Rolling Your Own LUTs

The Case For Completely Avoiding LUTs (And Going DIY)

June 13, 2013

You shouldn't be a slave to LUTs... learn how to quickly decide if they're working. And if not, learn to throw away those LUTs and just 'Do It Yourself'.


In ML0022 I demonstrated how typical camera LUTs (used for expanding the contrast of ‘flat’ log-recorded images), when applied in the middle of color grading operations, break the 32-bit Float operations of color grading apps.In this Insights Article I’ll spend some time showing you the creative nature of LUTs, using ARRI LUTs as an example. And once we understand that camera LUTs are creative tools—not technical tools—then we can feel more comfortable ignoring those LUTs and learning to grade ‘flat’ footage without their assistance.

Don’t be a slave to LUTs

The main point of this article is to teach you not to be a slave to LUTs… but rather, learn to use them when they work for you, throw them away when they don’t, make the decision quickly if you’re going to use a LUT on a job or not and if you do throw away the LUT—it’s okay!

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