top of page
Search
  • Writer's pictureBlake Calhoun

NEW! Apple Log Film Look LUTs

I've been creating LUTs for iPhone log since 2017 when FiLMiC Pro first released their LogV1 version. At the time it was groundbreaking for sure, even if it didn't necessarily help with dynamic range as true log is supposed to do.


Apple Log & Eterna LUT shot on iPhone 15 Pro Max


I always looked at it more like shooting "flat" on a DSLR camera before those all widely added a log profile. What it did was create a more pleasing, less contrasty - and yes, cinematic image that was much easier to color grade.


As the years went on other apps added log profiles too, but all of them were actually limited by how Apple encoded its video files. Basically they were having to create their logarithmic curve at the end of the pipeline using a variety of methods including computational imaging. So while you could get some good results, especially once Apple added ProRes, it was never perfect - and of course we all had to contend with Apple over-sharpening and the dreaded Dynamic Tone Mapping (that causes exposure shifts even when the settings are locked!).


But all that is in the past now that we have the iPhone 15 Pro/Max and Apple Log.


Finally Apple bypasses their in-camera sharpening and tone mapping (although there's debate that there is still a bit there along with noise reduction, but I digress) and allows filmmakers to shoot with a true log profile on an iPhone. And it's great. Actually much, much better than anyone thought it would be.


Right after Apple Log launched I created a conversion LUT to transform Apple Log to a standard Rec 709 video look. And lot of other LUTs have popped up since then and I actually made a video comparing a lot of them.


But pretty much all of the LUTs were creating a Rec 709 "video look", which is fine for a lot of stuff, but not everything. And especially not narrative fiction. So I created some new LUTs for exactly this purpose.



Learn more about the new film look LUTs here.


I directed & DP'd a new feature film called "Casey's Favorite Song" that is in the final stages of post-production. I shot that movie on a RED Komodo, but I also used an iPhone for some pickup insert shots (mainly shooting macro). At first I used my 14 Pro Max and FiLMIC Pro LogV3+, which actually worked very well. But during post the iPhone 15 was released along with Apple Log, and so for the remaining pickup shots (there's always more pickup shots on a movie) I used my 15 Pro Max and Apple Log.


And so because of that I really wanted to create some "film look" LUTs that can be used for narrative work - movies, music videos, commercials, etc. - and so that's what I did. These LUTs help create a more filmic and organic look & feel to the digitally shot footage by emulating various film stocks.


Shooting Apple Log and using these film emulation LUTs I'm now creating the most filmic iPhone images I ever have. And you can, too. :) Go here to check them out.


A FEW TIPS FOR CREATING THE MOST CINEMATIC IMAGES:


  1. Make sure to expose your shots properly when shooting. And especially do NOT overexpose as that's a big giveaway you're shooting digitally because you can't recover that lost highlight information.

  2. Manually set or at least lock your white balance, depending on the app you're using.

  3. Shoot at 24FPS regardless of where you live. This is the frame rate of most movies and so it's important to shoot that when creating a "film look".

  4. Use an ND filter to get the proper motion blur. When shooting 24FPS you'll want your shutter to be 1/48 (or 180 degrees) and if shooting outside in bright light the only way to achieve this is using neutral density.

  5. Use a third-party app like Blackmagic Camera or Cinema P3 so you can have full manual control over the image.

  6. In post-production after you use the LUTs, considering adding some subtle film grain. This can easily be done in Davinci Resolve and other apps have similar effects or plugins to do this. Or, you can use grain overlays like from GrainZilla.


And if you haven't seen it yet, here's a video I made about chasing the iPhone "film look" and how these LUTs are now part of my color grading workflow...



Hope you like the LUTs! Be sure to hit me up on social media and share anything you make with them as I'd love to see your work.


Happy mobile filmmaking!


-BC

768 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All

Comments


bottom of page