When it comes to creating content with your drone, getting the color *just* right can really help your videos stand out. Just as presets are available for photography, LUTs can be used to give you great control over the colors when shooting or in post-production.
I’ve been into drones for years. As a result, I’ve witnessed a lot of changes to both drone technology and the quality of video that drones can capture. But there’s one tool there that is almost as important as your lens or sensor: It’s the way the color is tweaked for the final product.
That’s where LUTs come in.
What is a LUT?
A LUT (Lookup Table) is essentially the modifier between two images, the original image and the displayed image, based on a mathematical formula. –Premium Beat
When watching a movie, you’ve probably noticed how the colors can change from scene to scene. Sometimes, say in a film like Fury Road, the entire film has a certain standout quality to the color. The final color grade of a project can really change the mood of a piece of video – and can help certain types of shots (landscape or architecture, for example) really pop.
Long time pilot Boyan Ortse has produced 25 cinematic drone LUTs. In the examples below, you’ll see the huge difference properly applied LUTs can make. This bundle includes five different styles of LUTs (with five variations within each for a total of 25). Those themes are: Lush Greens, Water Tones, Slick Urban, Pop Color, and Cinematic Landscape.
As creators, we have the freedom to choose how we want our work to look when we shoot, edit, and output it. When shooting, we’re working with variables like shutter speed, ISO, and frame rates through to ND and polarizing filters, sensors sizes, and color profiles. In post-production we can tweak even further – color grading using LUTs, tweaking exposure, saturation, and more.
To make things easier, many LUTs have been created to be work optimally with the DJI D-Log color profile. That means if you shoot in D-Log you’ll have predictable outcomes when applying different LUTs to your source material. You can, of course, use LUTs with source material shot with a different color profile – it just might require more manual finessing.
un-graded (left), graded (right)
As much as I like to grade my own footage, I find it helpful to have tools like these. With the help of LUTs, I can typically get the footage to look exactly the way I want it to. Playing around with color in photo and video can take some time to learn and understand – but it’s really worthwhile to read up and watch a few tutorial videos. Once you have this skill, you’ll use it!
For more info on these LUT’s, visit Ortse’s website and learn more!