Understanding Look Up Tables (for color correction)

The very first batch of 20 Insights that Mixing Light launched with in 2013 contained a video about LUTs. In the years that follow we continue demonstrating and refining our LUT workflows. These Insights teach you about the purpose of LUTs, the different types, and how to work with them for greatest effect.

1
What is a LUT (and how do you use a LUT for color correction)?

Look-up Tables are mathematically precise. Understanding LUTs requires you to accept that a single LUT can NEVER be used for all your shots.

2
4 Things To Know About Working With Look Up Tables

Using Luts in a color correction workflow is common, but everything doesn't always worked as planned. Learn 4 ways to work around look up table limitations

3
Color Correcting with LUTs: The 3-Node Approach

Learn a node structure for using LUTs in DaVinci Resolve (and the reasoning behind it). Segmenting your workflow into clear distinct actions speeds you up.

4
What Are the Limitations of LUTs When Color Correcting in 32-bit Float?

When using Look-Up Tables you've got be careful with LUTs and 32-bit Float... otherwise you may end up clipping out valuable image detail. Learn why.


Digging Deeper with Look Up Tables

1
Why We Love LUTs – Replace Your LUT Addiction

Most of us love to use LUTs behind closed doors. Dan shares his thoughts on why and how to break out of needing LUTs

2
The Case For Completely Avoiding LUTs (And Going DIY)

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'.

3
1D Vs 3D LUTs - The Colorists Prespective

Look Up Tables can be complex subject. In this Insight get a colorists perspective on the difference between 1D and 3D LUTs.

4
Is Your LUT Damaging Your Image? How To Do A LUT Stress Test

Look-Up Tables (LUTs) are black boxes that make it difficult to know what precisely they're doing to your image. Colorist Jason Bowdach shows you how to stress test and evaluate your LUTs.

Related Flight Paths & External Resoures


Flight Path: Using LUTs in DaVinci Resolve

This Flight Path guides you through Insights in our Color Library related to working with LUTs in DaVinci Resolve. Plus, specific workflows and how LUTs are used in the context of DaVinci Resolve.

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Flight Path: Using LUTs in Adobe Creative Cloud

This Flight Path guides you through Insights in our Color Library related to working with LUTs in Premiere Pro, Photoshop, and Lightroom.

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Technical Description: Look Up Tables

If you're looking for math and more technical descriptions of LUTs, this is a great place to start.

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What Is A LUT? Explained with cats.

A seller of commercial LUTs put together this fun video - that does a good job explaining the very basics... without any math. Just - cats.

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TrueColor: LUT Stress Test Image

An excellent image for applying your LUTs to evaluate how cleanly a LUT modifies your image.

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3D LUT Creator: Gradients and Targets for Experiments

A terrific set of test images that help you visualize how your LUTs are manipulating your images.

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