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    How to Color Grade FAST Using LUTs and Curves

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    How to Color Grade FAST Using LUTs and Curves

    In this article, we will discuss a step-by-step process to efficiently color grade your footage using LUTs (Look-Up Tables) and curves. With the right tools and workflow, you can achieve professional-looking results in no time. Whether you are using Final Cut or any other software that allows curve adjustments and LUT application, this guide will help you understand the order of effects and streamline your grading process.

    Setting Up the Workflow

    To begin, open your editing software and set up the necessary tools. Bring up the Scopes (waveform and vectorscope) using the shortcut command 7. Open the inspector and effects panels with command 4 and command 5, respectively. These tools will be essential for monitoring and applying the desired effects.

    Next, we will set up the LUTs and curves needed for the grading process. Drag and drop the custom LUT onto the first shot. To create presets for easy application in the future, go to the inspector and click "Save Effects Preset" once you have finished grading a shot. This will save all the LUTs and curves settings, allowing you to apply them with just one click later on.

    The Grading Process

    Now that the initial setup is complete, let's dive into the grading process using a sample assortment of shots. We will follow the same workflow for each shot, starting with the base grade.

    1. Apply the custom LUT to convert the footage to the desired color space (e.g., S-log to Rec. 709).
    2. Adjust the exposure or luminance using the first curve. Place this curve before the conversion LUT to effectively adjust levels before conversion.
    3. Fine-tune the black and white points using the third curve. Aim for a balanced distribution of blacks, grays, and whites in the shot.
    4. Boost colors and saturation using the second LUT, such as the "Color Boost LUT," while adjusting the mix or strength to achieve the desired effect.

    Remember, the curves and LUTs can be adjusted and modified to suit the specific needs of each shot. The order of effects, as shown in the setup, is crucial for achieving the desired results.

    Summarized Keywords

    LUTs, Curves, Color grading, Workflow, Final Cut, Scopes, Waveform, Vectorscope, Tools, Setup, Presets, Base grade, Exposure, Luminance, Black and white points, Colors, Saturation.


    Q: Can I use this workflow with software other than Final Cut? A: Yes, this workflow can be applied to any software that allows curve adjustments and LUT application.

    Q: How important is the order of effects (curves and LUTs)? A: The order of effects is crucial for achieving the desired results. Placing curves before the conversion LUT ensures accurate level adjustments.

    Q: Can I save the grading presets for future use? A: Yes, by using the "Save Effects Preset" option, you can easily apply the same grading settings with just one click in the future.

    Q: Can I modify the curves and LUTs to suit my specific needs? A: Absolutely! Feel free to adjust and modify the curves and LUTs to achieve the desired look for each shot.

    Q: Are there specific LUTs available for different cameras or color profiles? A: Yes, you can find a variety of LUTs for different cameras and color profiles. These LUTs can greatly enhance your color grading workflow.

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