Working with LUTs

Project Description

Learn how to use LUTs in your Exposure workflow. In this video we show you how to find and select the right LUT for your image, adjust the intensity, blend multiple LUTs in non-destructive layers, and more.

Photos: Scott Stulberg, Mayumi Acosta

A LUT is a file that transforms the colors in your image. They can accomplish things like simulating the look of a print or popular cinematic looks used in Hollywood films, such as orange and teal.

LUTs open up exciting new creative possibilities and make it easy to achieve cool looks.
They are also freely available on the Internet and from other photo and video apps, making it easy to choose from a variety of styles.

 

Importing LUTs

Exposure reads LUT files that use the .cube format. Free LUTs that are posted on the Internet often use this format.
 I’ve already downloaded some LUTs that I am ready to import into Exposure.

In Exposure’s LUT panel, click Browse.
 In the Browse LUTs window, click Import, then navigate to the folder with the LUT you want to import.

Select the LUT to import it. If you have multiple LUTs to import, ⌘+A on Mac or Ctrl+A on Windows selects them all.

Click Open.

Exposure’s Import LUTs dialog shows you the LUTs you are importing.
 You can change the Category, creating a new category if you wish.
 I’ll stay with the default Samples category. As well as change the color space the LUT was designed for.

Most LUTs downloaded from the Internet are designed for sRGB. If you created the LUT in Photoshop, we suggest using Adobe RGB.
 You can always change the color space in the LUT panel when you begin working with your imported LUT.

I’ll click Import. The Cinestyle LUT I imported is now visible and ready to apply.

 

Working with LUTs

I’ll show two different LUT treatments on two different images. In Exposure’s LUT panel, I’ll click Browse to preview my installed LUTs, in a grid. I’ll adjust the grid size.

To find a LUT by name, type it into the search field. I’ll find the Cinestyle LUT I just imported
.

I like the preview of how it will affect my image, so I’ll click Apply.

A minimal touch works here though, so I’ll drop the intensity to around 25. This LUT does a great job boosting the color vibrance. It’s an effective change. I like this look, so it’s ready to export as a finished image.

This elegant dance photo is another good showcase for how LUTs can enhance an image. Here in my library of LUTs, I’ll choose the Byers 11 LUT. It’s a little strong at 100 percent, so I’ll reduce it to around 80. It adds a richness to the colors, notably in the dress and the backdrop.

Exposure displays the size of the LUT. Common sizes are 32 cubed and 64 cubed. Larger sizes result in better quality but may take a little more processing time.

After applying a LUT, you can further refine it using Exposure’s editing tools, which include non-destructive layers for blending multiple LUTs, advanced color adjustments, and more.