How I use LUTs on set
My workflow on set is to load all the 3D LUTs that I have created for a feature or TV pilot into my Flanders CM250 OLED lighting monitor. The monitor can hold up to 16 LUTs. I designed a total of sixteen LUTs on Need for Speed, four LUTs for Fathers and Daughters and currently fourteen LUTs on my current project. Each LUT has to be linked to your specific camera’s sensor to be the most accurate.
Many people have said that the new RED LUTs that I created are looking amazing on the BMCC and the BMPC. It is all color science, contrast and personal preference. Finding your visual rhythm is so essential with these lighting and exposure tools.
If you want to use the LUTs I have created for other cameras in post, you can easily do so in Resolve. All you have to do is take the .CUBE file that I have created and put it into your Library of where Resolve stores the .CUBE files.
When you open Resolve up and go into your Color management, you will again follow the steps outlined in the “A few things to consider before getting into Resolve” section of this post.
First, select the settings button in the bottom left-hand corner of Resolve.
Next, go to “Lookup Tables.”
Go to “Open LUT Folder.” (This will automatically open the folder where LUTs are saved, both on a MAC or PC.)
Copy your .CUBE file into the LUT folder. You can drop it in or create a folder to keep your LUTs organized with a specific name to it. That folder will appear in Resolve.
Hit “Update Lists.”
Then hit “Apply” in the bottom right hand corner of this window. Always hit “Apply” in Resolve.
Your LUT will appear in this list, just like our “Blackmagic URSA LUT_1.RCR URSA 1.9.10_1_2014=12=-5+1238_C0000” .CUBE file we created.
Loading LUTs into your devices
I say devices because there are many different places you can load a LUT into now. I have listed a few that I have used on set and what I am currently using, where all of the LUTs that I have created will work.
With Atomos Shogun
Atomos has begun to step up their game and I really like what I see out of their Shogun Monitor/Recorder. Atomos just updated the Shogun to support larger file recording with the Sony FS7 and FS700, they are working on more updates currently.
With certain applications at Hurlbut Visuals, we like to use the Shogun with the C300, it allows us to stay in a streamlined ProRes workflow when needed. I’m looking forward to seeing updates in the future for Canon RAW for the C500. It’s a great monitor for my crew to use as a focus pulling monitor while we are on the MoVI or even a director’s viewfinder when we go wireless. Having a LUT built right into the monitor is even more essential now than ever before. The ability to setup this monitor to allow for the LUT to be turned on or off on the recording and on a standard output over 12G-SDI and HDMI is solid….12-Gs baby….12.
Download the latest Atomos Firmware: http://atomos.com/support/
With Teradek Bolt
One of the latest is with the Teradek Bolt. I’ve been using the Teradek Bolt 2000 and 600 and have had great success using them both to send video with and without LUTs embedded into the system. This baby has been rock solid as we have been rolling with multiple MoVIs for the last few months. Here is how you can load your custom LUTs into your Teradek Bolt.
With SmallHD DP7 Pro
While I was shooting Need for Speed, I used the SmallHD DP7 Pro on every shot. Here is how you load their LUTs into a DP7 Pro Monitor.
With a Flanders Monitor
The Flanders CM250 has become my lighting monitor on set over the last few years. Getting a 3D LUT onto any Flanders takes one additional step in converting your .CUBE file to a .DAT file. There are two pieces of software that are endorsed by Flanders Scientific to use with their monitors. One is fairly expensive around $500. The other, $150. Yeah, $150 baby.
This is the workflow for loading a LUT onto all of the Flanders Monitors, every model.
My team in New Orleans used the $150 program from Lattice. This software will allow you to convert your Resolve .CUBE to a Flanders .DAT file.
Once you have converted the LUT file, you are ready to load the file onto the Monitor. At the 55 second mark of the video, you will see how to connect to your Flanders monitor.
Keeping the look consistent
One of the biggest reasons I use LUTs on my monitors is to keep a very consistent look from beginning to end. You know when you apply that specific LUT that it will affect the color, contrast and keep you on the right track to exposing it the way you want. Especially with changing weather conditions and moving in and out of the sun, these LUTs are essential.
The LUT is the new extension of the chemical process of film stock. I used to have all these cocktails of baking film stock for 30 minutes at 300 degrees and then reducing to 225 for four hours. HA HA! I shot on Magnetic Sound recording film stock. Yes, you can get an image from that. At 80 ASA, it is some of the best black and white imagery I have ever seen. These were my tools. Now the future holds a limitless amount of colors, tones and controls that will push your creativity to the next level. I have taken countless hours in the color correction with DI colorists designing LUTs to bring the best out of the RED EPIC Dragon sensor, Canon C500, C300, C100, C100 MKII and Arri Alexa. Grab a LUT or design your own. You now have the playbook!
What LUTs do you like to use?
How have you used them to help create your look?
Take a look at Part 1, 2 and 3 of this series here:
How to Create 3D LUTs to Deliver the Power of your Artistic Look with DaVinci Resolve: Part 1
How to Create 3D LUTs to Deliver the Power of your Artistic Look with DaVinci Resolve: Part 2
How to Create 3D LUTs to Deliver the Power of your Artistic Look with DaVinci Resolve: Part 3