How to Use LUTs in Photoshop

How to Use LUTs in Photoshop

how to use luts in photoshop

Looking for an understandable way of using 3D LUTs in Photoshop? You’ve found the fastest way to do it!

For a long time, I had no idea you could use LUTs in Photoshop. While people primarily use LUTs when color grading video footage, they can also be very useful when editing photos.

Today, I am going to share some tips on how to use LUTs in Photoshop, create them and a quick tutorial on how to install 3D LUTs in Photoshop. REMEMBER! 3D LUTs work in Adobe Photoshop CS6 and higher.

How to Use 3D LUTs in Photoshop

To apply a LUT to a Photoshop layer, following these simple steps.

1. Open Your Photo

2. Create a “Color Lookup” Adjustment Layer

Next, navigate to the Adjustments Panel and find the ‘Color Lookup’ icon.

color lookup photoshop

If you can’t find the Adjustments Panel, it may simply be turned off. To turn it on go up to the top of your screen in Photoshop and click Window > Adjustments.

lut in photoshop adjustments

You can also find the ‘Color Lookup’ Adjustment by clicking the adjustments icon in the Layers Panel if you’re looking to quickly add a LUT into your document.

color lookup photoshop

3. Choose a LUT

Make sure that you have the Properties tab of the adjustment layer opened. Click on the 3DLUT file drop-down menu and a list will appear. The list you see include the default LUTs shipped with Photoshop.

how to load luts in photoshop

Pick one and see what happens.

4. Enjoy the Result!

Play around and try different default LUTs and see what happens.

apply lut in photoshop result apply lut in photoshop result

Since 3D LUTs are applied in adjustment layers you can treat them just as any other adjustment layer. This means you can change their blending mode or change their opacity.

How to Install LUTs to Photoshop

In order to make your 3D LUTs appear in the drop-down list of the Load 3D LUT option in Adobe Photoshop, you have to copy your LUTs into a specific location on your hard drive.

1. Extract the LUTs

Extract the LUTs from the downloadable .zip file.

2. Select

Select the 3D LUTs you’d like to copy. Make sure you’re copying the 3D LUTs only and not the folder they’re in.

3. Copy the LUTs

how to install luts in photoshop

For MAC: Copy the 3D LUTs in the following location: Applications > Adobe Photoshop CC 201X > Presets > 3DLUTs

For Windows: Copy the 3D LUTs in the following location: C: > Program Files > Adobe > Adobe Photoshop CC 201X (64 Bit) > Presets > 3DLUTs

4. Restart Photoshop

Finally, restart Photoshop and the LUTs will be installed and ready to use. I’ll show where you can find them now.

How to Create a LUT in Photoshop

You can create your own LUTs in Photoshop. By creating and using LUT files you can create a look for all your photos or even just to a series of images, that is unique. The LUT could be just a part of a more complex post-processing method or it could be the one spice that makes it your signature look.

Step 1. Open the Image

how to create a lut in photoshop

The original image should be the Background Layer.

Step 2. Add Adjustment Layers

Add your changes by creating Adjustment Layers on top of the Background Layer. Don’t flatten them when you’re finished editing.

You can change anything you like on these layers, even the Blending Modes. You’ll find these in a drop-down menu next to where it says “Normal” on the Layers Panel.

Whatever color grading adjustment layers you use to change the colors, do not use any masks. Using masks will confuse the Color Look Table export tool and your LUT will probably not be usable.

Step 3. Save Your LUT

Once you have made a set of adjustment layers to your photo, you can save it to a LUT file by going to: File > Export > Color Lookup Tables.

create a lut in photoshop

In the export dialog box, you can name your LUT. The default save quality is 32, which is more than adequate. If you choose a very high number, it will take forever for your LUT to load in future.

lut in photoshop settings

If you save all your own LUTs to the same folder, they will be easy to access and find later. You can make a shortcut to the folder and very quickly apply one of your own LUTs to another image. To use a newly created LUT, simply open a new image in Photoshop, add a Color Lookup Adjustment Layer and click Load 3D Lut.


Below, you’ll find three totally unique LUTs that are sure to add a memorable look to your work.

Clear White Balance

white balance lut for photoshop white balance lut for photoshop

For fast color correction download this LUT. If your image has a warm color cast, this LUT will remove it and fix the white balance issues.

Classical Monochrome

black and white lut for photoshopblack and white lut for photoshop

If you want to add that same timeless look to your own photos, this LUT will come in handy. It makes the skin softer and gentler, preserving the natural look. It’s ideal for everything from wedding photography to fashion photo shoots, lifestyle photos, and more.

Blue Hour

light and airy lut for photoshoplight and airy lut for photoshop

This LUT will simply help to release the natural hue of the picture to give it an incredibly beautiful shine. It will help make all colors more vibrant and saturated.

Ann Young

Hi there, I'm Ann Young - a professional blogger, read more