When we say free, there are a couple of caveats, but Look Converter is still a great way to get custom colour grades into Final Cut Pro X.
We reported on Picture Instrument's Look Converter when it was released back in March. Since then, there have been over 40 'looks' uploaded to their LUT sharing area.
What exactly is Looks Converter and what is a LUT? This new demo from Picture Instruments explains all...
Which when you understand it, it's all rather clever. Being able to share a look across editing platforms and image processing applications like Photoshop has many cool creative possibilities. Not to mention 'borrowing' other looks from iPhone apps or any other application or process that will modify the JPEG. If a client says to you 'Can you make the video look like Instagram? you can, perfectly. OK, maybe without the graduated effects and blur!
40 looks free? Nearly. You will be able to use the demo version of Looks Converter for 14 days if you supply your email address. Photoshop, After Effects and Premiere will accept the exported files from the LUTs directly, but for them to work in FCPX, you will need a plugin such as Color Grading Central's $29 LUT Utility.
Hopefully the importing of LUTs directly is on the roadmap for FCPX. It would open up a new area of colour correcting and allow the importing of data from cameras to make sure RAW files can be displayed correctly.
Until then, Looks Converter and the LUT Utility seems an inexpensive way to get some good looking grades. Can you put one filter on an adjustment layer to span all the clips in a timeline?