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Understanding LOG (flat) footage and LUTs

From: Up and Running with SpeedGrade CC

Video: Understanding LOG (flat) footage and LUTs

In this movie, we are going to pull up Dead Man's lake ungraded, and regrade it this time using a LUT. And why are we going to do that? Because this film was originally recorded on an Arri Alexa as Log C. So, this is a perfect example of a film where we might want to apply a lot to help us get the color grade started. If you have access to the exercise files, open up exercise file 10_03_logandluts. Before we get started on this, let's just take a quick look here at the timeline and the format default, and you will notice there is an Alexa format default.

Understanding LOG (flat) footage and LUTs

In this movie, we are going to pull up Dead Man's lake ungraded, and regrade it this time using a LUT. And why are we going to do that? Because this film was originally recorded on an Arri Alexa as Log C. So, this is a perfect example of a film where we might want to apply a lot to help us get the color grade started. If you have access to the exercise files, open up exercise file 10_03_logandluts. Before we get started on this, let's just take a quick look here at the timeline and the format default, and you will notice there is an Alexa format default.

The thing is, is this wasn't ARRIRAW and that's what this pull down menu is referring to, ARRIRAW. This was actually recorded to ProRes 444 as Log C, therefore, this doesn't really apply to the footage we're working on now. So, let's jump back into the LUT tab and let's apply the LUT Look layer. And right off the bat it looks (LAUGH) terrible. Well, that's because it's giving us the wrong LUT. it's the CineSpace LUT, and let's jump up instead.

There are to AlexaLUTs that ship with SpeedGrade CC. Were going to pull the one for Rec 709. And the image doesn't quite look right. Certainly, if I come over here and use the eyeball to turn this layer on and off. I mean the image looks better, but I wouldn't quite say it looks rich and dynamic, like I'd hope this image would look like. And why is that? Well, because you do have to spend a little bit of time preparing the image for a LUT. Most let's assume that the incoming image is using most of the tonal range.

And what do I mean by that? Well, if I turn this off. Press the A key for analysis tools, notice how little of the full tonal range we're using. The highlights are peaking out at about 60 IRE. What we want to do is expand this out, set our blacks, set our highlights, and then feed that into the LUT to allow the LUT to preform its magic. So we'll come here into the Look tab, we'll select the Primary layer. And now I'm going to first use the overall offset, because the offset affects every pixel of this image.

And also do a very slight balance in the blacks, it looks to me like the greens were a little high. So I'm going to make a slight adjustment there to even them out. And then bring them down but not clip them out. Then I'm going to take gain control on the over all and lift that up, and I want the clouds, oh, probably around 95%. Right about there, on these highlights right here. Now, this image doesn't look very good. There isn't much color or saturation to it. Clearly, there's more work I want to do. But before I do that, now is a good time to feed this into the LUT and see what the LUT does for us.

So now, I'll turn on this LUT, and there we go. I've got a much more interesting picture. Look at all the color that came in. but I am doing a little bit of clipping out of the highlights right now. So maybe what I want to do is jump back into this primary and pull these highlights back. Just a touch, and then maybe pull these shadows up just a touch. And maybe I do want to give a little more saturation, because I'm looking at them and their skin tones, and I'm thinking I'd like a little more saturation in their skin tones.

Now that's looking better. Now, if I turn this LUT on and off. This LUT has done a nice job. If I turn the entire grade on and off, that's where we started, that's where we ended. That's a much better looking image, a much happier. But notice, we had to do a little bit of work in order to get a LUT to work for us. And now, let's see what it does for the rest of the shots in this sequence. Let's jump over to shot number two. I'm just going to hover over this first clip and press the C key to copy the grade across. I'm actually pretty please with that.

That is actually looking like pretty good shot to me. Next clip, press the C key, not bad. Next clip, hover, press the C key. maybe a little saturated there on the shirt. Again, the C key. Definitely a little over saturated on the shirt, but I'm generally happy with the skin tone. So, I will come in here with the secondary. Some of these blacks are a little crushed. His shirt looks like a big black-hole, and then I've got this orange screaming out at me. Back to the reverse shot. I'll come up to this previous reverse shot.

If I want, I can turn on the Little film strip here does help me find the shot I'm looking for. This one right here, press the C key. Next shot, come to the wide C key. And then I've got this point of view shot that I'll just put the C key on there, and that could probably be using a little more tweaking. But you can see that, you know, we've got the foundation of a very strong color grade going on right here. And there's more work that can be done, but using a LUT helps us pull a lot of this detail image right away.

