Creating a film takes a lot more than just grabbing some amateur footage on your old high school camera. When you want a finished product that looks professional, you want it not only to be shot correctly, but you want the colors and contrast to be just right for the mood of each scene. You do this through two processes: one is general color grading, and the other is applying a lookup table or LUT. Color grading helps fix the color overall, while the LUTs you apply help with the contrast, the richness of the scene, and the detail that the audience can see. LUTs vary in what they can do, so it's best to play around with them before you actually need to find one to apply to some footage.
Test out LUTs First
Grab yourself a bunch of free LUTs and start playing around. You need to know how the LUTs change what the footage looks like and whether a LUT seems to add an inappropriate tone. Always take note of really appropriate or wrong applications so that you know not to use them on footage that you actually need to finish. Take a section of the film -- just a still will do -- and apply different LUTS to see how they each change the look. Go wild; this is your practice time.
Compare Adjustment Order
When doing an actual color correction, you'll be able to adjust footage and then apply a LUT, or apply a LUT and then adjust footage. If you adjust footage after you apply the LUT, you're going to change how the LUT's effects look, but sometimes you'll want that because the LUT adds almost everything you want, and you want to change the whole look of the film, so adjusting after the LUT is applied makes sense. (In other words, you want the overall effect of the LUT with a few tweaks, so add the LUT and then correct the film.) But if you want the final film to look pretty much as it does when you add the LUT, just with a few extra tweaks here and there (i.e., not throughout the entire film), adjust those scenes and then add the LUT.
Take a few files, make some copies, and test the adjustment order on the copies. See how the final footage looks when you add the LUT first or last.
Try Each LUT in Different Scenes
Just as you can take one scene and see how it looks with a bunch of different LUTs, take one LUT and test it on a bunch of different scenes. Each LUT will have its preferred scenes; in other words, one LUT might be better for outdoor scenes and another for indoor scenes, but you need to see how those compare and what they look like on "inappropriate" scenes -- you need to know why you wouldn't want to use them on a particular piece of footage.
You can get a lot of free LUTs from different companies, so go to town with these and really become familiar with them. The right LUT can make your film look terrific, and the better you know how the LUTs work, the easier it will be to reach that great look on film.Share
3 March 2018
Have you taken the time to kick back and relax today? I haven't always been one of those people who is completely capable of letting go, but a few months ago I could tell that I needed to make a change. I began thinking about ways other people relaxed, and it occurred to me that I needed to do more to keep my cool. I began going to art classes, and the difference it made in my personal life seemed like a complete miracle. This website is all about deciding to relax and doing what you can to make positive changes. Check it out for great tips!