How To Reverse Engineer Look-Up Tables (LUTs)

How to Reverse Engineer Look-Up Tables (LUTs)

November 20, 2013

Learn how to deconstruct a LUT (Look Up Table) to understand its impact on your image. This will improve your color correction using LUTs.

Reverse Engineering LUTs (Look Up Tables)

Continuing in our series on Look-Up Tables, this Insight was created to answer a question asked by one of our members:

How do I evaluate a LUT to decide how to work with it?

That’s a really good question.

The answer: Pivot points. You want to identify the central pivot point where the LUT is looking for the middle exposure of an image. Plus, you want to identify the pivot points of the shoulder and knee of the LUT. This will let you know where to place the three most important elements of your shot before applying the LUT.

And once the LUT is applied, you’ll tweak to taste.

Just remember, in this situation – a Look-Up Table is a creative choice for you. It’s NOT Fire-and-Forget. You may still have some grading left to do (and in the example in this Insight, there’s quite a bit of grading left to do).

This video will show precisely what I mean about ‘identifying pivot points’ and how you’ll use this information to prepare your footage to interact properly with the LUT.

Featured Plug-In: Film Convert Pro

In this Insight, I’m using the nifty OpenFX plug-in, FilmConvert Pro. This filter was kindly donated to us to use in tutorials such as this… so a huge shout-out goes to Nigel from Rubber Monkey (an awesome company name) for making it happen. You can look forward to a series of Insights on using Film Convert both in DaVinci Resolve and as a stand-alone app.

If you’re interested in their pricing, head over here. The bundle deal – if you work in more than one app – seems pretty good, considering how good the plug-in is (I do like it quite a bit).

We Like Feedback!
Please don’t forget – if a question pops into your head while watching this movie, you can use the comments below to ask (and get answered).


– patrick

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