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Create LUT from two images

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Jeremy BallCreate LUT from two images
by on Dec 27, 2011 at 1:57:02 pm

I am trying to use LUTBuddy to create a LUT from an ungraded image and a graded image.

The problem is that I can not find a plugin that loads another layer or image in the plugin stack in After Effects that allows LUTBuddy to see the changes between the input LUTBuddy plugin and the export LUTBuddy at the end of the plugin stack.

The reason all this is to create a LUT for color correction quickly from a reference image that a director made in photoshop or other program. Can be useful for creating presets from photoshop plugins and film and B&W filters like Alien Skin Exposure.

Any ideas?

Thanks



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Walter SoykaRe: Create LUT from two images
by on Dec 27, 2011 at 3:23:33 pm

Set up your look with a series of primary corrections. Apply LUTBuddy in the effects stack as the very first item, before all the corrections you've just made, and set it to "Draw Pattern."

Precompose the layer, and choose to move all effects into the precomp.

Now, apply LUTBuddy (in "Read Pattern" mode) to the precomp. Go into options and export the LUT in whatever format you need.

Walter Soyka
Principal & Designer at Keen Live
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
RenderBreak Blog - What I'm thinking when my workstation's thinking
Creative Cow Forum Host: Live & Stage Events


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Jeremy BallRe: Create LUT from two images
by on Dec 28, 2011 at 12:35:22 am

Thanks for the reply.

I am not sure that will work since I am trying to create a LUT from an ungraded image and a graded image from photoshop. I won't be making any actual color correction in after effects. I want to be able to apply looks created in photoshop to a LUT. Most Art Directors won't be using after effects when they are creating look examples for a colorist so I am looking for a quick way recreate via a LUT.

I will try precomposing the layer but how could I show LUTBuddy the changes between the ungraded image and the graded image.



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Walter SoykaRe: Create LUT from two images
by on Dec 28, 2011 at 2:46:58 pm

[Jeremy Ball] "I am not sure that will work since I am trying to create a LUT from an ungraded image and a graded image from photoshop. I won't be making any actual color correction in after effects. I want to be able to apply looks created in photoshop to a LUT. Most Art Directors won't be using after effects when they are creating look examples for a colorist so I am looking for a quick way recreate via a LUT."

Sorry, I misunderstood the first time.

LUT Buddy will not work the way you want it to. You need to use a pair of LUT Buddy effects, one that draws a pattern, then another that reads it; you can't just use the ungraded and graded stills.

If you can encourage your art director to only use adjustment layers in Photoshop and send you the .PSD, you should be able to insert the two LUT Buddy filters around that effects stack in AE.

Any operations in Photoshop that do not affect all pixels of the same color in the same way universally across the image -- for example, masks or local contrast enhancements -- will not translate well and may throw off your results.

Walter Soyka
Principal & Designer at Keen Live
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
RenderBreak Blog - What I'm thinking when my workstation's thinking
Creative Cow Forum Host: Live & Stage Events


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Jeremy BallRe: Create LUT from two images
by on Dec 28, 2011 at 7:53:06 pm

Adjustment layers would be the best way I agree but unfortunately I hardly ever get them let alone a layered file even when I ask for it.

I am trying to find a way to trick LutBuddy into seeing the difference between the ungraded image and the graded image. I'd like to apply LUTBuddy first in the plugin stack then add an image loading plugin to load the graded image, then add another LUTBuddy to output the LUY.

Is there a plugin that loads a source image from a different layer into the plugin stack?



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Walter SoykaRe: Create LUT from two images
by on Dec 28, 2011 at 8:27:28 pm

[Jeremy Ball] "I am trying to find a way to trick LutBuddy into seeing the difference between the ungraded image and the graded image. I'd like to apply LUTBuddy first in the plugin stack then add an image loading plugin to load the graded image, then add another LUTBuddy to output the LUY."

Jeremy, I do understand what you're trying to do -- but you can't do it with LUT Buddy.

LUT Buddy doesn't analyze the difference between two arbitrary input images to generate the LUT; it analyzes the differences between the one image which is passed to it (which must contain one of the pre-defined patterns) and the known original pattern (which is hard-coded into the plugin).

The second instance of LUT Buddy (which reads the pattern) is the one that does all the work of actually figuring out the color adjustments for generating the LUT. The first instance (which draws the pattern) is simply providing a control which will be used by the second one to measure the changes made to the image.

Without that control, there is no way for LUT Buddy to measure the changes in the image and generate the LUT.

You have a few options:
  • Encourage your art director to do these manipulations exclusively with Photoshop adjustment layers that can be translated to After Effects. (Remember that any operation which does not affect every pixel of the same color equally across the image will mess up your LUT generation. This means operations like masking or local adjustments like Clarity or any kind of sharpening are verboten.) Use LUT Buddy with the effects stack as intended.
  • Recreate the manipulations the art director has done in Photoshop yourself in AE and use LUT Buddy as it was intended.
  • Try Light Illusion's MatchLight [link]. It should do the job for you, but at nearly $2500 USD, it's not quite in the same price range as LUT Buddy.


Walter Soyka
Principal & Designer at Keen Live
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
RenderBreak Blog - What I'm thinking when my workstation's thinking
Creative Cow Forum Host: Live & Stage Events


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Darby EdelenRe: Create LUT from two images
by on Dec 29, 2011 at 6:57:42 am

Purely a thought exercise here, but would it be possible to draw the LUT Buddy pattern into an image and render it from AE, send that to the art director, have them make their adjustments and send that back to be read by LUT buddy?

I'd guess there are a lot of things that would mess this up. Of course, this is all guessing since I've never used LUT buddy and only know what I've read in this thread :)

Darby Edelen


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Jeremy BallRe: Create LUT from two images
by on Dec 29, 2011 at 2:58:54 pm

Thanks Walter. Now I understand a bit more how LUTBuddy works.

Yeah I am trying to recreate what MatchLight does and save the $2500+. It does exactly what I need but I would not use it enough to justify the cost.

Good advice about adjustment layers. Now I just need the Art Director to remember to use them.

Thanks again for the replies.



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