What are red cameras LUTs and how to use them?

What are red cameras LUTs and how to use them?

Red cameras are high-end digital cinema cameras that capture stunning images with incredible dynamic range and color fidelity. However, to get the most out of your red camera footage, you need to apply some color grading in post-production. This is where red cameras LUTs come in handy.

LUT stands for look up table, which is a mathematical formula that transforms the color values of one image into another. LUTs can be used to create different looks, styles, moods, or effects for your footage. For example, you can use a LUT to make your footage look more cinematic, vintage, or stylized.

Red cameras have a unique color science called Image Processing Pipeline 2 (IPP2), which is designed to provide consistent and accurate color across all red camera models and resolutions. 

Debayer is the process of converting the raw data from the camera sensor into RGB pixels. Color space is the range of colors that can be represented by the camera. Gamma curve is the relationship between the brightness of the image and the signal level. Output transform is the final adjustment of the image before it is displayed on a monitor or exported to a file.

Red cameras LUTs are 3D LUTs that apply an output transform to your footage based on your chosen color space and gamma curve. Red cameras LUTs are compatible with most video editing software and can be applied as an effect or adjustment layer. Red cameras LUTs can help you achieve a consistent and pleasing look for your footage, as well as preview how it will look on different devices and platforms.

There are two types of red cameras LUTs: creative LUTs and output presets1.

Creative LUTs are designed to enhance the aesthetic and artistic qualities of your footage. They can create different film looks, moods, or styles for your footage. For example, you can use a creative LUT to make your footage look like a Hollywood blockbuster, a documentary, or a horror film.

Output presets are designed to match the technical specifications of different output formats and devices. They can ensure that your footage looks correct and consistent on various screens and platforms. For example, you can use an output preset to make your footage compatible with Rec. 709 (standard HD), Rec. 2020 (high dynamic range), or sRGB (web).

To use red cameras LUTs, you need to follow these steps:

  1. Import your red camera footage into your video editing software.
  2. Apply the red camera metadata settings that match your shooting conditions, such as ISO, white balance, exposure compensation, etc.
  3. Choose a color space and gamma curve that suit your creative vision and workflow. For example, you can choose REDWideGamutRGB as your color space and Log3G10 as your gamma curve for maximum flexibility and dynamic range.
  4. Apply a red camera LUT that matches your chosen color space and gamma curve as an effect or adjustment layer. For example, you can apply a creative LUT from the RED Creative LUT Kit or an output preset from the IPP2 Output Presets.
  5. Adjust the intensity and opacity of the LUT as needed. You can also tweak other parameters such as contrast, saturation, hue, etc.
  6. Export or render your footage with the desired settings and format.

By using red cameras LUTs, you can enhance the quality and appearance of your red camera footage with ease and efficiency. Red cameras LUTs can help you achieve professional results with minimal effort and time.