LUTs LUTs LUTs • and 3D LUT Creator

  A word of warning: deep space technical mambojambo ahead and a little poopooza disclaimer I’m not a scientist or pretending to master anything, please read the following as part of my ongoing personal odyssey… to madness… or burn in hell, hef herd heF

This is a remix of several articles I've written for Personal View


1st Part – the LUT thing

What is a LUT? Well other than a pattern-running system for torpedoes used by the German navy during world War II, a village in Iran, a prophet of the Qur’an, an abbreviation of London’s Luton airport and a Local User Terminal, LUT is an acronym for Look Up Table, 3 different explanation including pizza one 😛

A     B     C     


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Great in depth deconstruction of LUTs by The Coloristos



thanks to Premium Beat

Abel Cine’s full array of Canon 3D LUTs

Tom Majerski’s Technicolor and Kodak Vision 3 500T LUT


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David Torcivia



Watch for the size of the LUTs, recently I read somewhere that higher quality (size/points) LUTs are not always better, read compatibility (specific task), WF practicality, etc. Davinci Resolve uses 33x33x33 points for its 3D LUTs while 1D (soft clip) ones are 1023 data points. See this wolfcrow post and this light illusion one =)

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OK, I must admit at first I didn’t understand the commotion about LUTs and it took me a while to start grasping their potential, I like to blame the lead in the water ☠

Meanwhile I developed other heterodox grading methodologies FOR PHOTOGRAPHY and video. Here I must make a pit stop – I know this can be read as an egotrip, I won’t even bother to state opposite, but what I would truly like is for anyone reading to understand that this is ultimately a journey based in a very personal experience, ok?

Though I never filmed, literally with film, in my early days I used and developed my photos only using negative and positive (reversal, slide or diapositive aka diafilm) films, boy did I love shooting Agfa Scala!!! It was my credo: ASAs, Kodak, Delta film, pushing processing, C-41, fucking up the negatives development with strange emulsion mixes, Rodinal, T-Max, the double velvet curtains entrance to the lab, Fujifilm, the darkness, the red light, Provia film, using hand made masks and non standard developed techniques, E-6, XP2 film, big knobs loud timers, temperature accuracy, Pan-F film, time accuracy, exposure tests, contrast tests, Ektachrome film, RC and FB (much more expensive) papers, all painted black, the water always running, Velvia film, old sturdy Durst and Meopta enlargers, adjusting height, Superia film, the guillotine, Ilford, focusing, THE SMELL, Portra film, the room with industrial transparent curtains where long strips full of tiny images dried, FP4 film, proyecting directly to he wall, Sensia, Elite Chrome and Precisa cheaper films, experimenting non-stop, gently rocking the developer, TRi-X film, the magic of an image appearing on a white surface, 400H film, the excitement pauses before contemplating printed worked, Neopan film, casing the slides, uncut film roll of 50 meters, filling the Carousel loader, HP5 film … looking at your images in big really BIG projection, and so on.

So when I started to really get into digital photography I tried to achieve similar results with photoshop, gimp and that kind of editors which revealed as a big time consuming pain in the ass. Here shamefull picture of girlfriend getting cold in bed, oooohhhh. Then I started cooking my own recipes using applications such as oneone’s perfect suit, nik (now bought by almighty google) color effex, alien skin exposure, red giant and all sort of more esoteric software “helpers”.

Before proceeding with the reading I invite you to repeat this useful mantra:


I managed to get pretty nice results and still today a mix of color effex and exposure (great software) can deliver such an appealing look (for me at least) as this one

Below’s the SOC image from a 1/2.3 inch sensor PS camera – see Berni’s post

Even with the shittiest mobile phone, 2 MP camera, and processing in the phone itself (free Pixlr app on cyanogenmod 10) one can achieve some nice “organic” stuff



Allraich, guess that I made my point there, now here comes the LUTs part.

