Short Cuts #4. How to use LUTs (and 5 free horror movie LUTs to download)
By David Winter
Jul 14, 2023
2 minute read
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How to use LUTs (and 5 free horror movie LUTs to download)
For this week’s episode of Short Cuts, it’s a Halloween special! Spookyyyyyyy.
In this very spooktacular episode, we’re taking a look at how to use LUTs. LUT stands for colour lookup table. To get you started with LUTs, we’ve created some for you based on classic and modern horror films, that you can download for free by clicking the links below - don't worry, no forms to fill in, they are completely free, courtesy of our special guest Dreaditor, Spooky Murderson!
LUTs apply a pre-defined look to your footage that you can then adjust.
Once you’ve downloaded the LUTs below, head into your Lightworks project, and open up the project card on the top left, and there you’ll find ‘viewing LUT’ as an option at the bottom of the ‘Output’ tab. If the green circle next to it is filled in, that means the LUT is on, and will be applied to your entire project. To choose a LUT, click on the ‘choose..’ dropdown, and then navigate your way to where you’ve saved your LUTs. Double click on the one you want to import it.
That look will now be applied to every clip on your timeline, and you can toggle it on and off by clicking the green light next to where it says ‘Viewing LUT’.
How to use LUTs for individual clips
This is the best way to apply a LUT to your entire project, but there is a way to apply it to individual clips as well. This is my preferred method, as it gives you more control.
To do this, click on the clip you want to apply the effect to, then head to the VFX tab, click the + button to add a new effect, go to the colour tab, and then either double click 3D LUT or drag it down onto your clip.
This will apply your LUT to just that single clip, leaving the others unaffected.
Doing this will have automatically opened up your effect settings. Under 3D LUT, you will see a bar named ‘Amount’, set to 100%. This allows you to control the intensity of the LUT. many LUTs are often intentionally too extreme by default, but begin to look pretty good once you lower the amount.
There you go - that’s how to use LUTs in a nutshell (LUTshell?)
Download the free horror film inspired LUTs below, have a play around, and let us know how you get on:
For more LUTs, there's also a whole bunch of defaults within Lightworks and many available for free or a small fee, feel free to Google around or head over to our friends at lutify.me, they've got some great ones!