Color Grading with FCPX LUT Loader in Final Cut Pro X
What is a LUT?
A LUT is a Lookup Table that contains a mathematical formula for modifying an image. The LUT changes every pixel’s color to the corresponding color indicated by the table. By manipulating each pixel, LUT’s can change each color range differently, giving the user more control over their look.
LUT Loader for FCPX
CUBE LUT files are extremely versatile. They can be used in many different softwares and be created to color correct specific digital cameras. Now, with the FCPX LUT Loader from Pixel Film Studios, editors can quickly and easily load a LUT file directly into Final Cut Pro X to color correct or grade their footage without having to use another software. Users can simply drop the loader on top of their footage and then, use the drop down menu to select or import a CUBE file.
Color Correct Your Footage
LUT’s are commonly used for Color Calibration. Users can use a LUT to quickly get their footage from a flat, Cinestyle or Log image to the monitor normal Rec709 grading.
In addition to color correcting your image to Rec709, LUT’s can be used for creative color grading. With an already properly color corrected image, users can apply a LUT to create a film look.
Control Your LUT
If the LUT doesn’t fully achieve the desired look, editors can use the built-in customization controls to adjust the strength, contrast, brightness and saturation of their image.
Installing the FCPX LUT Loader
How do I Install FCPX LUT Loader into Final Cut Pro X?
Learn how to Install a Pixel Film Studios FCPX Effect-Based plugin. Also, depending on the users OS, there may be separate included installers that need to be run. Check your system requirements to see what Operating System you have before running the installers. There are included Mac OS Sierra installation instructions that only apply to users running Mac OS Sierra.
Users not running Mac OS Sierra: Make Sure the Mac's security Settings allow Applications to be downloaded and ran from Anywhere (Directions located in the next Section) and make sure the correct installers are ran.
Unidentified Developer and Won't Install
This usually happens due to your macs security settings. The Message you got was to inform you the app wasn't purchased in the Mac App Store. Below is a video tutorial on how to resolve this issue.
FCPX LUT Loader Tutorial for Final Cut Pro X
Learn how to LUT Cube files into Final Cut Pro X with the FCPX Out Loader Lesson from Pixel Film Studios.
Step 1 - Preparing the Timeline
Let's begin by selecting a clip in the FCPX media library and dragging it to the timeline. Now, let’s go to the Final Cut Pro effects library to locate the FCPX LUT Loader preset. Once you have the preset located, drag and drop the effect from the library onto your footage in the timeline.
Step 2 - Loading a Cube Lut File
Now that we have our timeline setup, it’s time to load our LUT Cube file. If you purchased one of our LUT packs, the cube files will already be loaded into the drop down menu upon installation. If you have made your own LUT file or downloaded one on-line, you can import it using the “External Lut Button.” Clicking on the button will launch a finder window that will allow to locate your file. Select your file and click the open button. Once you have your Cube LUT loaded, you can use the mix slider below the import button to control the strength of the LUT grade.
Now for some Final Touches. Use the Image Controls to adjust the look of your image. Different LUT packs will feature different controls in this section. For this example, we are using the free FCPX Loader which allows you to adjust the image’s saturation, contrast, pivot, and colors
If you would like your LUT to show up in the Loader drop down menu, you can move the Cube file to this directory in your finder: Macintosh HD > Library > Plug-Ins > FxPlug > FCPXLutLoader.fxplug > Contents > Resources > LUTS
FCPX LUT Loader Frequently Asked Questions
Where do I find the Plugin?
FCPX LUT Loader will be located in the effects library. The effects library is located in the bottom right of the Final Cut Pro X application window.
Are The LUT's Preview-able?
The FCPX LUT Loader is a look-up-table file loader tool built with real-time application in mind. The LUT files are designed to populate in a drop-down menu, which can only be previewed by selected the LUT when its already applied to a clip.
Can The LUT Files be Adjusted?
The FCPX LUT Loader includes opacity adjustments, Vignette controls, and also gives users the ability to add tints to their Lighter Tones, Mid-Tones, and shadows. This adjustment has a Mix control allowing the effect to be strong or subtle, depending on the users liking.
How Can I add other LUT's to the Drop Down Menu?
To load an external LUT, the location of the LUT file itself isn’t important. So long as the user knows where the LUT is located (i.e. the desktop), it can be loaded from anywhere. To make things easier for the user, it’s possible to populate the dropdown list by adding LUT files to the directory:
Just make sure that you’re using the correct “Library” folder. There are a number of other “Library” folders in varies places that the user could mistake for the correct one. The first / means that you’re at the root level on the hard drive. To get there, open up any finder window and press Cmd+Shift+g. This will bring up the go to folder command. The simply type “/“ without the quotes and press enter. The user may need administrative privileges to get to the folder and change it’s contents. If the LUT files don’t show up in the dropdown list after adding them to the directory, try restarting Final Cut.
Troubleshooting the FCPX LUT Loader
Plugin Doesn't Work
This plugin requires multiple Installers. Depending on your OS, you should see three different installers in your download folder for the LUT acquired. If you are using Mac OS Sierra, make sure you follow the provided instructions and run the marked Sierra Installers. IF you are using an older OS, run the non Sierra Installers.
Why don't I see the LUT Selection Drop Down Menu?
This usually happens due to one of the installers not running or your Security Settings blocking an Install. Try running both installers again and restarting FCPX. If more help is needed, please refer to the Installation portion of this page.
Is there only one preset in the effects?
Yes, there is one effect located in the FCPX LUT Loader. All necessary controls and drop downs are located in the effect preset.
When I apply the effect, I am getting a Red or Orange screen that says the effect failed to render. How do I fix this?
If you have done any updates to your computer, this may happen. An easy way to fix this is to perform a clean install on the plugin. Here is how to do this.
You will need to a full uninstall first:
Go to this directory: Macintosh HD>Library>Plug-Ins>FxPlug>FCPXLUTLOADER.fxplug
Delete this file and empty the trash.
Then, go to this directory:
Movies > Motion Templates > Effects
Delete the "Pixel Film Studios - FCPX LUT LOADER" folder
Empty the trash can.
Then run all the necessary installers again.
My Inspector Controls are Missing. Did I do something wrong?
Uninstall FCPX LUT Loader (See previous answer above for Location instructions), Re-download the plugin again, After the download run install script (step one, step two, and step three), then restart FCPX..
I am getting a Red Screen with a Yellow Exclamation Point, how is this fixed?
This usually occurs due to either an Installation error, or its just that your FCPX version is out of date. You can upgrade, its simple and usually free in the Apple App Store. If your operating system is out of date, that may need to be updated first, in order to update the other relying software.