With LUTs you can achieve this really, really but really fast and in an accurate way, from colour tinkering math POV. You “just” need to know your LUTs and how and where (at which stage in your workflow and in which program) mix them. The other BIG benefit of working with LUTs is that today it’s possible to use them cross-platform. So you can develop a grade for your video footage in the NLE or composite program of your choice and then use it for stills (works both ways) and then mix everything up and there you’ll be expecting… babies!!! je je

Now, I’ve reached this conclusion by my own travelling, pain, discovering, joy, sensibility, exchange, reading, sleepless nights and days and testing, a fucking lot of testing. At PV forums there are way more capable people; for instance Shian Storm has developed a refined grading system around panasonic GH cameras: ColorGHear.

Same happens in other communities (see BMD, dvxuser and such); these days seems like every brand, every piece of software and almost each camera has a dedicated community. Which makes more sense, actually is “mandatory” regarding video, because in order for the Look Up Tables to be accurate, they should be built on each specific camera model interpretation & rendition of the color gamut and/or for specific colour spaces or translation between them.

In my specific case the reasons I haven’t adopted an already built system are simple; first because grading is quite often the part I enjoy best. And secondly, ’cause by doing the discovery journey myself I learn a bit more about the wonderfully coloured guts of the beast. But don’t be tricked, IMHO developing your own ways is painfully time consuming and lays many fruitless roads….. But then, even if comes out an alien, you’re so wonderfully sure it is your baby and not the plumber’s  😛

  Here I have to issue a follow up warning, please note that LUTs are an artistry and a science; visualise a director, a DP, a colourist discussing a look and carefully choosing a certain film stock based in their experience, in the context it’s going to be used and a deep understanding of how that emulsion would behave under certain circumstances (e.g. light setup). That in the old days, today camera’s model would play a major roll.   There’s a reason why professional colourists exist, why their craft it’s referred as the science of colour.   This digital age with its democratized access to many (grading-able) platforms also brings a myriad of tiny incompatibilities that can make all the difference over the results… which does not prevent us of tinkering around in the process of learning  😉

Original footage

Recreation from Balibo film

In this movie, other than a very nice OST – though at the end of the film can’t really enjoy Lisa Gerard’s epicness stuff while indonesian sons of bitches are shooting in cold blood ordinary timorese citizens – and superb camera work (double challenge as they nail 70’s medium and close up handheld shooting style too), there are very interesting grading decisions. I.e. the blueish tonalities and harsh vignetting for scenes where Roger East imagines/recreates/discovers what could had happen to the five ausie journalists. Or a parallel narrative.

IMHO this grading decisions come from a context and are used for a context, here 1975 and 8mm (I think) shoulder style camerawork. Not a masterpiece but worth the watch =)

Some words from the director, Robert Connolly:

I used ingenue lenses from the ‘70s, standard 16 lenses not super-16 lenses, I graded it – using Brett Manson, an amazing grader who also did Tsotsi – to make it look like reversal, we used a faster stock that had more grain in it and a whole range of things. We emulated the style of that time with the movements – handheld!

Viva Timor Lorosae!!!


I’ll leave 300Mb worth of LUTs; I’ve taken them from Resolve Lite, Speedgrade, Photoshop, AE, Arri LUT generator, etc. If you download the demos you may as-well extract them out, just look for LUT folder inside the application package. I wanted to save you the trouble (so you can put your energy in testing/playing with them) and some trees 😛


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Fev 2015


Oleg Sharonov’s >> 3DLUT Creator >> new channel permutations batch
despite zip is not even 10MB, when expanded it’ll get to 171MB




You probably all know by now that channel mixer in blending modes Lighten and Darken can greatly remove or convert colors. I decided to go ahead and make a separate channelized lightening / darkening. As a result, I was able to (3 + 3 + 3) ^ 3 = 729 permutations of channel options and lighten / darken. I did pack Lutov that you can download and find among them those who will come to your photos. It’s just a mathematical search of all possible options, so do not be surprised that many of the files will be given the green or purple face. I would be glad if you share your comments combinations found on your examples.


and ripping of RPP, Exposure 7, DXO and VSCO LUTS,
plus some misc mushrooms 😛 Despite zip is not even 420MB, when expanded it’ll get to 1,75GB!!! – have a look at list of contents and {Scotish upskilt drunk man} feast yourselves!!!







