of the LUT that’s applied to this clip. We start that at zero, and then introduce it slowly. Kodak Killer is one of my favorites, it’s kind of like a film emulation, it’s kind of vintage, It’s got a warm feel to it. It’s what I use in 80% of my vlogs, when I do cinematic B-roll sequences, so that’s one you guys will probably really like.

Final Touches and Professional Look

If you cake on a filter at 100%, and it’s coming in hot, it tends to be a little more on the amateur side, but toning them back usually is a little more of a professional look to it. So adjust the opacity to your liking to achieve the desired look. There is no right, there’s no wrong. Sure, there’s things that look better or look worse, but that’s all subjective. If you like it and you’re happy, then it’s good to go. So have fun, experiment, and find the best way to color grade your footage using LUTs.

FAQ: How to COLOR GRADE your footage using LUTS!

What are LUTs?

LUTs, or Look Up Tables, are pre-determined color settings that can be applied to your video footage to achieve a specific look or style.

Why use LUTs for color grading?

LUTs can save you time by providing a quick starting point for color grading your footage. They can also help maintain consistency across different shots or scenes in your video.

How do I apply LUTs to my footage?

In most video editing software, you can apply LUTs by importing them into the program and then selecting the desired LUT from a dropdown menu or applying it directly to your footage.

Can I customize LUTs to fit my desired look?

Yes, many video editing software programs allow you to adjust the intensity of the LUT or make additional corrections to achieve the exact look you want.

Where can I find LUTs to use for color grading?

You can find free and paid LUTs online from various sources. Some LUTs are specifically designed for certain cameras or shooting conditions, so be sure to select LUTs that are compatible with your footage.

I hope you find useful my article How to COLOR GRADE your footage using LUTS!, I also recommend you to read my other posts in my blog at this link.

If you need help with anything join the community or do not hesitate to contact me.

Best of luck! and follow your passion.

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