What is a LUT?

If you are interested in Videography, Filmmaking, Content Creation or whatever other buzzwords are out there, you've probably stumbled upon the word: LUT

If you haven't you might know the term or word "Preset" from photography or filter from using Instagram - and Snapchat back in the day.

They are all kind of the same, LUT, Preset, Filter... They are tools to change the way an image or video clip looks when it comes to color grading.


So, with that out of the way, let's dive slightly more into what a LUT is.

First of all, LUT means "LOOK UP TABLE".

The best way I can explain what LOOK UP TABLE means is by simply depicting an actual table, not the one you'd sit down at and have dinner but the one you'd find in an Excel sheet.

What a LUT does is to look at the left side of the table, otherwise known as the first column, where the head would say "Take this" and then to the column to the right with the header "Turn it into this". 

A LUT is simply a series of commands like this, stacked together in a little package we call a LUT and then when we select this LUT it goes through the list and executes on all the commands in there to turn our footage from A to B.

Examples being:

Take all the GREEN colours AND turn them into YELLOW

Take all the SHADOWS AND make them brighter

Take all the DARKER AND BRIGHTER points AND make them DARKER AND BRIGHTER to create contrast.


It's as simple as that.


Now, building a good LUT is a different story. It's pretty easy to create a LUT in itself with Davinci Resolve but you'll need to know how to color grade and how colors and contrast work on different clips to make something that works for more than your own footage. If that were to be something you are interested in.


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