Now I don't have to do it. And you can go earlier in this training title where I'm working with primaries, and we work with this footage using just the tools here as in the primary layer. Basically grade this shot from scratch, and not using a LUT. So you can go either way that you want. In this case I think the LUT is a pretty decent starting point. And I can go ahead, add an another primary layer, and if I want may be left out some of the detail in those shadows. I'm going to bring down my highlights a touch.

Come in to my mid-tones and maybe drop the mid-tones a little bit. It's a little later in the day. While lifting the mid-tone gain a touch to give me a little more contrast. And then taking the highlights and dropping them a bit. Just to keep the clouds from clipping out, we'll put a little bit more color, little bit more blue into those highlights. And that's what we've done on that third primary layer. So there you go. If you have access to the project files, I will save this off for you so you can kind of deconstruct what I've done.

It'll be saved as 10_03_logandluts. And, and hopefully this will give you a good idea of how to use LUTs in a grading workflow.

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This video is part of

Image for Up and Running with SpeedGrade CC
Up and Running with SpeedGrade CC

55 video lessons · 9180 viewers

Patrick Inhofer
Author

 
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  1. 30m 23s
    1. Welcome
      3m 40s
    2. Where does SpeedGrade fit in a post-production workflow?
      5m 7s
    3. Exploring additional equipment
      5m 28s
    4. Using the exercise files
      9m 7s
    5. What's new in 7.1
      4m 57s
    6. What's new in 7.2
      2m 4s
  2. 46m 7s
    1. Interface overview
      7m 7s
    2. Navigating to media in the Media Browser
      4m 58s
    3. Direct Link vs. Native
      5m 39s
    4. Direct Link on the Mac
      2m 54s
    5. Manipulating the viewer
      5m 44s
    6. Manipulating the Timeline
      5m 3s
    7. Using analysis tools to evaluate contrast and exposure
      6m 42s
    8. Using analysis to evaluate color
      8m 0s
  3. 23m 14s
    1. Importing clips directly into SpeedGrade
      4m 42s
    2. Using automatic scene detection
      5m 53s
    3. Sending a sequence from Premiere Pro to SpeedGrade
      6m 6s
    4. Using an edit decision list (EDL) to conform a project
      6m 33s
  4. 35m 30s
    1. Colorist lingo: What is a primary correction?
      4m 11s
    2. Understanding the 3-Way controls: Contrast
      4m 59s
    3. Understanding the 3-Way controls: Shadows, Midtones, and Highlights
      5m 26s
    4. Understanding the 3-Way controls: Hue and Saturation
      5m 16s
    5. Using the slider controls
      6m 39s
    6. Adding, deleting, and working with primary layers
      8m 59s
  5. 17m 9s
    1. Making initial contrast and color adjustments
      6m 59s
    2. Balancing your shots by removing color casts
      6m 6s
    3. Grading in passes
      4m 4s
  6. 48m 23s
    1. Colorist lingo: What is a secondary correction?
      2m 9s
    2. Colorist lingo: The vignette
      1m 42s
    3. Using masks
      9m 43s
    4. Mask linking
      5m 41s
    5. Maks and layer linking
      2m 30s
    6. Grading layers and grading clips
      5m 29s
    7. Tracking masks and using the keyframing controls
      8m 15s
    8. Understanding the secondary layer
      8m 16s
    9. Pulling HSL keys and limiting with masks
      4m 38s
  7. 11m 25s
    1. Tracking a face
      5m 25s
    2. Keying and grading skies
      4m 18s
    3. Using a mask with a sky correction
      1m 42s
  8. 27m 10s
    1. Copying corrections from one shot to another
      4m 59s
    2. Using the Snapshot Browser
      7m 19s
    3. Using the Continuity Checker
      5m 47s
    4. Using the Shot Matcher
      4m 14s
    5. Saving and recalling grades
      4m 51s
  9. 14m 8s
    1. Understanding the Look layer
      7m 55s
    2. Saving and applying looks using the Look Manager and Look presets
      6m 13s
  10. 17m 8s
    1. Colorist lingo: RAW, LOG, and look-up tables (LUTs)
      5m 5s
    2. Controls for RAW footage
      5m 46s
    3. Understanding LOG (flat) footage and LUTs
      6m 17s
  11. 19m 40s
    1. Setting up a render
      6m 42s
    2. Importing rendered media back in Premiere Pro
      2m 40s
    3. Sharing looks between SpeedGrade and Premiere Pro
      5m 35s
    4. Direct Link to Premiere Pro
      4m 43s
  12. 4m 36s
    1. Additional resources
      2m 36s
    2. Goodbye
      2m 0s

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