I really enjoy how Luke Neumann colors his videos. He has been at this way longer than I have and has really developed his own style and not some over used preset from Magic Bullet Looks. So when Luke asked me to take a look a look at his Cinematic Presents Bundle (no longer available on his site) I told him I would be honored to.
He has presets for LightRoom (which I use), Sony Vegas (which I don’t use anymore) and for After Effects (which I am learning how to use) – I mostly use Premiere Pro now and was a little bummed that he didn’t have presets for that yet so I wrote him an email asking if he was planing on doing some for Premiere. In short order Luke sent me a new zip file with all the presets for Premiere.
Luke has different presets:
- Cinematic Presets Bundle Vegas 9 & 10
- 30 Sony Vegas 9 & 10 Presets
- After Effects Presets
- Lightroom Presets
- Premiere Pro
For me I am mostly interested in the presets for video.
If Luke would include a video tutorial along side each preset describing how to make adjustments and what type of footage works well for each preset would make for a great product for someone like myself. This would quickly get me up to speed on developing my eye for color grading.
So I shot another email to Luke with my suggestion and just as fast as last time he produced some tutorials explaining how each filter worked.
I still have not tried Magic Bullet Looks yet because I feel I have so many things to master first with all the filters within my NLE that I already have and I like the idea of Luke explaining how to get the most of what you have before you upgrade to a much more expensive color package.
I am pretty good at mixing audio I have trained my ear for that but with color mixing colors takes a lot of experimenting, I have a lot to experiment with.
This review is just for Premiere since I have been using his presets on that software. I have tried his other presets in Vegas, After Effects and Lightroom but I can review them since I have not done much with with them.
Of course not all of these presets are going to look good in this lighting situation and also will not look good straight out of the box, you will need to weak just about all of them. I just color graded one of my projects with about 80 clips in it and about 70 of the clips improved with this presets the other 10 looked better without.
I recorded this with my T2i on the neutral picture style with the contrast and sharpness almost all the way down, I believe Luke uses his own picture style so when I am tweaking his presets I usually am wanting a slight bit of gain that he does.
In direct sunlight I seem to like A New Day, Full Blood Prince and Gritty Green the best.
In overcast situations I like Gritty Blue and Gritty Green.
In high saturated footage I liked Half Set.
Gritty Green is probably my favorite since it seems work well in many situations and holds the skin tone the best. However in a low key lighting situation where I basically didn’t have any shadows only skin tone none of my favorites worked well, only the Vintage one seem to work.
Band of Tremors is good for bring out texture.
These are not simple presets, there is a lot going on with how each filter counter balance the other with contrast, for me it would take me years to get that level as it did for Luke.
I like not having to leave Premiere to color, this is a big plus for me.
However, on the down side is that many of his filters use Premiere Pro’s Unsharpen Mask filter which adds sharpness and contrast after he has flatten the image before hand, the down side is unsharpen mask is a filter that doesn’t not use the Mercury Engine, therefor you can’t preview the video in Premiere without some serious shuttering.
I feel the presets have really helped me understand color and contrast much better, I think the true value here is not so much the presets themselves but the education you get by playing around with them a lot on many different clips.