Canadian software moviemaking software company LookLabs has released SpeedLooks 4, the largest update of its film emulation-based digital cinema looks package. It’s a doozy.
If supply is anything to go by, demand for looks simulating analog films of the past keeps increasing. Just last week, for example, another established software house threw its hat into the analog LUTs ring.
Meanwhile LookLabs has upgraded all of SpeedLooks' existing LUTs to version 4, added some new ones, consolidated older ones and has accounted for this year’s two popular new mirrorless moviemaking powerhouses with the Universal camera profile for all DSLR footage including that from Sony’s A7S and Panasonic’s GH4.
LookLabs has also refined its LUT packaging. SpeedLooks 3’s two packages – SpeedLooks for Editors and Adobe CC Complete – have now been retooled as SpeedLooks Studio LOG and SpeedLooks Studio Linear.
Lastly, LookLabs has polished up its LUT naming convention by editing the monikers of the looks in its popular Clean set – which has grown to 17 LUTs now – so it is easier to tell which are based on Fuji analog films stocks and which on Kodak’s. Cryptic F and K in the file names have been replaced by each brand name in full. And the number of different looks in both packages? Fifty-three.
Let’s take a quick look at the SpeedLooks LUT package breakdown.
SpeedLooks Studio Linear
Studio Linear is the lower-priced package of the two at $99 USD. It uses a one-LUT process for ease and speed of use in the most popular NLEs such as Adobe Premiere, AVID, Final Cut Pro X and more. This package works with footage from Rec. 709 and DSLR cameras.
SpeedLooks Studio LOG
The higher-priced Studio LOG package, priced at $199 USD, is designed for a two-part LUT-use process based on the intermediate VS-LOG combined with SpeedLooks’ camera patch technology. There are now 21 camera patches including the aforementioned Universal patch.
LookLab’s camera patches are an effective way to account for multiple camera types being used in many productions nowadays.
SpeedLooks 4’s New Color Sets
With more LUTs comes the need for refining the way the LUTs are classified. There are now six color sets, as it were – Clean, Artistic, Blue, Gold, Matrix and Big.
Clean is bound to remain the most popular, especially when prepping dailies, and contains the most faithful renditions of classic analog film looks. LUTs in the other color sets push the film simulation concept beyond simple faithfulness by supporting your story with emotional, narrative-inspired looks.
I have written about some of these more narrative-based looks in an article on SpeedLooks 3. Combinations of these are particularly appropriate for emotion ather than strictly emulating the qualities of analog film stocks.
I have noticed two clear trends in recent feature film and high-end TV show grading – what I call “matching the mood” and “one look fits all”. The latter demands choosing the single most appropriate look to be used all throughout the production. The former requires selecting a set of looks to underscore the emotion and the setting of each scene.
Either way, SpeedLooks 4 in either its Studio Linear or its Studio LOG version fills the bill nicely.
(cover photo credit: snap from LookLabs)