What Are LUTs in Video Editing?

If you’re a video editor, you’ve likely heard the term “LUT” thrown around. But what exactly are LUTs, and how do they work?

What is a LUT?

LUT stands for “lookup table,” and it’s essentially a preset color grading filter that can be applied to your footage in post-production. A LUT works by mapping one set of colors to another set of colors, resulting in a specific look or style.

How do LUTs work?

When you apply a LUT to your footage, it adjusts the colors based on the values in the lookup table. The LUT can be used to make adjustments to the brightness, contrast, saturation, and hue of your footage. By using a LUT, you can quickly and easily achieve a specific look or style for your video.

Why use a LUT?

There are several reasons why you might want to use a LUT in your video editing workflow:

  • Time-saving: Using a pre-made LUT can save you time in post-production by quickly achieving the desired look without having to make manual color adjustments.
  • Consistency: If you’re working on a project with multiple editors or scenes shot in different lighting conditions, using the same LUT can help ensure consistency across all footage.
  • Creativity: Using different LUTs can help create unique looks and styles for your videos.

Types of LUTs

There are several types of LUTs available for video editing:

Technical Conversion

These types of LUTs are often used when converting from one color space to another. For example, if you shot footage in LOG format and want to convert it to Rec. 709 for color grading, you would use a technical conversion LUT.


Emulation LUTs are designed to replicate the look of a specific film stock or camera. These types of LUTs can be used to create a vintage or nostalgic look for your footage.


Creative LUTs are designed to create unique and stylized looks for your footage. These LUTs can be used to achieve anything from a cinematic look to a surreal or dreamlike style.

Using LUTs in Video Editing Software

Most video editing software comes with built-in support for using LUTs. Here’s how you can use LUTs in some popular video editing software:

Adobe Premiere Pro

To apply a LUT in Adobe Premiere Pro, go to the Lumetri Color panel and open the Creative section. From there, select “Browse” and navigate to the location of your LUT file.

Final Cut Pro X

To apply a LUT in Final Cut Pro X, go to the Inspector window and select “Custom LUT.” From there, navigate to the location of your LUT file.


In conclusion, using LUTs in video editing can save you time, ensure consistency across footage, and allow for creative expression. There are several types of LUTs available, each with its own purpose and style. With built-in support in most video editing software, using a LUT is an easy way to achieve a specific look or style for your video projects.