What is a LUT?
Let’s begin by defining what a LUT is. In simple terms, a LUT (Look-Up Table) is a preset that alters the color and tone of your video. Think of it as an advanced Instagram filter that professionals use to achieve specific visual moods and tones for films. LUTs have been used for years by professionals to colour grade high end films in professional editing apps like Premiere Pro and DaVinci Resolve. But now with advancements in tech you can use the exact same technique right on your phone.
What are iPhone LUTs?
iPhone LUTs are specialised LUTs optimised for iPhone video footage. Using these, you can establish a consistent colour scheme across all your mobile videos. Whether you’re using an iPhone 14 or the latest iPhone 15, well executed colour grading can significantly elevate your content. It not only makes your videos more visually appealing but also adds a particular mood or ambiance.
How to use LUTs on iPhone
Using LUTs on your iPhone is now incredibly simple, especially with apps like VN Video Editor, which is the app I use to edit my videos.
Here’s a quick guide on how to apply LUTs to your videos using VN app
- Download the VN Video Editor app: This free app is compatible with both iPhone and Android and is free to use. They have a limit of 100 projects, after that you can either pay for the pro subscription or delete some of your previous projects
- Find Compatible LUTs: While the VN app comes pre-loaded with some filters, I prefer to use specialized LUTs. These can be from creators you admire or ones you’ve created yourself. The key is to choose LUTs that are optimized for mobile footage. You can find the ones I use here
- Apply LUT: Go to the filter section and apply your chosen LUT.
- Fine-Tune Your Video: Once the LUT is applied, you can adjust its strength using the intensity slider to suit your taste.
In the adjustments section you can make fine tune edits to the clip such as exposure, highlights and shadows along with individual colours in the HSL tab.
Other Tips to make your videos feel more cinematic
iPhones now capture amazing videos and often time you can’t tell that is not coming from a camera. Here are a few extra tips that can help make you phone videos look more cinematic.
- Opt for 4K Resolution
To enable this feature, go to your iPhone’s “Settings,” navigate to “Camera,” and then choose “Record Video” to select 4K resolution.
- Experiment with iPhone’s Cinematic Mode
For a camera like quality in your videos, use the iPhone’s Cinematic Mode and set the aperture to fall between F5.6 and F8. Apertures lower than this can make the depth of field look too shallow, giving the footage a more artificial or digital appearance.
To change these setting on your iPhone head to your phones camera, select cinematic, swipe up and select “f” slide left to adjust
- Slightly Underexpose Your Shots
Underexposing can make your video appear cleaner and offer more balanced exposure.
To change these setting on your iPhone head to your phones camera, swipe up and select “+-“ underexpose by sliding to the left.
- Intentional Camera Movement or Composed Still Frames
Opt for either slow, intentional camera movement or well-composed still frames to elevate your video.
- Create Depth with Foreground Objects
Tap to focus on the background while using foreground objects to give your shot more depth.
- Utilize Golden Hour Lighting
For softer, more cinematic lighting, shoot your videos during golden hour (the time shortly after sunrise or before sunset.)
- Slow-Motion Effect at 60fps
To slow down your video on VN editor press on “speed” and slide down to 0.5x don’t go any lower
- Achieve a Film Like Aesthetic by Shooting at 24fps
If you’re aiming for a cinematic look in your videos, consider shooting at a frame rate of 24fps (frames per second). This frame rate has been the gold standard in traditional film making because it provides a naturally smooth motion. However, it’s essential to minimise your camera movements when shooting at this rate to avoid any flickery motion blur.
Film Aesthetic LUTs
To further enhance the filmic quality of your videos, you can also use our specialised Film iPhone LUTs. These LUT’s can help you effortlessly attain that nostalgic film aesthetic. Check them out below.
Editing with iPhone LUTs
By mastering iPhone settings and filming techniques, along with the power of colour grading, you can transform your iPhone footage into truly engaging content.
Want more tips? We have other helpful blog posts you can check out here