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by Casey Faris, GroundControl

Here’s a snippet from GroundControl’s Ultimate LUT Guide regarding LUT Best Practices…

LUT Best Practices

There are many schools of thought on how to use a LUT.

Some people say you should never use them and they’re horrible.  But let’s remember, a LUT is a tool to help you out.  You can definitely use it wrong, but using it right will give your great results.

So… a couple quick tips:

1) Adjust colors and tweak your image BEFORE the LUT.  Your LUT is adding a certain style to the footage, if you don’t want to mess with the style, tweak your image before the LUT so that the LUT is the last thing the colors hit.

2) If you want to change the style of the LUT, adjust AFTER the LUT.  But, be cafeful as most LUTs will do some kind of limiting to the image and may “Bake in” certain colors or lose detail in the highlights that you can’t get back while grading after the LUT.

3) There are no MAGIC LUTs.  There isn’t a LUT out there that can make all of your footage look great 100% of the time.  LUTs are designed for ideal WB and exposure.  That means if your image isn’t exposed or balanced correctly, you’ll have to adjust the image before the LUT.

4) Don’t use a LUT for no dang reason.  Know why you’re choosing a certain LUT or look.  Be informed and make creative decisions.  If you don’t know why you’re using a LUT, maybe consider if it’s good for your camera, lighting, and feeling you want the viewer to experience.  Remember, LUTs are just a part of color grading, which is a very artistic medium.  Don’t slap any old LUT on your shots and call ’em good.

Click here for their full article as well as a slew of fine video’s and LUT packages from GroundControl.