Good way to learn how to color and get started quickly.

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 DayFull 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.


  • I think the “issue” you’re having with the Unsharp Mask filter is a moot point. These presets are designed to be used with a flat picture style, i.e. sharpness ALL the way down, contrast ALL the way down, and saturation at LEAST 2 ticks down. Idealy they are designed to be used with the Neumann Films Flat picture style that comes WITH the preset bundle, so judging the outcome based on your own settings is really not valid. Also, the fancy attitude of how it doesn’t play well with your Mercury playback engine is rediculous. That should not have even entered the equation since most professionals color correct or grade their footage on a key frame. Just because you invested in newer technology and Adobe’s own filter doesn’t play nice with your equipment is no reason to cast a negative connotation towards the presets. Talk to Adobe about that!

    To bring yourself to the point where you are comfortable with your CC/ grading skills, you’ve got to come to realize that there are people who have been at this way longer than you and that if 10 pros are saying the same thing that there must be some validity to it. IOW, follow the same game plan and your images will look great. Don’t follow, and you’re on your own.

    Lastly, I ‘d like to say that ANY clip that is shot properly(white balance/exposure), with the included flat picture style, will benefit from any of the presets IF you learn how to use them. Luke is a example of someone who is straight up, trusting, and one of the rare personalities that actually cares about sharing helpful information free of charge. He deserves all the fairness due anyone.

  • Hi Dave

    Should it say “presents bundle” or “preset bundle” 😉
    Looking forward to your next post!


  • Great review. I always enjoy your reviews and look forward to getting email notifications of new ones. I’m new to the DSLR game, so I have tons to learn. Your videos have helped me immensely. Next step for me is the 50 mm lens (using the kit lens right now and it’s horrible in low light settings). Although I don’t have Premiere Pro, (As a newbie, I just got w/ the iMovie and basic Mac Apps), these presets look pretty cool. Hope to get there some day. Thanks Dave.


    P.S. Maybe you meant to add “didn’t” in here: “…was a little bummed that he [didn’t?] have presets for that yet so I wrote him an email…”

    Keep ’em coming.

  • Dave,

    If you like color presets, I recommend a bundle that comes with After Effects. The new version of AE includes a plugin called Color Finesse. This is a pretty much a full blown color corrector, with controls set up to look and feel like a telecine suite. Color finesse has a bunch of presets that will actually allow you emulate the look of 35mm filmstocks as well as a bunch of other effects like day for night, cross processing, bleach bypass, etc. These are all very similar to magic bullet looks. Each allows you to further customize and save as your own preset, so that you can do shot-to-shot correction using your own preset based on a bundled preset.

    Give it a shot. (no pun here)


  • Dave Creu… err.. you mad? lol Dave doesnt claim to be a pro and was asked to do the review… If you didnt notice it, he is actually promoting the presets, not trashing it…

    Good work Dave, presets looks good!

  • @ Dave Creu. You seem a little upset. This review is from a guy that is self admittedly an amateur and a beginner at that. He knows better than you or anyone else how long he has “been at this.” I have found Dave to be well intentioned, fair and not in the least “fancy” in his attitude. I have seen many professional photographers/vidiographers that fit that description to a tee. That being said he has built up a reputation in the community as a trusted and respected individual. Evident in the fact that he was given the opportunity to review the pre-sets. The tools he uses are his business and like the myriad of other videos he has produced is utterly honest and based on personal experience not expertise.
    On one point I agree with you Dave. Luke is a example of someone who is straight up, trusting, and one of the rare personalities that actually cares about sharing helpful information free of charge.
    I think others will also agree that Dave is another rare example of someone who shares those same traits and thus should be treated with the respect he has earned.

  • Nicely put, Jason.

    Dave D. – one thing to consider is Color Correction seems to be more of an art than a science. There are scopes and tools that will help you along the way, but probably should be treated more like a painter’s brush than a surgeon’s scalpel. Looking at other’s work and many hours of experimentation will build up your artistic intuition on this subject.

  • @Dave Creu … Am I missing something? I watched Dave’s review of Luke Neumann’s presets, and I didn’t think he was knocking Neumann at all. I think like many of us amateurs Dave has expressed his frustration of color-correcting/grading. But regardless, maybe Mr. Creu you should watch past videos on this site to find out where Dave is coming from. He’s never represented himself anything other than a beginner at the whole DSLR thing. And he has always given an honest and even reviews. I agree with Dave, I think that presets have helped me get a partial handle on the whole coloring thing. It’s just one piece of the puzzle.

    Sure Luke Neumann should get big props, respect. But so does Dave. I think he asks the right questions and puts it out there for us to ponder. As a multimedia student who is shooting on a T2i, I am always excited when Dave posts videos. Why? He keeps reviewing stuff that is current and relevant. I was looking at a Tokina 11-16 lens. The next thing I know Dave has posted a review. Camera sliders? Dave’s video hit the mark. I just got into Magic Bullet Mojo. Dave reviews Luke Neumann’s presets. And how did I learn about Luke Neumann? Well right here when Dave did an interview with him last year. Been a fan of Luke and the Crew ever since. What Luke & co. get from shots done with a kit lens is freaking amazing! Dave also turned me on to Caleb Pike.

    So thanks Dave for all of your hard work! You are the man!


  • @Tina wow, thanks for the support, I really appreciate it. I hope everyone knows I am not an expert, perhaps I should say that more in my videos.

  • Another great video. I haven’t comment’d much before, but I am a regular visitor to your site & enjoy the news of your DSLR adventures. I might try the PP/AE CS5 bundles Luke offers. It’s incredibly cheap, $18 for both.

  • Dave, I think you’re an alright guy. You have a passion for learning and sharing, and those traits seem to be all the more illusive these days.

    I just want to say I wrong to be so harsh in my first post, and there was really no excuse for that kind of behavior. It was simply wrong. I hope you and your readers will accept my deepest apology.

    Please be encouraged, and keep the videos coming. So many people will find the help they need here.

  • How are the rendering times with these presets? I tried the Magic Bullet Looks 2.0 trial, and the rendering is quite slow. I have a Core i7 2600k, and I’m averaging 3-6x real time for rendering. Are the Neumann presets quicker?

  • I know almost nothing about color grading, or whatever you call this, but this video explained it well. I have AE + PP CS5, does the color finesse preset come with mine? Or does it only come with CS5.5?
    I doubt it. Probably, you wouldn’t be the right person to ask.

  • @Kevin, does color finesse come with AE CS5, or do i need to upgrade to CS5.5 to get it?
    If it does not come with CS5, I will be very annoyed with adobe.
    yay 200 bucks more….

  • Great review Dave!
    Where can we get these presets as Luke’s site is offline it seems.

    Thank you!