Color Grading: LUT Profiles
Instantly apply cinema-quality color grading effects to your video
LUTs (Look-Up Tables) are a collection of powerful and intuitive Color Grading profiles that makes it possible to quickly and efficiently change the tone of a video. LUT profiles make it possible to achieve Hollywood style custom color profiles to a video that set it apart as unique, mirroring movies like the Martian, the Matrix, and more! LUT profiles make it easy to instantly add cinema-grade color grading effects to your project. Alter the mood, add drama, and more by choosing from preset profiles or creating and storing your own for later use.
Most LUTs, including those bundled with Pinnacle Studio, are designed for Rec709 footage, which is likely the format your footage was shot in and is already fairly color corrected.
If shooting footage with high end cameras, you may instead be using a manufacturer’s LOG profile. LOG formats are a very flat recording format with very little contrast and washed out colors that allow you to retain a lot more dynamic information than shooting in the standard Rec709 format. This in turn allows for a lot more control over adjustments when it comes to creative color grading. You should color correct this footage before applying color grading adjustments. Since Pinnacle Studio lets you add third party LUTs, simply grab your manufacturer’s LUT for your camera’s log profile, then add and apply it using Pinnacle Studio. Once that LUT has been applied, the colors will look instantly stronger and the footage is ready for additional creative effects or color grading!
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How to apply LUT Profiles
Open the color grading control panel
You can open the color grading controls for any clip by selecting clip, and then clicking ‘Editor’ on the timeline, or double clicking on the clip you’d like to make adjustments to, and select the ‘Color’ tab to open the color grading window. Ensure the ‘Basic’ tab is selected to access the controls we’ll be using in the steps below.
Select the desired LUT Profile
Choose a preset LUT profile from the LUT dropdown at the bottom of the Basic Settings to instantly apply it to your clip. You can adjust the profile from there using any of the color grading controls until you’re happy with it!
You can also import third party LUT profiles by selecting ‘Browse’ from the bottom of the preset dropdown list. If your video was shot using a LOG profile, you will want to grab the manufacturer’s LUT for your camera’s LOG profile and apply it before making your additional adjustments.
Keyframe your changes (optional)
Keyframing your color grading adjustments is not always necessary, but may help to ensure consistency through any natural variations in lighting and scenery that occur over the duration of your footage. Enable keyframing by clicking on the diamond beside the tone curve display, and add keyframes to fine tune the timing and strength of your adjustments over the duration of your clip.
LUTs are a powerful and easy way to transform the look and feel of your footage. Take a look at this tutorial to see the full process in creating and applying LUTs using Pinnacle Studio!