SmallHD’s Free Gift to the Moviemaking Community: Movie Looks Pack of 7 3D LUTs.

by Karin GottschalkLeave a Comment

Who doesn’t like free especially when it is something that costs when obtained from elsewhere and it will help us continue to learn all the many and various intricacies of the moviemaking craft?

Monitor-maker SmallHD has chosen to feed our near-universal addiction to free with the free gift of a set of seven movie looks based on iconic Hollywood feature films. Rush to download them now! For free!

More and more high quality, reasonably affordable monitors and monitor/recorders continue to appear courtesy of the folks at SmallHD, Atomos and Convergent Design. Most if not all now have the ability to apply 3D LUTs while monitoring so you can see what your footage may look like in post rather than the flat profile with which you may be shooting it.

That is a great way to see what your footage will eventually look like at the very moment you are creating it. It is also a terrific way of reassuring your on-set client that you are doing the right thing when they view your footage in real time or in between takes.

I have worked both sides of the camera – client and moviemaker – and know firsthand that looking after your client is crucial if they insist on sitting in during production. Though, quite frankly, if you can persuade them not to do so then it will be to your benefit. A great agency creative and account director will be able to dissuade clients from getting too involved. And yes, I have worked agency-side too so take my word that it can be done.

Who can ever forget the green-tinged look of all three movies in The Wachowski’s The Matrix trilogy? First of the three, The Matrix, was produced and post-produced here in Sydney with key scenes shot in archetypal inner city Sydney locations like Martin Place and near the finger wharves off Hickson Street. I can’t recall any scenes in operational train stations below ground but here is a screen grab from some footage shot at Town Hall station. Footage shot with Panasonic Lumix GH4, Olympus M.Zuiko 12-40mm f/2.8 Pro lens, Ritz Gear variable ND filter and processed with SmallHD_MovieLook_TheMatrices.cube and LookLabs SpeedLooks Universal camera profile.

Who can ever forget the green-tinged look of all three movies in The Wachowski’s The Matrix trilogy? First of the three, The Matrix, was produced and post-produced here in Sydney with key scenes shot in archetypal inner city Sydney locations like Martin Place and near the finger wharves off Hickson Street. I can’t recall any scenes in operational train stations below ground but here is a screen grab from some footage shot at Town Hall station. Footage shot with Panasonic Lumix GH4, Olympus M.Zuiko 12-40mm f/2.8 Pro lens, Ritz Gear variable ND filter and processed with SmallHD_MovieLook_TheMatrices.cube and LookLabs SpeedLooks Universal camera profile. Composite effect by Carmel D. Morris.

Not quite the sort of scene that characterized Terrence Malick’s The Tree of Life but this screen grab from some footage shot in Bondi Junction demanded a grade that would convey the flinty look of the sky and the weird warm-colored shadows of that day. Shot with the same gear as above and graded with SmallHD_MovieLook_LifeGivingTree.cube and LookLabs SpeedLooks Universal camera profile

Not quite the sort of scene that characterized Terrence Malick’s The Tree of Life but this screen grab from some footage shot in Bondi Junction demanded a grade that would convey the flinty look of the sky and the weird warm-colored shadows of that day. Shot with the same gear as above and graded with SmallHD_MovieLook_LifeGivingTree.cube and LookLabs SpeedLooks Universal camera profile

The names of SmallHD’s set of seven free 3D movie looks LUTs make clear reference to some well-known popular feature films including Apocalypse Now, Boyz n the Hood, The Tree of Life, Moonrise Kingdom, The Matrix trilogy, The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford, Saving Private Ryan and more as well as the director John Ford. A reasonably wide range of classic feature film looks, free!

The names of SmallHD’s set of seven free 3D movie looks LUTs make clear reference to some well-known popular feature films including Apocalypse Now, Boyz n the Hood, The Tree of Life, Moonrise Kingdom, The Matrix trilogy, The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford, Saving Private Ryan and more as well as the director John Ford. A reasonably wide range of classic feature film looks, free!

