Using LUTs in DaVinci Resolve


DavInci Resolve is a non-linear editing (NLE) and color correction program used by professional video editors, and now created and managed by Blackmagic Design. Unlike other video editing tools, it makes use of a node based layout for greated versatility and control when color correcting video projects.

No professional color correcion software would be comlete without the functionality of using LUTs to grade footage, which is exactly what DaVinci Resolve enables it's users to do.

 

Here's a short video on using LUTs in DaVinici Resolve:



1. Begin with a clip selected on your timeline.

Using LUTs in DaVinci Resolve

 

2. Next, select the Color workspace from the bottom of the screen.

Using LUTs in DaVinci Resolve

 

3. Click on the gear icon in the bottom right corner to open the Project Settings menu.

Using LUTs in DaVinci Resolve

 

4. Once inside the Project Settings menu, choose Color Management from the list on the left, and then click the button labelled “Open LUT folder”.

Using LUTs in DaVinci Resolve

 

5. This will open the explorer (Windows) or Finder (Mac OS) to the folder where the LUTs are stored. Separately, navigate to the folder on your computer where your desired LUTs is stored. Select the folder containing your LUTs that you wish to apply and copy the to the DaVinci Resolve LUT folder. Finally, close the folders.

Using LUTs in DaVinci Resolve

 

6. In the Project Settings menu, click the “Update Lists” button, and then click “Save” in the bottom right of the menu.

Using LUTs in DaVinci Resolve

 

7. Right-click (windows) or hold the Control key and click (Mac OS) the clip and go down to 3D LUT. You will now see the LUTs you copied to the folder in the list of available LUTs. Choose your desired LUT to apply it to the footage.

Using LUTs in DaVinci Resolve



Troubleshooting

 

Which LUT should I apply to my footage?

LUTs usually come in two formats – “Rec 709” and “LOG”. Depending on the picture profile you shot the image in will depend on which version you use. If you shot in a standard picture profile, you should start with a “Rec 709” version LUT. If you shot in a flat or neutral profile, you should start with a “LOG” version LUT.

 

When I click “Browse” to look for the LUT file on my computer, I can’t see it.

If you have downloaded a .zip file that contains the LUT files, ensure it has been unzipped to a folder on your computer. Some operating systems will not recognize files if they are still inside a .zip file.

 

After I apply the LUT, everything looks too dark/bright or warm/cold.

You need to correct you footage’s tone and white balance to match the LUT. After you apply your LUT try adjusting the Exposure of your clip, and alter the Temperature/Tint to warm/cool the footage. LUTs should always be used as a starting point in your color correction workflow, and are not a “one-click done” solution.