Should You Choose Film LUTs?

About 43% of films made in the UK have budgets under £500,000. With shrinking budgets and shorter turnaround times, filmmakers are forced to color-grade their footage. Film LUTs are one way that you can color-grade your flat footage and bring it to life.

Color grading can be done using several tools. In this article, we will discuss the pros and cons of film LUTs. Look-up tables or LUTs have carved a niche for themselves when it comes to editing footage. However, they do have a few disadvantages.

Fantastic Colour Correction

Film LUTs

Look-up tables are a great way to adapt the color information to a preset specification. It makes your clip appear to have been shot on film. For example, when you use a LUT on a DSLR video clip, the result will look like a film camera. LUTs allow you to make color corrections and get the desired result.

Several Variants Available

LUTs are available in several types that allow for different workflows. There are viewing Film LUTs, calibration LUTs, transforming LUTs, 1D LUTs, and 3D LUTs. These are task-specific and will enable you to color-grade footage at varying levels.

Compatible with Photoshop

The great thing about LUTs is that they can be used in Photoshop to edit stills. So, not just footage, but your photos can be brought to life with LUTs.It allows you to establish a consistent baseline and color grade from thereon.

Theme-Based LUTs

There are several theme-based LUTs out there that can work wonderfully on specific projects. They consist of more than one LUT, sometimes as many as 10, to give you a consistent theme across the board. Therefore, you may not have to spend too much time grading individual colors.

Once the theme is applied, you can make small adjustments. You are spoiled for choice when purchasing pre-packaged Film LUTs. For example, you have themes like night light or nature.

Allows For Remote Colour Grading

It means that you don’t have to be next to your editor when color-grading clips. You can work remotely, export the output, and send it to the editor. You can make multiple edits and export as many times as you like.

Longer Render Time

It has been known that film LUTs can increase the render time of videos. This could be because the changes are intrinsic and need more time to load. Regardless, it still provides you with high-quality results.

Limited Editing Range within a Specific LUT

When you pick a LUT, your color grading is limited within its range. You have little scope of deviating from the main theme. That said, it provides you with a starting point and ensures that you stick to the theme.

Can Be Expensive

LUTs can end up being costly, as you may require more than one. Complex footage may need you to apply several LUTs at a time to get the desired result, and you will have to buy all of them. One solution to this is the theme-specific Film LUTs, but if you can’t find your theme, you are back to square one.

You Need To Know the Basics

While LUTs are an excellent tool for colour grading, you still need to know the basics. That way, you’ll be able to extract the maximum out of it. If you are a beginner, then you may not be able to harness its potential optimally.

The pros beat the cons. There is no doubt that film LUTs are the best thing that could have happened to a videographer. LUTs are cost-effective and quick when compared to traditional colour grading methods. Each coin has a flip side, and so do LUTs, but we still think they are here to stay.

READ MORE: Can The Human Eye See 8K?


Andrew is a professional writer with 7+ Years of experience. His style and uniqueness inspire and educate readers throughout the world.

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About the Author: Andrew

Andrew is a professional writer with 7+ Years of experience. His style and uniqueness inspire and educate readers throughout the world.

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