How to Work with the Leeming LUT for Panasonic HLG in FCP X 10.4

Update: See new workflow with Leeming Fixie LUT here.

For those looking to work with Sony’s HLG, here’s the workflow.

Apple has gone ahead and and released what can only be described as a humungous update for Final Cut Pro, including the ability to edit 360° video, advanced color grading tools like curves and wheels, look up tables without the need to use third-party plug-ins, support for high dynamic range video and a whole bunch more. The latter is of especial interest to me, since I’m looking forward  to diving into creating HDR videos for YouTube. But while on the surface, the UI looks reassuringly familiar, those who shoot HLG for rec. 709 delivery using the Leeming LUT may be in for some unpleasant surprises. The first of those will undoubtedly be the appearance of imported clips – whereas in FCP X v.10.3.4, the clips looked rather normal, in v.10.4, they’re all going to look blown-out.

Apple’s White Paper, Working with Wide Color Gamut and High Dynamic Range in Final Cut Pro X, recommends first selecting your project and pressing Control + Command + J in order to change the color gamut from SDR to WDR (or vice versa), but doing so just reveals that the color space in the pop-up window is greyed out – at least it does for me. Reading further on, I see that it’s possible to view the clips in the browser by going into preferences and selecting ‘Show HDR as raw values’. 

But this feature has no effect whatsoever when viewing clips in the timeline. The scopes far exceed the safe limits for rec. 709 and the image still looks overly bright. You will even see a warning in the upper left corner of the app alerting you to connect an external HDR monitor!

Checking the info for the clip in the Inspector, it becomes immediately apparent that even though we’ve chosen Standard Gamut for our project, the media is still rec. 2020. What you’ll want to do now is to select all the clips in your project and hit the ‘Basics’ tab at the bottom of the Inspector, then select ‘Settings’.

In ‘Settings’, choose rec. 709 in the Color Space Override column. The clips will then take on a flatter, greyish cyan appearance and the scopes should hopefully be in the safe zone again.

Now you’re ready to rock-n-roll. You can use the look up table in Final Cut Pro, but I’m still using the adjustment layer and LUT Utility I purchased from Color Grading Central way back when. I drop the adjustment layer over the clips in the timeline, open up the Effects Browser, and double click on LUT Utility.

In the Inspector, I choose Leeming LUT One – Panasonic HLG v501.

At this point, there might be a more scientifically sound method, but I just choose the percentage that looks best to my eyes.

Now, you’re ready to do color corrections and add a Leeming LUT Quickie for a more stylized look.

Alternatively, you could use Final Cut Pro’s own Custom LUT utility. Open up the Effects Browser, and under the Color Tab, you’ll find Custom LUT. You may either select a clip in the timeline and double click on Custom LUT, or drag the effect directly onto the clip.

Screen Shot 2017-12-27 at 12.59.04 PM

Custom LUT will now appear in the Inspector.

Screen Shot 2017-12-27 at 1.11.21 PM

Go ahead and choose choose a LUT from your computer.

Screen Shot 2017-12-27 at 1.07.03 PM

And you’re off to the races!

[edit, 3/1/2018] There’s been a major development! Paul Leeming has just issued two new ‘Fixie LUTs’ for those working in Final Cut Pro and Premiere 2018 – one for Full to Video Range and the other for Video to Full Range.

See DVXuser thread for more information.

13 thoughts on “How to Work with the Leeming LUT for Panasonic HLG in FCP X 10.4

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  1. Hi, awesome explanation!
    I have applied all your techniques, yet my image hasn’t changed and is still excessively blown out. sometimes it even changes to looking normal then switches to blown out randomly also?
    Any recommendations to fix this? I’m using the latest MacOS Mojave and the latest version for FCP X… Do I need to change the picture profile color space on the camera to BT20.20 instead of 709?

      1. I haven’t used the Lemming LUT yet as I wanted to make sure using HLG is doable with my SONY A7III camera and FCPX. I have tried many various workflows but none of them seem to properly take away the crazy blown out footage once transferred to post. Any ideas?

    1. Taylor: you want to use BT.2020. You must use the Leeming LUT to convert to Rec709. I will put up a new blog post this evening outlining the steps for Sony HLG.

      1. Awesome thanks very much. BT.2020 in camera profile or color space in post?

  2. Hi do you have issues when converting to proxy media to edit faster? My proxy media is so blown out I can’t even see it.

  3. Hi! In FCPX built in LUT loader we can select the input and output options. Is there any difference of choosing Rec2020 HLG as the input and Rec709 as the output compared to choose rec. 709 in the Color Space Override column? Why would someone prefer to go the long way opposed to choosing Rec2020 as input in the LUT loader as we are going there anyway to choose the leeming lut? 🙂 Thanks for a good tutorial!

    1. Working with FCPX 10.4.8, when dragging HLG clips into the timeline, a warning will appear saying you’re working with HDR clips in an SDR timeline. Just hit ‘okay’, then, using Camera LUT in the Inspector, select the most recent version of Leeming LUT. No need to change color spaces. And thank you, too!

      1. what about the input and output in custom lut? Does it make any diff? HLG footage Using leeming lut in fcpx we need to change the color space from bt2020 to 709, if we the project is sdr. Can we jus use the custom lut effect, and load the Leeming lut , adjust the input to bt2020 to 709?

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