I previously wrote a piece about creating cinematic drone footage. Within that, I discussed the use of editing software, software plugins and LUT packs. Even though I wrote this to be targeted towards drone pilots, the fundamental values of the piece hold true for an aspiring videographer. Creating cinematic footage efficiently and in a timely manner depends on your equipment and your editing prowess. One way to speed up color grading is to use LUT packs in your video editor. The folks at Polar Pro reached out to share its cinematic Elektra LUT packs for a review.
What is an LUT?
LUT is short for “look-up table.” LUTs are used in video editing software and also some photo editing apps. LUTs provide a quick way to color grade your video footage with just a few clicks of the mouse. Sure you could adjust exposure, saturation or contrasts to achieve the look you want, but that could take a lot longer. Think of LUTs as a filter like what you’d find in Instagram. Except, it’s for your video footage.
How to use an LUT
First, make sure you set your camera’s color profile to a flat profile. Use “log” as the profile. Depending on your camera, it could be named “s-log,” “c-log,” or in the case of my drone it’s just “log.” The flat color profile will look really bad to you at first because the colors are muted, the contrast is almost non-existent and the overall image will tend to look hazy. Don’t fret, this allows you to harness the full power of LUTs so you can tastefully bring up details and color of your footage.
Installing a LUT pack is fairly easy. Just follow your video editing software’s installation guide. In most cases, it’s as simple as dragging and dropping the folder containing the LUT files into a specified folder of your editing software.
I appreciate Polar Pro sharing the Elektra LUTs with me. The packages can be ordered for your DJI drone, GoPro action camera, DLSR or cinematic camera. The pricing is $29.99. I created a video showing how easy it is to use a LUT as well as the final result of footage with a LUT applied. Thanks for watching!