You're sitting at the theater watching the latest Michael Bay film when you realize, “I wish my wedding films had an over-saturated bride and groom fighting giant robots!” Well I have good news for you, I can help with one of those things. And no, its not CGI giant robots, you'll have to learn Cinema4D for that. What I can help you with is using a Look Up Table, or as it is known on the street – a LUT – to color grade your wedding films and make them look awesome.
What is a LUT?
In the simplest terms, a LUT is a preset file that contains color, contrast, brightness, and saturation information in the .cube format. LUTs are used for a lot of reasons, including simulating film stock looks, emulating camera colors, or even color calibration. What we will be using them for today though, is to provide a starting point for your color grading. It can save you a lot of time, and allow you to explore new creative colors that you may not have considered before.
What is not a LUT?
A LUT is NOT a one click color grade for your film. You can't just slap one on and render our your film. LUTs often don't take into consideration your white balance and exposure settings, so you will still need to color grade your film. With a LUT though, the amount of color grading you will have to do is probably less than you would if you were grading from scratch.
Before we go on with talking about color grading with LUTs though, I would highly recommend watching two of my previous videos. First, watch “My Favorite Picture Profile for the Sony A7Sii, FS5, and a6300,” because I will be using that picture profile with these LUTS. Second, watch “How to EASILY color grade Sony A7Sii, FS5, and a6300 footage using Premiere Pro CC,” because I cover a lot of basics in that video that I will build upon in this one. Of course you are also going to need Premiere Pro CC. Thankfully, Adobe currently offers a free trial of the full Creative Cloud suite that you can use for 30 days.
Now there are a BUTT-TON of LUT options out there for you. Here are my recommendations:
- IMPULZ LUTS – These look great and are made for a variety of cameras. Try out the basics, and if you like them consider the Professional or Ultimate packs.
- IWLTBAP LUTS – I haven't had a chance to buy these yet, but I would recommend trying out their free LUTs. Hat tip to Kraig Adams for posting about these.
- James Miller's DELUTS – These are by far my favorite LUTS. I've used them in multiple videos and I am a huge fan. Be sure to look at his CINE4, SLOG2, and SLOG3 Set.
For this color grading tutorial I will be using James Miller's DELUTS, specifically his CINE4 set.
Want to watch more? Check out my reviews of the A7Sii and FS5, as well as a tip for how wedding cinematographers and photographers can get along. I really hope this video tutorial has been helpful for you. If you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment below, or send me a message.