Where do you go when your blacks are milky and your highlights are out of control? There is no competition for DIY filmmakers who wish to give their material a dramatic, professional vibe. The uncontested champion is DaVinci Resolve.
Creating a LUT in Resolve is the most straightforward method to store a graded look and apply it to other material, both inside the project and across Resolve, as well as cross-functionally in other creative tools. This covers Adobe products, Final Cut Pro, and even AVID.
We’ll teach you how to export your LUTs and then import them back into DaVinci Resolve so you can use them on future projects. Let’s get this party started!
How to Export a LUT From DaVinci Resolve
Before beginning this exercise, you should ideally have a DaVinci project open and some clips that have lately undergone a well-deserved facelift.
Create a new project and add some material to the Timeline under the Cut tab if you don’t already have one. Adjust the footage in the Color workspace—this grade doesn’t have to be too extreme for our needs here. It simply needs to be something other than leaving all parameters at their default settings.
We can begin teasing it out of the application now that you have a look to work with. Take the following steps:
- The full DaVinci pipeline is set out in a series of tabs at the bottom. If it is not already active, pick Color from the one you already have chosen.
- You should already have some material in your Timeline in the Color workspace. Right-click on the thumbnail picture of the clip from which you want to steal your new LUT.
- Bring up the Generate LUT menu. Choose from the 17 Point Cube, the 33 Point Cube, and the 65 Point Cube. In everyday life, most people believe a 33-point cube to be the norm.
- Choose a destination folder, give the LUT a name, and click Save.
Your LUT should be stored as a CUBE file in the destination location you specified. It makes no difference where you keep it right now; we’ll move it into Resolve’s dedicated LUT folder shortly.
After you’ve exported your LUT, you may apply it to another clip.
Import the footage to which you want to apply the LUT, either from the previous project or a new one. Use the Cut workspace to add your material to the Timeline, then return to Color.
Related: HitFilm Express vs. DaVinci Resolve: The Free Video Editor Battle
How to Import a LUT Into DaVinci Resolve
Applying the LUT you just made is simple, but you’ll need to perform some fiddling before you can use it. Let’s start with the LUT panel in Resolve.
You should notice three buttons at the top of the screen, just below the dropdown menu: Gallery, LUTs, and Media Pool. To see the LUT panel, choose LUTs.
You can now examine all of the default LUTs available in DaVinci Resolve. You’ll discover anything from basic inversions to more technically oriented LUTs, including the ever-popular Sony S-Log 2 and Rec. 709, a fan favorite and iconic classic.
Related: How to Read Lumetri Scopes in Premiere
Adding a LUT in DaVinci Resolve
The LUT we just exported, on the other hand, is notably absent. To utilize it inside the program, we must transfer the target folder into the one that Resolve uses for LUTs.
This is really made quite simple by Blackmagic. Here’s what you’ll need to do to add a LUT to Resolve:
- Click into your Project Settings from the File menu, or use the shortcut Shift + 9 instead.
- Navigate to the Color Management tab on the left-hand sidebar. Select the Open LUT Folder option. Outside of the software, this will display the Resolve LUT folder in your computer’s file directory.
- Drag and drop your CUBE file or the original destination folder into the LUT folder in Resolve.
- Return to the Project Settings menu in Resolve. Another button titled Update Lists is located just above the Open LUT Folder button. To refresh your LUT panel, click this button.
- To save your changes and restart your session, click the Save button at the bottom. When we open the folder, we’ll find our LUT, which is ready for use.
Related: How to Use Scene Cut Detection in DaVinci Resolve
How to Apply Your Custom LUT in DaVinci Resolve
Drag and drop the LUT onto the media in your Timeline to apply it to your clip. One amazing feature in Resolve is the ability to test LUTs on the fly by hovering over the thumbnail of the clip while dragging without actually dropping the LUT.
The preview of the photo will automatically refresh, and you’ll be able to see whether it’s the appropriate one to utilize. If you decide to employ the LUT after viewing how it performs, just release the mouse to complete the transaction.
By right-clicking on the thumbnail picture, we can apply the LUT in another way—via the LUT pull-out directly above the one we used to build the LUT in the first place. You may use the checkmarks to go to your custom LUT folder and the CUBE file in question.
Is it an ideal match? It looks better than it did before, but it could certainly need some polishing up. Let’s refine this new version and store it as a second LUT.
From now on, we’ll have both of them on standby for whenever duty calls. After a few projects, you’ll have a plethora of custom LUT possibilities to pick from. The more you create, the more you’ll realize what DaVinci is capable of.
Related: How to Create LUTs for Video Footage
Import and Export LUTs in DaVinci Resolve
Of course, if you’re in a hurry, you can always use one of the designer LUTs that come with Resolve. Creating your own LUT, on the other hand, will almost certainly result in something much more artistic and one-of-a-kind.
You’ll be able to use your CUBE file everywhere, including Premiere and Photoshop, after you’ve removed it from DaVinci’s gaping mouth; one look to rule them all, and we wouldn’t have it any other way.
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