Apply LUT to SLOG without plugins

For those looking to work on SLOG footage without any fancy plugins there are some tools built into Adobe Premiere and After Effects that will help shape your highlights and prevent clipping them once you do further grading. It’s also great for working with cine gamma’s 1,3 & 4 where you are able to record illegal signals (over 100IRE).

Adobe Premiere:

A simple way is to add the “fast color corrector” and down near “Output Levels” adjust the white slider on the right side (white levels) slowly to the left to bring your white down below 100. (seen in red on picture). Also if you overexposed your image (common with SLOG if you didn’t use grey card, or your image contrast ratio is low) then you can also pull your blacks down by using the black slider on the left side under the “Input Levels” (seen in blue on picture) and sliding slowly to the right.

If you keep this video effect first in your list of effects then all subsequent adjustments are made from your new “baseline”.

Adobe After Effects:

Adobe After Effects users will find there is no “fast color corrector” built into AE but you can use the “levels” effect which will do the exact same thing except it will not give you the added hue/color/saturation controls in same filter control panel. If you require those simply add add the ‘Hue/Saturation’ effect in AE.

One reason I prefer using Adobe Premiere for all this is it has a built-in waveform monitor whereas After Effects off the shelf does not have one included. You can also hunt around for a free plug-in. Speaking of plug-ins Magic Bullet from Red Giant Software features a very cool tool within their plugin suite called “Auto Shoulder” which does exactly that! It will smoothen out your top end which is great way to deal with those highlights and keep them from extensive burning or clipping.

Lastly none of the methods mentioned here allow you to “grade” your image by controlling contrast within a very specific tonal range or very specific area of the scene, but the RGB curves effect found in both Premiere and AE can be quite powerful for more specific adjustment of your clips.


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