Film Talk

Back to Film Talk...

Add LUT before or after color grade? (1 reply)

3 weeks ago
B 3 weeks ago

Always assumed the LUT is added in post before the color grade but have heard of some people doing minor color work before adding a LUT. So what's common practice here? Do some people really begin color grading before adding a LUT?

3 weeks ago
Wouter 3 weeks ago

I sometimes do yes.

Practical example: right now, I'm working on a multi-camera shoot with different cameras. First I transform all the various forms of log space into ACES space. Then I adjust color temperatures to match between the camera's as well as the "offset" (exposure). Then when everything is more or less uniform, I can apply a general "look" or LUT to all of the footage.

Sometimes you want to colour correct before applying a look. If your footage was shot under mediocre light or had a lot of coloured light and then apply a look that was designed to work well with high quality daylight for example, it might sometimes be useful to colour correct prior to applying the look.

The reason is the following: in my mind it is much easier to colour correct, which is commonly regarded as the practise to remove unwanted colour casts and bring the general impressionistic hue of the image to something as neutral as possible (our eyes do this naturally). It is easier to bring the image to something neutral and then apply a look. Whereas if you would apply the look and then have to colour correct, it's going to take you ages to get every shot to match up. Because it is simpler to bring an image to "neutral" rather than try to make it look like a very specific look.

It's kinda sketchy to explain but I hope that makes sense.


Back to Film Talk...