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resources and tools

for Colour Corr-erection and Grading

To use them in Photoshop together with the Lumetri LUTs, you have to place them – or a shortcut – inside of the application itself: Photoshop/Presets/3DLUTs. I myself found very fast/convenient to duplicate layers and apply different opacities, transparency modes and layer properties; it almost banished the need for masking layers, at the most gradient masks… hopefully we will see this capability implemented in future DMA (digital media management) programs such as lightroom; right now only 3D LUT Creator is being integraded.

Almost all the LUTs can be used or easyly translated to/with Davinci Resolve Lite (free) or full version. See video down below. Even if you’re not working with video, this is a tool you SHOULD HAVE, powerfull and free ,-)

I know AE cc have an apply LUT thingie, If using other version you may want to download Red Giant’s free LUT Buddy so to apply them in AE and Premiere and also to be able to translate LUTs to other formats, this is a very big deal for me. It’s free and good to have



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And a very very very interesting video by Matt Fezz!!!
Working with DR and DR Lite 10 and 11, check!

As complementary, Mathieu Marano’s Moving Looks from Resolve to SpeedGrade

I’m conducting my own little test & research and but already feel confortable to say that today is totally possible, even easy, to create an exchange looks between almost any platform: Davinci Resolve, After Effects, Premiere, Lightroom, Photoshop, SpeedGraVe, etc. Even in NLEs, compositors and graphic programs which don’t support DPX files, you can use EXR, TIFF or even Jpeg as long as you make the final conversion to 16bits and Cineon DPX. I’m pretty sure this cross-platform integration would change the way of doing things and developing workflows, at least it will for me.

☉ ☉ ☉




  +  Farnsworth Munsell
   100 Hue Test


☉ ☉ ☉


2nd Part – 3D LUT Creator


In my never-ending search found this nice application by Oleg Sharonov (FB link) and though it was worth sharing: 3D LUT Creator

3D LUT Creator is color correction software. It can transform colors in LAB color space and save corrections as 3DL file, that can be loaded to Photoshop CS6 or other image and video editing software. 3D LUT Creator is a standalone program, that can load images in TIFF, JPEG and other formats, and can save TIFF, JPEG, 3DL files. It requires a PC with Windows x32 or x64 installed or MacOS. 3DL files are platform-independent and can be used in variety of image and video editors, such as Adobe Photoshop, After Effects, DaVinci Resolve and others. Program is in version 1.0 and very frequently updated.

WIN Version                MAC Version

3DL tools video

Benoit Cote‘s Color Grading Reel 2014
Graded with DaVinci Resolve and 3D Lut Creator

Mats Helgesson‘s test of the updated LUT for the BMPCC: Slightly more saturation and some colors are remapped. Same file link:


December 2013

Q&A (questions and answers) with Oleg Sharonov, developer of 3D Lut Creator:

Oleg Sharonov

maxr – Is there a team or is it only you developing the program? – BTW great great work =)

Oleg – I’m the only one developing the program, thank you =)

How much does 3D LUT Creator costs and what is included?

It’s $70 right now, updates for versions 0.x and 1.x are included

Is there (would be) any support for non-russian speaking customers? Manual?

Yes, some guys are going to join me and found a company, then there will probably be site and manuals translation

What are development / expansion plans? Is there going to be a mac build version?

I’m working on Mac version, and also going to implement some never-seen-before color corrections =)

Where can 3D LUT Creator be used other than as a standalone? PS, Lightroom, video NLE, Davinci, After Efects?

It’s hard to make a plug-in from it, because it’s written on Delphi / Lazarus. I’ll have to rewrite it in C++ to make plug-ins

Which image formats does 3D LUT Creator work with? Which can export?

It uses freeimage library, so it can load and save everything it supports, including jpg, png, tiff, etc.

Which LUT formats does 3D LUT Creator work with? Which can export?

