Using LUTS to grade Inspire 1 / Phantom 3 / Osmo Footage with Final Cut Pro X
“I really wish my footage looked worse” – No one ever said…
Of course we want our footage to look as good as possible but sometimes achieving what we want seems more difficult than it should be. Camera features like “LOG” style promise to give us more latitude when editing, but it can sometimes make getting a good look that much harder. The solution is to use Lookup Tables (LUT). A LUT is essentially a map that says to change one color to another. This allows fast color grading of footage, especially footage saved in LOG format. By finding a LUT that is designed for our camera will give us the best results.
As a great example of what a LUT is, Ground Control put together this video.
LUTs for Inspire 1 / Phantom 3
The folks at Ground Control have developed some custom LUTs for the DJI Inspire 1 and Phantom 3 (Falcon Inspire 1 / Phantom 3 LUTS). The Ground Control Falcon LUT pack for $24.99 contains 14 different styles including;
- GC_Falcon_Averly – Warm hipster look
- GC_Falcon_Brax – Cool hipster look
- GC_Falcon_Enchanted – Deep greens
- GC_Falcon_Eye – Helps get rid of haze
- GC_Falcon_Fever – Subtle warm/cool look
- GC_Falcon_Orbit – Bluer Skies
- GC_Falcon_Punch – Gives it “Pop.”
- GC_Falcon_Ridge – Vibrant colors
- GC_Falcon_Saffron – Low contrast warm look
- GC_Falcon_Shadow – Helps with day-to-night convs.
- GC_Falcon_Talon – Filmic contrast
- GC_Falcon_Thorn – Cinematic desaturated colors
- GC_Falcon_Willow – Greener trees and grass
- GC_Falcon_Wish – Bright color contrast look
I put together this sample video from some of my own footage to see how easy the LUTs were to use and the type of looks I could get.
How to use a LUT with Final Cut Pro X
Finding the LUTs for the Inspire 1/Phantom 3 was the easy part. Downloading and extracting them was super easy. Using them with Final Cut Pro X 10.2.2….this turned out to be the hard part. There is no built-in LUT support with Final Cut Pro so you need to find an extension that works. I tried several products and, by far, the absolute best was FXP LUT Loader available for FREE from Pixel Film Studios.
What makes LUT Loader better than the competition (besides it being the only free one) is the level of control you have once you apply the LUT. The closest competitor only has a single “mix” slider where LUT Loader has saturation, brightness, gamma, contrast, and pivot as well as color controls for highlights, midtones, and shadows, and color mixing slider.
Once you apply the LUT effect to your footage, you can then choose which LUT to apply and the effect is instant.
If you are working with Inspire 1 or Phantom 3 footage, the Falcon LUT Pack is a must-have for getting amazing looking footage quickly and easily.