LUTs have become a big thing recently. Once only used for grading video, they’ve become extremely popular for regular photography, too. Photoshop’s been able to read LUTs since at least CS6. But in CC it can also create them, too.
In this video from Unmesh Dinda at Piximperfect, we see how to quickly and easy create LUT files from within Photoshop. From there we can either install them as “filters” for use on future images, or we can even use them in Premiere, Resolve and other editing applications for video, too.
Creating LUT files in Photoshop is pretty straightforward.
- Load your image into Photoshop
- Make adjustment layers and tweak to taste
- Export those adjustments out as a LUT
Yup, it’s really that simple. You can only make LUTs from adjustment layers. You can’t go in and start painting over stuff and then expect a LUT to include that. And you don’t want to use masks on those adjustment layers, you’ll need them to apply to the entire image. But, those limitations aside, it’s a fantastic way to work.
Personally, I’m a big fan of Photoshop’s adjustment layers for grading images. And that you can then use these LUT files in video editing applications is fantastic. If you prefer Photoshop’s adjustments over the standard colour wheels available in the likes of Premiere, then you can use Photoshop to create your look. And that process is very simple, too.
- Export a frame of your video footage out of Premiere as a single image
- Load it into Photoshop
- Make your adjustment layers and tweak
- Export out the adjustments as a LUT
- Import the LUT back over your original footage in Premiere.
If you’re just sticking to Photoshop, and not doing any video editing, Unmesh also shows a method to get the LUTs you create to show up in the default list on the LUT adjustment layer. No longer will you have to go hunting through folders to find that one LUT you like to use all the time. It’ll just show up in the list by default.
A very useful technique, and a very quick way to translate a look to lots of images or video files.