It currently could not load LUT, because general LUT can’t be presented using tools 3D LUT Creator have. I tried to make some approximations, discarding brightness information and so on, but it doesn’t work well yet. So 3DLC is mainly to create LUT’s, not to edit third-party ones. It can export 3DL, CSP and CUBE formats, and also I’m going to add ACV export for curves

Would be possible to use it with video… in the future?

It’s possible to use with video using single frames, in the same way lightroom does. Adding support for video files directly into program would require huge amount of work, and probably making it in form of plug-in would be a better way of doing it. But I can’t say anything about plug-ins yet, if I would be able to make them or not.

As a side note (still Oleg speaking)
There’s a video explaining curves and curves extraction – so you can “duplicate the looks” of any image you like – but it’s in russian. If you know someone who can voiceover it, I can write english subtitles. So if anyone english and russian speaker is interested, feel free to contact Oleg, Facebook link above.

I muchi-muchi like the concept of this plugin / standalone and how easy to use it feels. As far as I know exist integration with photoshop, lightroom, AE and Davinci Resolve. The Mac version is already a reality and last updates include

  • Some bug ironing
  • a droplet for direct WB selection, real-time feedback from the hue blob, dunno what to call it
  • now when you move directly over the image, it’s not the grid that changes, it’s the hue representation
  • and that channel mixer…!!!… it’s some feature like I’ve never seen implemented

We’re entering the Sci-Fi UI’s era, ja ja ja. Guess that Oleg lives up to his word ,-)

Next step for expansion: english 🙂 A detailed user manual and 1 long and warm sum-up video would be a very niceL welcome

More than a year later I thought look what a beast 3DLUT creator has become, among a myriad improvements and additions, it now even has waveform =)



Oleg updated the program 2 days ago, download links are still perfectly working.
He also posted 3 very interesting scientific papers, PDFs for download:

A Guided Tour of Color Space
The rehabilitation of gamma
Wide Gamut Device-Independent Colour Image Interchange

CaptainHook’s BMD cinema camera new LUTs were cooked inside 3DL Creator and this guy is a crak!!!

I created these LUTs a little differently this time. The basis for these LUTs were created in the wonderful software “3D Lut Creator” by Oleg Sharonov. If you haven’t heard of it, it’s a very unique approach to creating LUTs that primarily uses a grid/mesh for mapping hue/saturation/luminance. It’s still pretty new, but a really great visual way to approach colour correction.

September – 2014
Added unicorn’s harmonizer flowing fart for good vibe, new 3D Lut Creator homepage, important new FREE and paid CC and grading resources, workflow link for exporting LUTs within PS, updated and polished some of links’ rotten fingernails and a couple of videos =)

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December – 2014
Added an orthographic overall bio-glue, sex and candy fine dust particles here and there, some pngs babies and D16 – Rec 2020 below and fixed 3DL direct download links

If you’re a Digital Bolex user and/or want to download and try out a Rec 709 Linear to Rec 2020 workflow:

Digital Bolex D16: Preliminary Dynamic Range Tests

Normalizing the D16 Color Space – here you’ll find Davinci Resolve and Speedgrave’s LUTs as all the needed info =)


Thanks to AlbertZ and lunalobo75 users at Personal-View and specially to




To the +6330 souls that have visit/loot/soak up and manage to go through this chaos of a LUT story/post, YOUUU AAAARE WEEEELCOME, put it to good use ,-)


That’s all for today folks =)


I write this stuff but I want to be cristal clear: I have no commercial relation whatsoever with Oleg and 3DL Creator or any of the before mentioned systems and tools. It is not that I have a conscience it is just that they don’t offer enough gold & virgins…  😛 –  I write as I learn too

Just couldn’t end with such bubbling. Here a peep on Kirsty Mitchell’s work!!!

Photographer: Kirsty Mitchell Photography
Cinematographer: Richard Wakefield, FX Mediaspeedlooks_studio_log_plogo
MUA: Elbie Van Eeden –
Music: Diego Buongiorno




LUTs video test by Matteo Bertoli



That was a looooooong post, ufa!!! More on colour


exporting LUTs from PS CC and CR 8.5 bug fix


Configuring Firefox’s colour management + DAM Darktable

About m)◘(x

ni! for now
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