How to Use Lightroom Presets and LUTs in Adobe Premiere
A tip you’ll find in most articles about being successful on Instagram is to be consistent. This consistency can help you build a following, and it’s surprisingly easy to achieve.
If you’re looking to post consistent-looking photos and videos, all you need is a pair of Adobe programs along with a third-party app called LUT Generator to ensure that all your content has the same look and feel.
In this article we’ll explain how to use Lightroom presets and LUTs in Adobe Premiere.
The Importance of Consistency
There are several reasons you might consider putting in a little extra effort to ensure your photos and videos all look consistent.
If you’re trying to put together a portfolio that demonstrates who you are as an artist, consistency in your photos and videos is a great way to do this.
No matter where you’re sharing your content, a strong artist is one who creates something that others see and instantly say, “I know who created that!”
How to Find and Install Lightroom Presets
There are plenty of professional and popular photographers who offer free and paid Lightroom presets. A quick search online will reveal just how many Lightroom presets you can find out there.
Once you’ve downloaded a few presets, installing them in Lightroom is a simple four-step process.
- In Lightroom, go to Edit > Preferences in Windows or Lightroom > Preferences on a Mac.
- In the Presets tab, click Show Lightroom Presets Folder.
- In the Explorer/Finder window that opens up, open the following folders: Lightroom & Develop Presets.
- You can create new folders where you can then copy and paste downloaded presets, you can copy and paste entire folders you’ve downloaded, or copy individual presets into the User Presets folder. If you’re going to download a lot of presets, keeping them organized will help you maintain a semblance of sanity while in Lightroom.
How to Make Your Own Lightroom Presets
You can also easily create your own custom presets:
- Open the image you want to edit and go to the Develop tab.
- Apply the edits you want to make in Lightroom.
- Click the + button in the Presets panel.
- You can check and uncheck any of the edits you want included in the preset.
- Any presets you’ll be using in Premiere should not include any edits from Lens Correction, Detail, Effects, or Clarity.
- Click Create preset.
Creating your own presets to use in both Premiere and Lightroom gives you the added advantage of being able to create your own personal look for your work.
Why Use LUTs in Adobe Premiere?
Now that you have your favorite photography presets worked out, you can apply that same style to your videos by converting them to LUTs.
LUTs (“Look Up Tables”) allow you to apply color grading to your videos.
Just as you use Lightroom presets to change the color and feel of your photo, you can use LUTs to change the color and feel of your video.
You can use LUTs for either basic color correction or for applying a certain look or feel, such as the film effect, to your footage.
While LUTs can be used in various video editing apps like Adobe Premiere and Final Cut Pro, in this tutorial, we’ll be looking at how to use LUTs in Adobe Premiere. (They can also be used in Photoshop.)
How to Convert Lightroom Presets to LUTs
If you want to convert Lightroom Presets to Premiere LUTs in Mac (10.8 or greater) and Windows (7 or greater), you can do this using the free utility app LUT Generator.
If you’re feeling generous or plan to use it for commercial purposes, you should consider making a donation to the creator when downloading it.
Downloading and Installing LUT Generator
Either way, to download the app, you’ll have to put in your email address and a download link will be sent to your inbox. You get a maximum of five downloads using that link.
The zip file you download includes a few free LUTs, along with three versions of the LUT Generator: a Mac beta version, a Mac version, and a Windows version.
Each version is an executable file so you won’t actually have to install anything. Just double-click the EXE or DMG file to open the app. Mac users: you don’t have to copy the app into your Applications folder for it to work.
Converting the Preset File in LUT Generator
Now that you have the LUT Generator open, you’re going to see a very small app with two buttons: Generate a Hald and Convert to Cube.
First, you’re going to generate a PNG image using the app, and then you’re going to import that PNG image into Adobe Lightroom to apply the preset to it.
Finally, you’re going to bring that edited PNG file back into the LUT Generator to convert it to a CUBE file.
Here is the exact step-by-step process:
- Click the Generate a Hald button. This will open up an explorer or finder window, where you can choose where to save the PNG file you’re about to generate.
- Select the folder location and click Open. It will seem like nothing happened and the window will close, but be assured your file has been generated.
- Navigate to the location where you chose to save the file. You should now see a PNG file called Neutral-512.png.
- Import the file into Lightroom .
- Double click the image in your library to open it and click the the Develop tab.
- In the presets panel, click on the preset you want to convert to a LUT to apply it to the image.
- Click File > Export or use the keyboard shortcut Shift + Ctrl + E (Cmd instead of Ctrl on Mac) to save the file to your computer as a JPG. Under File Settings set the Quality at 100 and the Color Space to sRGB. Under Image Settings set the Resolution at 72.
- Once the file is exported, go back to the LUT Generator and click Convert to Cube.
- In the window that opens up, navigate to where your exported file is saved and double-click the file.
- A dialog box will open indicating that your file has been converted.
- You should now see a file named Neutral-512.cube in the same folder as your PNG or JPG.
To see the process in action, check out the video below:
A few things to bear in mind:
- When creating or exporting your presets for use in Adobe Premiere, the following settings should be disabled as they cannot be applied to LUTs: Detail, Lens Corrections, and Effects.
- If you want to test the preset on your footage first, you can take a screenshot from your video and import it into Lightroom. This way you can apply presets to the footage and see which one works best before you convert the Preset to a LUT.
Applying LUTs to Video Footage in Adobe Premiere
Now that you have your LUT file, you can import it to Adobe Premiere and apply it to your video footage. There are several ways you can apply the LUT to your footage, but this is the easiest:
- Once you have your footage open in Adobe Premiere, go to Window > Lumetri Color to open the program’s LUTs panel.
- Under Basic Correction find the Input LUT option.
- Click the dropdown menu and select Browse.
- Navigate to your converted file and double-click it to apply it to your footage.
- If you have multiple pieces of footage, you’ll need to apply the LUT to each one.
You can see this process in the video below:
If you know you’re going to be using a LUT on a regular basis, you can copy it into a subfolder in the Adobe Premiere folder.
- Mac users can get to the folder by opening the Applications folder and opening the Adobe Premiere folder. Hold down Control and right click the Adobe Premiere app and click Show Package Contents. Windows users can get there by going to their C Drive/Program Files/Adobe/Adobe Premiere Pro folder.
- Once in there, both Mac and Windows users should open the following folders: Lumetri/LUTS/Creative.
- Copy and paste your LUT files into the Creative folder.
- If you have Premiere open, close it and reopen it, and now your LUTs should appear in your Lumetri Color dropdown list.
Why LUTs Matter
If you’re still on the fence and aren’t sure if LUTs are worth your time, here are a few more reasons you should consider using LUTs:
- You can get a cinematic look in your work.
- You can learn from other photographers and filmmakers you admire as you begin develop your own personal style.
- You can create an adjustment layer (go to File > New > Adjustment Layer) and apply your LUT to that layer. Extend that layer over multiple clips, and you’ll get the same look across them all, saving you some time in your editing process.
Having successfully reached the end of this guide to using Lightroom presets and LUTs in Adobe Premiere you might want to check out this list of free Lightroom presets to suit all tastes or how to reduce haze in Lightroom. We’ve also showed how to use the color match tool in Premiere Pro and how to start color correcting .