Premiere Pro Color Correction Guide : LUTs

by Sammy Ben
Premiere Pro Color Correction Guide : LUTs

The hallmark of every good editor is a full understanding of the tools used and the full use of the potential of these tools. Almost no tool will affect the tool that affects color grading. If you are an editor interested in Premiere Pro's color correction tools, then today I will provide you with an absolute in-depth understanding of the Lumetri color panel. Ready to take greater steps!

How to perform color correction on the Lumetri panel

Let's start with an overview of Lumetri Color Panel itself. If you have been using Lumetri for color correction for a while and know how the controls work, you may need to skip directly to some other parts of the link above.

The Lumetri Color Panel Is A Remote Control

Think of the "Lumetri Color" panel as a remote control for the "Lumetri Color" effect. Any adjustments made in the panel will affect the corresponding settings in the Lumetri Color effect. You can make exactly the same adjustments in the "Effect Controls" panel, but the color correction controls in the "Lumetri Colors" panel are easier to adjust and can always be used in the same place.

The "Lumetri Color" panel (and the effect itself in the "Effect Controls" panel) is divided into six main parts with overlapping functions. Therefore, no matter what kind of image processing or video editing software you are using, you should use at least one of the following parts for Premiere color correction. We will study each one carefully.

The Basic Correction Section

The first part of this panel is based on the well-known (at least for still photographers) panels in Lightroom and Adobe Camera RAW, so it's easy to get started. This is where most people work when doing color correction and toning.

Most sliders are almost self-explanatory, but a few deserve special solutions.

Input LUT: Add a technical LUT here to put the material into Rec. 709 color spaces (more information about the technical LUT below). If your material is Log or use custom camera settings, you can add Input LUT before you start adjusting the controls. This will make the colors in the image look "normal" and the slider will work as expected.

Note: The input LUT applied here will be processed before all sliders and other controls.

Before selecting "High Dynamic Range" in the panel menu, the "HDR White" slider is not available.

The white balance selector (dropper) can help fix the white balance in the clip. Click it and select an area in the picture that should be white. Hold Ctrl/Cmd and click to sample the average value of 5×5 pixels, not just a single click to sample one pixel.
This will provide you with a better color representation, because there will always be small changes in pixel values ​​due to noise and compression artifacts that affect correction decisions. When you press Ctrl (Cmd) to indicate that a larger area will be sampled, the straw will become slightly fatter.

I usually find it difficult to find the perfect neutral area in the lens and find that better results can be obtained when manually adjusting the slider. On some clips, it will be useful mainly when you have some obvious white areas.

At other times, the white balance selector can be confused with the black level, introducing a color cast in the shadows. As you may have guessed, I don't use the automatic white balance selector very often.

When manually adjusting the slider to obtain white balance, first adjust the "Temperature" slider until you get the same level of red and blue. Then, adjust the "Hue" slider until the green color matches the other two. There is a reason for their order in the user interface.

Under the "White Balance" control, you will find the "Tone" slider. They should be easy to understand. They have complete control over what their name indicates. Before selecting "High Dynamic Range" in the panel menu, the "HDR Highlights" slider will be grayed out.

Even if they are at the bottom of the stack in the user interface, the "white" and "black" adjustments can be applied before the other sliders. For more information, see the "Color Science" section.

The Creative Section

In the "Find" drop-down menu, you can apply the LUT placed in the Creative folder (see below). You can select a LUT from the drop-down menu, or use the left and right arrows to browse through them, and then click the preview thumbnail to apply the LUT. If your favorite look is not in the list, click "Browse" and then point to the location where you saved the folder.

The preview you see in the thumbnail shows the lookup table applied to the original material, ignoring other adjustments you made to it. Therefore, what you see in the thumbnail may not be what you get. This is very confusing, and I don't like the way it works.

The Curves Section

When I don't have a control panel, I will make most of the adjustments here. Combined with RGB Parade oscilloscope, RGB Curves is a very intuitive method for color correction in Premiere.

In addition, the hue saturation curve allows you to independently control the saturation of each color, so you can very quickly adjust the green in the leaves or add saturation to the sky to make it "pop".

The Color Wheels & Match Section

If you have already completed color grading in other NLEs, this section may be the most familiar part. Using three-way color correction, you can adjust the brightness, hue and saturation of shadows, midtones and highlights separately.

You can also find the new "Color Matching" feature and a button to turn the "Comparison View" on and off here. All adjustments of the color matching function are completed in this section.

To adjust the shadow, drag the center cross toward the color you want, or away from the color you want to delete. To make the shadow darker, drag the slider downward, and then drag it upward to make the shadow brighter. The midtone and highlight controls work the same way.

The color wheel provides you with good feedback to show you what has been adjusted (you still use the "color matching" function). After adjustment, the wheels will be full and the slider will turn blue. Therefore, in this image, we can see that I have adjusted the shadow of the slider and the color wheel, only adjusted the midtone of the color wheel, and only the highlight of the slider.

These wheels and sliders have a "gear" function, so you must drag the crosshead toward the desired color for a longer time than the slider or pointer. Even if the wheels on the screen are small, precise adjustments can be made easily. When dragging, press the Shift key to make it move faster. You can also click where you want the crosshair to be, and then drag it to make further adjustments.

Article credit : Jarle Leirpoll

1 comment

  • GoranDec 09, 2020

    It is absolutely helpful! Congrats on a terrific walk-through. An article that truly delivers on the promise of its headline.

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