3D LUTs are a universal color medium that contain your unique color recipes in a format that other software like DaVinci Resolve, Adobe Premiere, and Final Cut Pro can understand. Exporting your color grades and film color emulations as LUTs is a real game changer for seamlessly transitioning between different applications and applying the exact color from Color.io to your videos. Here's how you can do it.
A 3D LUT (Look-Up Table) is a file that contains a universal mathematical representation of the color grades you create in Color.io. These LUTs can be shared across different software programs and platforms, making them an indispensable tool in filmmaking and photography. Whether you're collaborating across different departments or working with different post-production houses, 3D LUTs help keep everyone on the same visual page.
Important: While 3D LUTs are an excellent way to maintain a consistent look across various footage and projects, it's important to understand that they can only contain color transformations. Any non-color adjustments like film halation or grain cannot be stored in 3D LUT files and won't be part of the exported look. When sharing your LUTs with other professionals or across different software, ensure you communicate about any non-color adjustments like halation and grain that are not captured in the LUT file. This way, your collaborators can replicate those effects in their respective software.
Color smoothness is the hallmark feature of high quality film emulations and show looks. Bad LUTs often lead to "broken" colors, where natural gradients in the image are lost, and unsightly noise or banding artifacts are introduced:
While these artifacts are often not immediately visible in a singe still frame, they usually start to become problematic when trying to re-use a LUT on another set of images or videos. These issues are the result of mainly two things: Most LUTs are not rigorously stress tested on different kinds of footage and they are not being created with dedicated tools like Color.io, which has been purpose-built to maintain unprecedented color smoothness and accuracy. At the heart of Color.io is a sophisticated engine equipped with built-in color stabilizers and 3D gamut compressors designed to safeguard the integrity of natural color gradients during the color mapping processes. As a result, the LUTs created with Color.io are of exceptionally high quality, minimizing common issues such as color breaking, noise, and banding:
With Color.io you can edit images and build 3D LUTs with a powerful online raw developer and analog film look designer for photographers and filmmakers. Craft stunning film color in record time that works for any camera, in any software and on any device, directly in your browser.
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