Color correction in After Effects and Premiere Pro with LUTS

by Joost | Last Updated: June 27, 2022
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Color correction in After Effects and Premiere Pro with LUTS

What is a LUT?

A Look Up Table or LUT is a combination of parameters with which profiles are composed. In video editing, LUTS are used to calculate the difference between the Source and Result.

LUTs are often used to “color grade” video material, so apply color corrections. There are two ways to use LUTs, each with their own objectives.

LUT to remove properties

If you film with a Sony or RED camera, you get different shots.

A LUT adjusts the image based on existing properties with the aim of displaying the image as neutrally as possible on a reference monitor. From that neutral position you can make further color corrections.

LUTs to add properties

If you view the material on your reference monitor, you can adjust the image to the final format using a LUT.

For example, if you want to print the result on real film, it is necessary to adjust the colors so that the print corresponds to the desired color corrections.

Playmobil petting zoo stop motion
Playmobil petting zoo stop motion

On the other hand, you can also add properties, for example a film-look effect to mimic certain characteristics.

A LUT does not equal color grading

With a LUT you can give the material a different look at the push of a button. Sometimes this is used to quickly give the montage a specific look.

But in principle, a LUT is intended to optimize the display on your monitor for manual color correction.

You want the input to be perfectly calibrated and you want to fine-tune the output to the desired format.

Our favorite companies that create LUTs profiles:

vision-color

neumannfilms

groundcontrolcolor

rocketrooster

You can experiment to your heart’s content with LUTS in After Effects and Premiere Pro. Keep in mind that a LUT profile is a basis (between source and result), it is not a one-touch solution for all your color corrections.

How to import a LUT

See the examples below for instructions on how to import a LUT.

It is recommended to create an Adjustment Layer first and place the LUT utility on the Adjusment Layer

Adobe After Effects

LUT in after effects

Adobe Premiere Pro CC

LUT in Adobe Premiere Pro CC