Color Grading in Premiere Pro using Look Up Tables

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Color grading is one of the most important parts of film production. Taking a clip of raw video and making it look like a well-produced film is an art form. Often left to professional producers and editors, color grading can make the difference between a good movie or a great one. Our eyes have been trained to recognize quality video by years of watching television and movies. We know instantly if a clip looks like it was shot on a camcorder or if it’s a big-budget Hollywood production. In the world of video production we always seek to attain that “Cinematic Look.” That term is somewhat of a misnomer as it encompasses many different looks as opposed to one as it infers. It has come to refer to the quality of the entire piece of video on the whole. In the course of producing a piece of video work, you may settle on one “look” or you may incorporate various techniques depending on many factors such as length, set and a variety of others. Most times you will use a few different looks in even a short feature. The longer the video, the more looks you are likely to use. If you are like me, then you like to save things for use in the future. Saving color swatches, actions and styles in Photoshop is something many of you have probably done a good bit of in the past. Doing the same in Premiere Pro CC with color grading will save you time and allow you to apply color grades consistently throughout your project and across many projects.

Submitted: August 18, 2017

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Submitted: August 18, 2017

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Color Grading in Premiere Pro using Look Up Tables

Color grading is one of the most important parts of film production. Taking a clip of raw video and making it look like a well-produced film is an art form. Often left to professional producers and editors, color grading can make the difference between a good movie or a great one. Our eyes have been trained to recognize quality video by years of watching television and movies. We know instantly if a clip looks like it was shot on a camcorder or if it’s a big-budget Hollywood production. In the world of video production we always seek to attain that “Cinematic Look.” That term is somewhat of a misnomer as it encompasses many different looks as opposed to one as it infers. It has come to refer to the quality of the entire piece of video on the whole. In the course of producing a piece of video work, you may settle on one “look” or you may incorporate various techniques depending on many factors such as length, set and a variety of others. Most times you will use a few different looks in even a short feature. The longer the video, the more looks you are likely to use. If you are like me, then you like to save things for use in the future. Saving color swatches, actions and styles in Photoshop is something many of you have probably done a good bit of in the past. Doing the same in Premiere Pro CC with color grading will save you time and allow you to apply color grades consistently throughout your project and across many projects.

If you are looking for an easier way to do color grading and you use Adobe’s Premiere Pro CC application, then you are in luck friends. You can save your color settings and apply them to clips later using LUTs.

A LUT (Look Up Table) is an incredibly simple way to color grade footage. Whether you are applying a LUT to grade standard footage or using LUTs to bring color back to Log footage, you can do so easily in Premiere Pro using the Color workspace. In this training article, we will explore using LUTs and we will provide you with a base set of Hollywood

In this step-by-step walkthrough, I’ll show you how to apply a single LUT in Premiere Pro and then how to add your favorite LUTs to the dropdown menu.

To follow along, you are going to need some LUTs to install. LUT files are .CUBE files that actually work in a variety of programs. Looks are limited to Premiere Pro, but you can use LUTs in Premiere Pro, After Effects, Photoshop, DaVinci Resolve, Final Cut Pro X, and others.

For this tutorial, you can download the 35 Free LUTs from RocketStock that I will be using.

Applying LUTs in Premiere Pro CC 2017

If you are just applying a single LUT to your footage, an easy approach is to use the Browse… function and select the LUT from your downloads folder.

In Premiere Pro, open the Color workspace by clicking the Color tab at the top center of Premiere Pro.

  1. Click on the clip you want to work with.
  2. In the Lumetri panel, open the Basic Correction tab.
  3. Under Basic Correction, select the Input LUT dropdown menu, and click on Browse…
  4. Go to the 35 Free LUTs folder and select the LUT of your choice.

If you want your favorite LUTs in the Premiere Pro dropdown menu, follow these steps for Mac and PC.

Mac: Add LUTs to Premiere Pro Dropdown Menu

1. Open a new Finder Window and go to Applications. Open the Adobe Premiere Pro CC folder.

2. Hold Command and click on Adobe Premiere CC. Select Show Package Contents,then open Contents.

3. Open the Lumetri folder. Open the LUTs folder, then open the Technical folder.

4. Drag and drop the 35 Free LUTs .CUBE files into the Technical folder.

5. Restart Adobe Premiere Pro CC.

6. In the Color panel, go to Basic Correction, select the Input LUT dropdown menu, and the 35 Free LUTs will be available.

PC: Add LUTs to Premiere Pro’s Dropdown Menu

The same rules apply as the Mac workflow, but the folder structure is slightly different.

  1. Go to the C:// folder, open Program Files, open Adobe, then open Adobe Premiere Pro CC.
  2. Open the Lumetri folder, open the LUTs folder, then open the Technical folder.
  3. Drag and drop the 35 Free LUTs .CUBE files into the Technical folder.
  4. Restart Adobe Premiere Pro CC.
  5. In the Color Panel, go to Basic Correction, select the Input LUT dropdown menu, and the 35 Free LUTs will be available.

I hope you have enjoyed this article and I sincerely hope that it helps you save some time and effort on your future video projects. You can find many LUT files on the web for free and if you happen to develop a really cool look, please consider uploading it and sharing it with the rest of the community. By sharing our work we share our success.

 

 

Michael Pereira
Designer | Developer | Producer


© Copyright 2017 Mike Pereira. All rights reserved.