How to Add LUTs to Final Cut Pro for Mac

Last UpdatedSeptember 28, 2023


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Anthony Gallo

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Final Cut Pro available for Mac users offers a powerful suite of tools for professional video editing and post-production.

One popular technique for enhancing your videos is to apply specialized color grading presets called LUTs (Lookup Tables).

This guide will walk you through exactly how to add LUTs to Final Cut Pro for Mac.

LUTs 101: What are LUTs?

LUTs are preset color transformation files that allow you to quickly apply complex color grading and corrections to your video footage. By loading a custom LUT effect into your Final Cut Pro project, you can achieve a specific look or style for your videos.

LUTs come in the form of .cube files and work by remapping the colors and tones in your raw footage. They are widely used by professional video editors and colorists to save time and achieve consistent color grading across different shots, cameras, and software packages.

Why Use LUTs in Final Cut Pro?

There are several reasons to start using LUTs for color grading in Final Cut Pro:

  • Speed Up Editing: Applying a LUT gives you a complete grade with one click, saving hours of manual color corrections.
  • Achieve Stylistic Looks: Use LUTs to make your videos mimic the tone and style of famous films and TV shows.
  • Match Footage: If combining footage from different cameras, LUTs help you match colors and create consistency.
  • Maintain Brand Style: Create the same visual brand across all your video content by adding a custom LUT effect.

Let's learn how to install LUTs shall we.

How to Add LUTs in Final Cut Pro?

Adding your own custom LUT effect into Final Cut Pro is straightforward and can be done in 4 main steps:

  1. Select Clip and Apply LUT
  2. Open Video Inspector
  3. Import LUT File
  4. Adjust LUT Settings

Let's take a closer look.

1. Select Clip and Apply LUT

First, select the clip in your Final Cut Pro timeline you want to apply the custom LUT effect to. Then open the Effects Browser, choose 'Color' and double click 'Custom LUT' to apply the effect to the selected clip.

2. Open Video Inspector

If not already open, you can access the Video Inspector by clicking the Inspector button on the right toolbar or going to Window > Show in Workspace > Inspector.

3. Import LUT File

In the Custom LUT section of the Video Inspector, click the LUT menu and select 'Choose Custom LUT'. Navigate to and select the .cube LUT file you want to import. You can choose single or multiple files.

4. Adjust LUT Settings

With your custom LUT effect applied, set the Input and Output color spaces based on the specifications of that LUT file. Use the Mix slider to adjust the blend of the original and LUT adjusted images.

And that's it! Final Cut Pro will apply the LUT files and color grade your selected clip.

Finding Custom LUTs for Final Cut Pro

There are many resources online for finding high-quality, professionally designed LUTs to use in your Final Cut Pro X projects.

Popular sites like Content Creator Templates offer diverse LUT collections for downloading and using in Final Cut Pro. CCT's LUTs are specially designed to work seamlessly in Final Cut Pro to help you achieve unique color grades fast.

You can also find free LUTs online, but quality can vary. Paid LUT packs from professional colorists tend to yield better results.

Can You Use .Cube LUTs in Final Cut Pro?

Yes, you can use .cube LUTs in Final Cut Pro. Simply import the .cube LUT file into Final Cut Pro. Then apply LUTs onto your clip in the timeline. Go to the Color Board and select the LUT under Custom LUT. Adjust the mix slider to control the LUT intensity. .cube is the standard LUT format compatible across different video editing software.

Can You Use Lightroom LUTs in Final Cut Pro?

You cannot directly use Lightroom LUTs in Final Cut Pro, but you can convert them.

Export the LUT from Lightroom as a .cube file. Then import that .cube LUT into Final Cut and apply it like normal. There are also options to batch convert Lightroom LUTs to .cube for easier importing into Final Cut Pro. Converting allows cross-software LUT compatibility.

Do Premiere Pro LUTs Work in Final Cut Pro?

Yes, Premiere Pro LUTs in the .cube format will work in Final Cut Pro.

LUTs are designed to be compatible across different video editing platforms. Simply export the LUT file from Premiere and import it into Final Cut or copy over the file from the Final Cut directory. Drag and drop the LUT onto your footage and adjust the mix slider.

You can also use LUTs originally created in Davinci Resolve, Photoshop, and other software in Final Cut Pro, as long as they're in the .cube file format.

Wrapping Up

Using LUTs is a powerful way to simplify color grading and achieve creative looks in Final Cut Pro.

By understanding LUT formats, importing custom .cube LUTs into your library, and applying them to footage, you can easily create professional and consistent content across your library.

Try out some high-quality LUTs in your next editing project to elevate your content to new heights!


Anthony Gallo

Anthony Gallo is the cofounder of and lead educator in the online course 14 Day Filmmaker, that has taught over 100,000 aspiring creators how to shoot & edit professional video content with PRO and SMARTPHONE cameras.

Having created content in a variety of industries including commercial advertising, weddings, music videos, and hundreds of youtube videos, Anthony has amassed over 50 million views online and is constantly looking for new and engaging ways to create content and help others master this amazing craft.