Look up tables (LUTs) can be a time-saving way to colour-grade your film footage. Not only that, they can provide you with inspiration if you’re not quite sure where to start. And if you're still gaining experience with editing they can help create grater consistency in your productions. LUTs are handy!
What are LUTs?
I mentioned that LUTs are for colour grading—they’re a way to apply a particular look to your imagery in an automated way, without having to make those changes yourself, though you can then tweak, adjust and change to suit your project.
LUTs are often cross-compatible with different programmes. So if you find an Adobe Photoshop action pack, or a set of presets for Lightroom, it might often also contain LUT versions of those files, so that you can then use them in Adobe After Effects for example.
LUTs can be corrective—fixing the colour to bring it back to how it should look naturally—or creative, to add a particular look, feel or style to your film.
Try a LUT (or Two, or Three...)
Pre-made helpers can be hard to find at times but there are some good assets out there. Here are some great packs from Envato Market.
Create an emotional and nostalgic connection with this pack of actions that also contain a file of LUTs for use in Adobe After Effects (CS5 or newer)
With 100 universal LUTs included, you’ll be spoilt for choice with this set of film-look presets. As a bonus, the pack also comes with an additional set for protecting skin tones.
This very cool looking set contains 32 LUTs with bright, neon light effects. Shadows are desaturated and highlights become more vibrant, for a look that really pops!
Add this pack of LUTs to your collection to recreate popular travel looks, with protection for skin tones.
There are 24 LUTs in this pack, to help you transform your footage to a gritty, urban style.