The other benefit of shooting with LUTs is that you can then add them to your post-production workflow in your NLE or color grading software. Final Cut Pro X allows you to apply LUTs via third party plug-ins. Blackmagic Design Resolve 12 and Resolve Studio 12 closely integrate color grading with non-linear editing, allowing you to add LUTs as needed. And that is just the tip of the iceberg. LUTs are integrated into so many other NLEs and color grading packages.

If LUTs are new to you altogether or as an aid when shooting movie footage, then I strongly recommend you download SmallHD’s free movie look pack of seven 3D LUTs right now. They don’t cover every contemporary feature film or high-style television series look in use at the moment, but they are a terrific starting point to your exploration of the world of LUTs and you can modify them as needed too.

And after all, you can’t argue with free!

SmallHD's excellent free gift to you: seven top quality feature film looks 3D LUTs. Get ’em now! Click To Tweet

7 Iconic Movie Look Color Grades FREE

SmallHD's Color Grade Pack Recreate Looks from Seven Iconic Films and Teaches Exactly How to Use Them

SmallHD, known for compact, Full HD on-camera monitors is giving away a free set of color grades that recreate the unique look of seven different iconic films, and are also publishing multiple video tutorials explaining how to get the most out of these looks during both production and post production—all 100% free of charge.

“Color grading will soon be critical to every shooter’s workflow,” says Wes Phillips, CEO. “We’re giving away this free pack of looks and color grading educational material to provide a fun entry point into the world of working with 3D LUTs.”

Provided in a small downloadable .zip file, the color grades come in the form of 3D LUT files (3D “lookup tables”) originally designed in DaVinci Resolve. Visually iconic films such as Apocalypse Now, Saving Private Ryan, The Matrix, and Moonrise Kingdom are among the seven free color grades.

Designed to help teach filmmakers who are not yet versed in the use of color grades, the tutorial video outlines the capabilities and advantages of applying LUTs or “looks” to footage during actual shoots. The tutorial is tailored for developing new looks on the popular free DaVinci Resolve color grading software. The video tutorials and 3D LUTs download are both available on the Community section of SmallHD’s website www.smallhd.com/community/movie-looks-download

Free Movie Looks (3D LUT) Download + DaVinci Resolve Tutorial

Filmmakers have long known that recording flat or LOG video, with its low contrast image, offers great advantages to the post-production process by preserving as much data as possible. However, viewing this flat video can make it tricky to gauge color and exposure, and can make critical focus difficult. Further, looking at raw images can also be disconcerting for an on-site client, where the filmmakers have to constantly explain what the imagery “will look like in post.”

The solution is applying 3D LUTs to the video shown in the on-set monitor, without altering the footage recorded from the camera itself. 3D LUTs are pre-defined profiles applied to the monitoring of a camera to give a representation of a corrected image or an image with a specific gamma curve. Creating a custom LUT is a step further. It can be an on-set tool providing a representation of the final desired image.

How to apply a 3D LUT to a SmallHD 500 Series monitor

How to customize a 3D LUT using DaVinci Resolve Tutorial

SmallHD offers seven different 3D LUTs, each emulating the look of a popular motion picture. As a starting point, a shooter or DIT readying for a specific location can apply one of these looks to test footage from the location using the DaVinci color grading software. That look can then be modified so the test footage has just the look desired when it is out of post-production. SmallHD clearly explains the process, step by step.

Displaying the on-set video with the look applied is made simple with SmallHD’s newest firmware upgrade to its 500 Series five-inch Full HD monitors. The firmware upgrade enables the monitor’s output to carry the LUT information to other monitors on-set. This feature will be resident in future monitors developed by SmallHD and likely other manufacturers will follow suit.

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(cover photo credit: snap from SmallHD)

Karin Gottschalk

Karin Gottschalk

Karin is a documentary moviemaker, journalist, photographer and teacher who conceived and cofounded an influential, globally-read, Australian magazine of contemporary art, culture and photography. While based in Europe, contributing to the magazine and working in advertising, she visualised a future telling the same sorts of stories with a movie camera and audio recorder. Now back in her home base in Sydney, Karin is pursuing her goal of becoming an independent, one-person, backpack multimedia journalist and documentary moviemaker. Mentorless and un-filmschooled, she is constantly learning and sharpening up her skill set.
Karin Gottschalk

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