How to Use LUTs with Adobe Camera Raw

How to Use LUTs with Adobe Camera Raw

Hey everyone, welcome to FilterGrade. Today we’re taking a look at Adobe Camera Raw, and how to utilize LUTs from Premiere Pro on your still images. A LUT, or Lookup Table, is a color profile generally applied to footage, but also to still images. It’s a bit like an Instagram filter. Camera Raw is used for editing raw photos so that there is more data to work with than in a standard compressed JPG image.

LUTs give you a ton of creative control, as they adjust the color profile rather than the other basic photo editing settings. You’ll know you’re using a LUT because none of your sliders will move, unlike in a preset or an action. LUTs make a great starting point for an edit to establish a look, and for applying a similar look across a variety of images.

If you’re looking for LUTs to use with your color grading, you should definitely check out our LUTs category on FilterGrade. We have a shop full of LUT packs from professional editors, and we also give away a ton of freebies on our blog! When you download them, you’ll see them sometimes in a CUBE format, sometimes in an XMP file, and sometimes other file types. This is because different programs use different file types. Unfortunately, Camera Raw only accepts XMP files, so CUBE files won’t work natively. We’ll talk about how to do that later, but for now let’s use the XMP files if you have them.

Watch the video tutorial!

To add them to Camera Raw, it’s actually a bit of a process. If you didn’t realize that you could use LUTs in Camera Raw, we don’t blame you.

Open your PC’s file explorer, and open your C drive. Click users, then your username. You’ll now need to click the checkbox to show hidden files. Now click on the App Data folder that shows up, then Roaming, Adobe, Camera Raw, Settings. Now copy your LUTs into this folder.

Open up a raw photo in Camera Raw then go to Profile then Browse. You’ll see your new LUTs at the bottom of the screen organized into folders that were determined by the XMP file information. Now you can expand that folder and apply any of the LUTs that you’ve added.

How to Use CUBE LUTs in Adobe Camera Raw

Now what about importing CUBE files? These are incredibly common for video editing, but they need to be used differently in Camera Raw. We need to convert them first. Open up Photoshop and create a new project or open up an image. It doesn’t matter what kind of image, we just need something there.

Click on Filter, then Camera Raw Filter. This will open the image in Camera Raw. Click on Profiles from the sidebar. We’re going to create a new profile, but to do this properly you need to hold the ALT key while clicking on the Create Preset button. In the popup that appears, go to the bottom and check the box for Color Lookup Table. Now your file explorer will pop up and you can load a CUBE file. Give it a name. I’ll be naming it Sunset, because that is the name of the LUT itself. For the folder, I’ll be creating one called Colorful LUTs Pack because I’m using the Filtergrade LUTs pack of the same name. Now when you go back to the main editing screen you can select a profile just like before. Click on browse, then open up the new folder you created to see the filters in it.

The downside to using this method is that it takes a lot longer than just dragging all of your LUTs into a folder. You’ll need to repeat this process for every single CUBE file you have, but the interface while editing will look exactly the same once you’re done.

Alright, that’s all about using LUTs in Camera Raw, whether you’re using the XMP or CUBE format. Using LUTs will really level up your photo edits, so having access to them in something like Camera Raw is critical if you like using its interface to edit your raw photos. Subscribe to FilterGrade on Youtube for more tutorials and guides just like this.

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