May 31, 2016 at 11:50AM

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LUT vs No LUT

Hey guys - so I've seen a lot of discussion (not on here but on various facebook groups)

Between people who like and late LUTS - I was wondering your thoughts on it?

Personally I love them - They're NOT a finishing point for me at all, they're a starting point to help me into a direction, personally I see nothing bad with them.
IF you were to use the LUT as the only form of colour grading and adjust nothing else (literally not touching contrast, colour wheels, hues etc) I think that's a problem as you're not really learning anything, in my opinion.

What do you guys think?

4 Comments

LUTs are especially helpful if you have to grade a lot (I mean really a lot) of footage. Like for TV series. Because you have this starting point it's easier/faster to acheave what you want/need.
LUTs are not just digital image filters like from instagramm or something like that. They are complex algorythms that process your image. And if you make any desicion on your footage's grade the LUT will be adjusted to it. A normal filter would crush the image in the end.
It's understandable that first of all colorists seem not to like LUTs because it's their handicraft to make this images look good. For them using a LUT is like using the auto function on your camera instead of exposing manually. Most of the time you will result with a well exposed image but in certain situations the auto function just won't work. The pros, of course, always use the manuall function on their camera.
It's the same with the LUTs. Most fo the time you will result with a well graded image but some times there is no LUT that could handle the footage in the way it needs to be handled. Or there is no LUT that could get the most out of the footage. That's especially critical with high dymanic range (14+ stops) footage because there is no possebility to watch true 14+ stops of DR on a screen yet. It has to be graded first so you get the image quality you want/need for a shot. Most of the LUTs (even the professional) cannot handle HDR footage. That's when you need to grade.
LUTs are, in the professional world, mostly a first look possebility on your footage so you can see a possible way your footage might look. But it doesn't have to.

May 31, 2016 at 1:29PM

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Eric Halbherr
Director, DP, Editor, Creative Storyteller
2067

LUTs are essential when shooting LOG footage or when trying to achieve accurate color with the Panasonic GH4 Cine-D profile. ( the Leeming LUT ONE does a great job for both GH4 V-log or Cine-D profiles )

They are also handy when working with different brands of cameras and trying to get the same color from all of them.

May 31, 2016 at 1:47PM

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Guy McLoughlin
Video Producer
28219

Obviously when you record with some log profile you need to correct the gamma. LUTs, while convenient, are but one way of doing this.

However LUTs are also used for color grading and in my opinion it is overused. If you use them use them with very low strength unless you want all your movies to look like "mickey mouse" colors.

Like so:
http://pix-media.s3.amazonaws.com/blog/892/shia.jpg

July 20, 2016 at 2:31PM, Edited July 20, 2:33PM

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Cary Knoop
Member
2921

To me most of Lut are a waste of time. The only useful lut that i can accept is a lut developed on set used during dailies, be cause is developed on your shooting, with correct shadow and light of footage.
Most of lut not work be cause are developed on different picture, with different contrast and different saturation than our footage. Time wasted to apply a lut, and correction to allow to the lut to do right work in most of times is greater than work directly on picture with grading tools. And you can copy and paste picture from picture, ad adjust nodal corrections or filters. I worked on a lots of different raw and log files from bmd, red, arriflex and never i found commercial luts that work enough faster my correction by basic tools. And i'm not a seasoned colorist, but a simple filmaker.

August 7, 2016 at 8:22AM

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Carlo Macchiavello
Director
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