SpeedLooks: Giving Your Footage a Professional Filmic Look

The pace of innovation with digital cinema cameras is relentless. It seems like every day we see news about more pixels, better dynamic range, higher frame rates, or lower prices. In spite of these changes, film still offers a unique feel that isn't matched by the comparatively flat images that come directly off digital cameras.

For many, the challenge then becomes how to get the most out of digital footage without spending an inordinate amount of time on color correction. LookLabs thinks it has the answer. Today we speak with Jeff August, about SpeedLooks, a plug-in that makes it easy for filmmakers to give their footage the look and response of traditional film stocks.

What is the basic problem you are trying to solve with SpeedLooks?

SpeedLooks were designed for a couple of reasons.

  1. To create beautiful filmic images from any digital video camera.

  2. Give DPs a set of Looks that they can use as their base film stocks.

  3. To allow colorists and editors, with less practical color grading experience, to achieve an amazing starting point and instantly give their footage a professional filmic look.

SL-3500 Clean from LookLabs on Vimeo.

Can you explain the basic workflow of using SpeedLooks?

SpeedLooks are unique in the sense that they can be used throughout the entire production workflow. On set, dailies, final grade.

SpeedLooks are truly universal and work with all color grading systems and monitors that accept 3D LUTs.

The idea is you do all of your color grading underneath SpeedLooks in your grading program of choice.

Companies like Red Giant (Magic Bullet Looks) offer plug-ins to approximate different looks, and others like FilmConvert provide tools that emulate the look of different film stocks. What advantages does LookLabs have over these alternatives?

Key advantages: They work in all major color correction systems and benefit from the 32bit floating point processing they provide.

As mentioned they can be used throughout the entire production workflow.

SpeedLooks harness the expanded dynamic range of today’s modern digital cinema cameras to achieve the rich personality-filled look of 35mm film.

The SpeedLooks camera patch technology, allows cinematographers to shoot on any camera knowing that they can achieve the same look and feel. Our camera patches adjust all modern cameras to a common LOG format LOG-C (SpeedLog). From there our SpeedLooks just work.

SpeedLooks are 33 vector LUTs which means they are precise enough to finish a feature film. Most of the LUTs publicly available are only 17 vectors.

How did you go about capturing / duplicating the characteristics of different film stocks? Did you encounter any roadblocks along the way?

If I tell you I would have to....well you know!)

One thing that makes SpeedLooks unique and powerful is that our color science is based on negative shooting stocks versus print stocks. Most LUTs that are publicly available are actually print stock emulations. We’ve found that the real personality of film’s color palette comes from the negative and not the positive.

Unlike FilmConvert, SpeedLooks are not intended to emulate specific film stocks. Instead we are creating new digital film stocks that use the best parts of 35mm film stocks from today and yesterday. SpeedLooks are intended to make footage beautiful the first time you apply them.

Who is the target market for SpeedLooks? What types of productions are using SpeedLooks? Any examples of productions that have used it?

Who uses SpeedLooks: DPs, Colorists, Editors, DITs. From corporate and wedding videos all the way through to commercials and feature film production.

What are the biggest concerns potential customers have with using a tool like yours?

Once they start using them they will want more…addiction…hehehe. Actually our product is very easy to use and we have very few questions from users. Most everything we are asked by users is covered in our video tutorials.

What color correction tools does SpeedLooks work with?

SpeedLooks currently work with SpeedGrade, Resolve, Scratch and ScratchLab, Lustre and BaseLight.

SpeedLooks also work in most of the Adobe product line. Premiere (coming soon), After Effects and Photoshop. We will be coming out with a Photoshop DSLR product this summer.