Menu

Free “SOFT ENHANCE” LUT Brings Subtle Alexa-Like Qualities To Harsh Digital Footage


Earlier this year I launched a dedicated website to host my color grading LUTs – www.cinecolor.io

One of my first initiatives with the site is to release a whole bunch of free color grading presets which will be rolled out over the next few months.

The first free LUT is being rolled out today, and is called SOFT ENHANCE.

Having spent years trying to achieve the “Alexa look” using lower budget cinema cameras and DSLRs, I learned long ago how to identify many of the characteristics that make Arri’s color science so great.

While the Alexa look can never be replicated exactly, it’s possible to get your images pretty close by following a specific set of principles, or by using the free LUT I am making available today.

Most digital cameras are known for producing harsh colors and strong contrast ratios that can look unnatural, serving as a distraction to the viewer. The SOFT ENHANCE LUT solves this issue by softening and shifting contrast, improving highlight rolloff, and increasing color separation for a much more subtle and organic look.

The LUT has been carefully engineered so that it will effect each image it’s applied to uniquely. It doesn’t simply lift contrast or push colors equally on every shot… In fact, quite the opposite.

Every shot you apply this LUT to will react slightly differently. Take a look at the samples images below as a reference.

In this first before & after comparison, in addition to balancing the colors and contrast more naturally, the LUT cools down the shadows slightly –

In this next before & after set, there are some similar qualities to the previous example (notably softer highlights), but the shadows are warmed up a touch instead –

The most harsh (and digital) your image looks to begin with, the larger the effect of this LUT on your footage. It’s quite versatile and like all of my other LUTs compatible with footage from virtually any camera.

It’s also available in both .cube and .xmp format for use in all major video and photo editing software.

To download the free LUT directly from CINECOLOR, be sure to click this link.

Once you land on the CINECOLOR page, you will need to add the LUT to your shopping cart and check out, as if you were purchasing it. When you reach the end of the checkout, the system will grant you access without requiring payment.

Be sure to share your results with us by email at info@cinecolor.io or tag your photos on social media with #cinecolorluts

We will be showcasing some user stories in the near future and would love to feature your work!

And don’t forget to follow me on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter!

About Author

Noam Kroll is an award-winning Los Angeles based filmmaker, and the founder of the boutique production house, Creative Rebellion. His work can be seen at international film festivals, on network television, and in various publications across the globe. Follow Noam on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook for more content like this!

10 Comments

  • Alexa
    May 24, 2021 at 10:05 pm

    This looks gorgeous, I can’t wait to give this a try! I’m sorry if this is a silly question but what does Alexa-like mean?

    Reply
    • Noam Kroll
      October 20, 2021 at 7:17 pm

      Thanks so much! It’s referring to the Arri Alexa camera, which is known for a certain type of natural look.

      Reply
  • Dave
    August 18, 2019 at 2:29 pm

    Thanks Noam. Soper effective.

    Reply
    • Noam Kroll
      August 22, 2019 at 4:29 pm

      Awesome! Glad you’re enjoying it, Dave.

      Reply
  • Zack Stephen
    August 6, 2019 at 9:15 pm

    What are the chances you make an updated Alexa LUT for the new Black Magic Ursa G2?

    Reply
    • Noam Kroll
      August 22, 2019 at 4:26 pm

      I am working on one right now. If you have any sample footage you’re willing to share with me, feel free to email info@cinecolor.io

      Reply
      • Zack Stephen
        September 6, 2019 at 4:32 am

        Will do! Any thing specific I should soot. I have a color chart I’m sure would probably be beneficial

        Reply
        • Noam Kroll
          November 22, 2019 at 8:57 pm

          Color chart is always helpful! Also any shots with people (for skin tones) under different lighting conditions is awesome.

          Reply
  • Talia
    July 21, 2019 at 7:20 am

    Noam, thank you very much for offering a LUT here! I just downloaded it to edit in Lightroom.

    What a game changer to have a look available as a Profile instead of a Preset. The ability to apply a percentage to the effect and play with the Tone settings starting at zero broadens the possibilities. Not to mention the great color signature to begin with.

    Now I am going to look more closely at your LUTs for my photo work!

    Reply
    • Noam Kroll
      August 22, 2019 at 1:51 am

      Awesome, Talia! So glad it’s working out for you, and thanks for the note.

      Reply

Leave a Reply