We created a Film Emulation LUT and here’s how it compares to Resolve’s Film LUT

We’ve rebuilt resolve's 2383 LUT from scratch in Fusion and while this is an attempt to emulate the LUT as closely as possible, a creative flavour is added to it.

Welcome to our vibrant blog, where imagination meets creativity in full spectrum! Today, we’re diving deep into the art and science of color grading, focusing on a masterpiece we’ve developed: the 2383 LUT. This tool is not just any color grading asset; it’s a gateway to achieving the classic film look in the digital age. But before we explore the nuances of applying this LUT in DaVinci Resolve, let’s take a moment to appreciate the historical context that makes this LUT so special.

In the era before digital cinematography took the world by storm, films were captured on analog film stocks and underwent a photochemical processing journey in specialized labs. This journey, from shooting to processing to print stock transfer, was pivotal in defining the visual essence of the final film. Consider the legendary “The Godfather,” directed by Francis Ford Coppola, which utilized Eastman Kodak Color Negative 100T 5254/7254 Film, or “Cinema Paradiso” by Giuseppe Tornatore, captured on 35mm Kodak film. These classics exemplify the impactful role of film stock in cinematic storytelling.

Fast forward to the present, and the landscape of filmmaking has evolved with the advent of digital technologies. However, the pursuit of replicating the distinct “photochemical processed film look” remains a high priority for contemporary filmmakers, cinematographers, and colorists. This is where our 2383 LUT comes into play, inspired by the Kodak Vision Color 2383/3383 film print stock, known for its use in modern masterpieces like “Joker” (2019), “Mad Max: Fury Road” (2015), and “Inception.”

DaVinci Resolve users might be familiar with the free Kodak 2383 Print Film Emulation LUT. While useful, it integrates the log to display color space transformation (Rec709) into the LUT, which can be limiting. Our innovative 2383 Film Emulation LUT is designed to overcome this by focusing purely on the aesthetic elements of the classic 2383 look, separating the color space transformation from the creative grading process. Developed in Fusion, our LUT aims to closely emulate the original’s hues and contrast curves, with added nuances to enhance saturation akin to negative film.

Now, let’s delve into how to apply this LUT effectively within DaVinci Resolve.

 

Step 1: Setting the Scene

Imagine working on an Arri test shot placed on your timeline. By incorporating a Color Space Transform (CST) node, you pave the way for the 2383 scene LUT to blend seamlessly with your footage. Adding a serial node just before the CST node to apply our LUT will instantly reveal a striking difference, with enhanced contrast and saturation reminiscent of the 2383 aesthetic.

 

Step 2: Embracing Flexibility

Transitioning to a shot captured on a Blackmagic Pocket 6K camera, the process slightly adjusts to accommodate the different source material. After applying a CST node from the effects tab, adjust the ‘Input Color Space’ and ‘Input Gamma’ to match the Blackmagic 6k pocket camera, transforming the footage to an ARRI-compatible color space. This step is crucial because our LUT is optimized for ARRI’s color specifications.

 

Step 3: The Transformation

With the foundation set, another CST conversion is required to shift the ARRI Wide Gamut 3 and ARRI LogC3 input into the REC 709 and Gamma 2.4 output space. This prepares the footage for the final grading touches.

 

Step 4: Creative Grading

Before applying our 2383 LUT, a preliminary color correction step ensures the footage aligns with your unique creative vision. Label this node as the ‘Adjustment’ node. Following this, a dedicated ‘LUT’ node hosts our 2383 scene LUT, encapsulating the warm, nostalgic charm of the photochemical film look.

Applying this methodology across your timeline, with each piece of footage following the established node tree structure and CST settings, ensures a consistent and authentic film look throughout your project.

As we conclude this blog, we invite you to embark on your creative journey towards mastering the elusive film look by leveraging our free 2383 scene LUT. Stay tuned for our upcoming 2023 update to the 2383 film power grade, designed to emulate Vision 3 film colors alongside the classic 2383 look, offering unparalleled flexibility in color grading.

Don’t miss out on the latest developments by signing up for our newsletter. Let this blog be a stepping stone in your quest for creative inspiration. Until our next encounter, keep exploring, create wonders, and contribute to the world’s beauty. And remember to stay connected with us through YouTube and Instagram for more insights and updates from the Colorist Factory.

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