Add LUTs to DaVinci Resolve In 1 Min [2024] - Freevisuals

To import and apply LUTs in DaVinci Resolve, access the Color Management tab, drag your LUTs into the LUT folder, and refresh the list. Then, select your clip in the Color tab, add a corrector node, choose your LUT, and fine-tune its intensity using the Key Output tab.

May 14, 2024
Add LUTs to DaVinci Resolve In 1 Min [2024] - Freevisuals
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"It's Like Video Editing On Steroids!"
- Sebastian Navarro, FreeVisuals Editor
Endorsed by Adobe, Motion Array is the ULTIMATE tool for creating high-quality videos! Browse 15M+ assets for Premiere Pro, After Effects, FCPX & DaVinci!

How To Add LUTs To DaVinci Resolve

The main reason why you downloaded DaVinci Resolve as opposed to other video editing programs is likely because of its color grading potential, right? Well, I'm guessing you're here to learn about LUTs and how to use them effectively. Let me break down everything you need to know.

What are LUTs?

Image of a beach with a cinematic LUT applied to it.

A Lookup Table (LUT) is essentially a preset color grading adjustment that can transform your video footage's colors and tones. Imagine it as a filter on steroids, used to apply a specific look or style to your videos. LUTs are especially useful for achieving consistent color grading across different projects and devices.

How LUTs Work

At its core, a LUT is a mathematical formula that takes the existing colors in your footage and maps them to new colors. This transformation can correct colors, add a stylized look, or enhance specific tones. For instance, if your footage is too warm (too much yellow/red), a LUT can balance it by adding cooler tones (blue/green).

Why Use LUTs?

Using LUTs can save you a lot of time. Instead of tweaking every color setting manually, you apply a LUT with a few clicks. This is particularly helpful when working on multiple projects that need the same visual style. For instance, when I worked on a series of short films, I used LUTs to maintain a consistent look across all episodes. It streamlined my workflow and ensured uniformity in color grading.

LUTs are incredibly useful for several reasons:

  1. Consistency Across Projects: If you're working on a series of videos or a film with multiple scenes, maintaining a consistent color grade is crucial. Applying the same LUT to all your footage ensures that every shot matches the intended style, creating a cohesive look throughout.
  2. Time Efficiency: Manually adjusting color settings for each clip can be time-consuming. LUTs allow you to apply a preset look with just a few clicks, significantly speeding up the color grading process. This is especially beneficial for editors working on tight deadlines.
  3. Cross-Platform Compatibility: LUTs can be used across different editing software and devices. Whether you're using DaVinci Resolve, Adobe Premiere Pro, or Final Cut Pro, you can apply the same LUT to achieve the same look. This is valuable for collaborative projects where different team members might use different software.

Real-World Example

Imagine you're editing a documentary. Some scenes were shot in bright daylight, while others were filmed in low light. Using a LUT designed for daylight can help standardize the colors across all daylight scenes, making them look consistent. Another LUT for low-light scenes can ensure those clips match as well. This way, your final video looks professional and visually unified.

Types of LUTs

LUTs come in two main formats: Cube Files (.CUBE) and 3D LUT (.3DL). These formats are compatible with various editing software, including DaVinci Resolve. The .CUBE files are more common and versatile.

How To Import LUTs Into DaVinci

Adjusting Color In Davinci Resolve

If you want to import LUTs into DaVinci Resolve, follow these steps. This method is quick and efficient, and it has worked well for me.

Step 1: Open Project Settings

Start by opening your project in DaVinci Resolve. In the bottom right corner of the screen, you’ll see a settings icon that looks like a cogwheel. Click on this icon to open the Project Settings window.

Step 2: Find the LUT Folder

Once you’re in the Project Settings window, click on the "Color Management" tab on the left side. Here, you’ll find a section labeled "Lookup Tables" (LUTs). Click on the "Open LUT Folder" button. This will open a folder on your computer where your LUT files need to go.

Step 3: Add Your LUTs

Now that the LUT folder is open, simply drag and drop your LUT files (they should be .CUBE or .3DL files) into this folder. This will add your LUTs to DaVinci Resolve.

Step 4: Update the LUT List

After you’ve added your LUT files, go back to DaVinci Resolve. In the Project Settings window, still under the Color Management tab, click the "Update Lists" button. This will refresh the LUT list, making your new LUTs available for use.

How To Apply LUTs In DaVinci Resolve

LUT applied to footage in DaVinci Resolve

Now that you have your LUTs imported into DaVinci, you have the ability to apply them to your footage whenever you like. Here's how:

Applying LUTs in DaVinci Resolve can enhance your video projects by giving them a polished look. Here’s a detailed guide to help you through the process.

Step 1: Select Your Footage

Start by choosing the clip you want to work on. Open DaVinci Resolve and load your project. At the bottom of the screen, click on the "Color" tab. This will take you to the color grading workspace.

Step 2: Add Nodes to the Color Page

In the Color page, you’ll see a grid in the top right corner where you can add nodes. Nodes are like layers that allow you to apply different effects. Right-click in the node grid and select "Add Node" > "Corrector". This will create a new node. Click and drag this node into the sequence, connecting it to your footage.

Step 3: Choose and Apply a LUT

To apply a LUT, locate the LUT panel at the top left of the Color page. Click on it to open the LUT browser. You’ll see a list of available LUTs. Navigate through them and click on the one you want to use. If you hover over a LUT, you can see a preview of how it will look on your footage.

Step 4: Fine-Tune the LUT

Once you’ve applied the LUT, you might need to adjust its intensity to get the perfect look. Select the node where you applied the LUT. Then, in the lower-right corner, find the Key Output tab. Here, you’ll see a 'Gain' slider. Adjust this slider to control how strong the LUT effect is on your clip. Reducing the gain will lessen the LUT’s impact, making it more subtle.

Additional Tips

  • Consistency: Use the same LUT for similar clips to keep a consistent look across your project.
  • Avoid Overuse: Don’t make the LUT too strong. Over-saturation can make the footage look unnatural.
  • Multiple Devices: Always check your footage on different screens to ensure it looks good everywhere.