View Full Version : LUTS or Plug-ins (ie Filmconvert) for clean, vibrant, modern looks?

02-05-2017, 11:16 PM
It's become pretty easy to replicate a more vintage film look thanks to Filmconvert and various other plugins, but I found popping my contrast and saturation never quite seems to do it in terms of achieving that brighter, cleaner, more vibrant and "poppy" modern look.

Any good LUTS for or plug-ins for helping achieve this?

If not, what is it that I need to do manually to really help dial these looks to make the final output look better? I notice my highlight roll offs often look better after running through filmconvert, or plug-ins like Magic Bullet Mojo really help do some magic in terms of making the skin tones pop. But both of these give a pretty specific look that wouldn't fall into what I'm describing. Not sure what it is about these that make my footage look so much better.

I'm probably just not good enough at color grading. But any LUTs of plug-ins to help expediate this would be much appreciated, as well as some explanation and thoughts on the manual process that would support these.

Thank you much!

(Shooting on GH4)

02-06-2017, 03:16 AM
Bright and poppy means I guess high contrast/saturation.

Adding such a LUT.. if such exists will tend to push the whites and black into clip.. thats what adding contrast/sat does.. steepen the gamma curve.

To get this look you will therefore need to control your dynamic range when shooting probably by using lights/reflectors

A LUT needs to be used hand in hand with your shoting style.

The concept of throwing LUTs onto random footage is not really going to work.

Vintage luts tend to soften contrast so are easy to use.. the bad shooters cover all.

Hi Con is quite the opposite.

02-06-2017, 09:35 AM
This is super helpful. So low con vintage LUTs or looks are easy because they take high contrast footage and soften it up with low contrast?

But a proper high contrast look relies on shooting low contrast source footage and then having plenty of range to add contrast without clipping?

02-06-2017, 10:53 AM
Well that is what I think.

Also one can do loads of 'dodging and burning' in post to bring back anything you didnt clip in the first place, but that is very post intensive.


02-07-2017, 04:34 AM
In order to get 'poppy modern look' the contrast and saturation need be boosted.

The simplest, easiest, fastest and cheapest way to do it is to set the desired 'look' by boosting the contrast and saturation in the camera menu. However, tests need be done before the actual shooting in order to make sure one gets the desired results.

The second simple, easy and cheap way to do it is to boost the contrast and saturation in the NLE or color grading software.

In both cases, the camera's initial dynamic range will be reduced.

Therefore, when boosting the contrast and saturation in the camera, there is no way of going back - especially, there is no way to recover clipped highlights and it's difficult and expansive to reduce the noise in the shadows, often it isn't good enough.

Boosting the contrast and saturation in the NLE or color grading software is much safer. The camera's initial dynamic range isn't compromised, so one can choose the best compromise between dynamic range and 'poppy look' for each shoot, or for each movie. The better NLEs and color grading software have the option of saving a set of settings as a custom look, or custom LUT, so that this set of settings can be applied to any clip.

Most LUTs do just the opposite of 'poppy look'. They are used mainly to get 'old, film-like' look.

There are some LUTs which are aimed at preserving more dynamic range than the camera's standard setting. Those LUTs require that the contrast, and sometimes also saturation, be dialed down in the camera. Then, in post, some of those LUTs bring back the 'look' of standard REC.709. From there one can boost the contrast and saturation to one's personal taste.

Generally speaking, in order to preserve the maximum possible dynamic range, shooting 'flat' (reduced contrast and sometimes also saturation) in the camera is recommended. Then, boosting them in post - with or without LUTs.

02-07-2017, 04:40 AM
Of course if you shoot flat 8bit and ramp the contrast in post you may not have clipping but you wont have enogh intermediate tones and get banding.

So everything is a trade off until you get a wide DR 14bit camera.


02-09-2017, 07:45 AM
I think using an ultra-sharp lens will help. In my experience I always shoot LOG and use filmconvert in post and it is imo very saturated and VERY contrasty - but it still has a very filmic look - for me to get it to look ultra modern you need a razor sharp lens clinical looking lens. Why not give an example of what you really like and want to emulate?

02-09-2017, 11:08 PM
General style of Harmonn Brothers, such as:


But plenty of other stuff that has that very clean, vibrant feel. What morgan says seems to make sense where the lighting and elimination of shadows plays a large part.

Interesting about the ultra sharp lens - any examples? Seems the Panasonic M43 lenses may be overly artificially sharp? Would Voigtlander Nokton M43 lenses if stopped down a bit be sharp enough?