It’s time to play with Panasonic’s new offer: 35 unique 3D Look Up Tables that enable filmmakers to create a variety of looks with VariCam and EVA1 cinema cameras. And they’re completely free!
When acquiring in native V-Log/V-Gamut, the VariCam lineup of cinema cameras capture imagery with more than 14 stops of dynamic range and a very wide color spectrum, both parameters often exceeding that of 35mm film. To store this wide range of exposure in the recorded image, a log (logarithmic) contrast curve is used. However, displaying this huge range of image contrast (the darkest shadows to the brightest highlights) in log format on a conventional monitor will result in an image that looks flat and dull to the eye, with colors appearing desaturated. These log-recorded images are used to provide the greatest possible flexibility for later color correction. They are not intended to be viewed directly.
Users can adjust V-Log for viewing using a 3D LUT. A conversion Look Up Table translates the flat V-Log material to a more restricted, yet contrasty, dynamic range and shifts the color space to match the monitor, bringing both parameters to a technical standard for viewing such as Rec. 709. These conversion LUTs provide a neutral matching of the signal to the monitor, so they can be considered technical LUTs. Artistic look LUTs create stylistic visuals like soft blue dusk, golden magic hour, or harsh desert sun by combining the technical conversion with creative changes to gamma, contrast, saturation, bias, and other aspects.
The new library now made available includes three separate LUT format variants, each offering the same appearance but used for different purposes: .VLT for loading into VariCam cameras, E-E.CUBE for post color grading and E-L.CUBE for monitoring “LUT box” devices. It is important that these LUT formats not be confused, or an incorrect image may be displayed.
3D LUTs can be loaded into VariCam cinema cameras. These Look Up Tables separately can be applied to monitor outputs, the camera’s viewfinder, recorded proxy files, or even the camera’s master recording. Baking in a LUT to the master recording is generally not recommended as it restricts the ability to adjust the image in post production. The VariCam Pure records strictly raw images without grading but can apply a LUT to the monitor and viewfinder outputs. Using a LUT with a monitor or viewfinder can aid in lighting and exposing, and a proxy with a LUT applied is helpful for editing. LUTs can also be loaded into third-party LUT boxes for converting Log images on set during production.
The VariCam LUT Library website provides all the information you need to explore the new collection, along with visual tools to explore the effects crerated by each LUT. Have fun!