|Review rating: **|
List of sponsored/free gear: None
Did I get paid for this review? No
|3||Does not match||Lack of Accuracy|
|4||Does not match||Lack of Accuracy|
|5||Does not match||Lack of Accuracy and Consistency*|
An Adobe Look is more than a LUT, in these ways:
- You can change a Look using the Lumetri color panel and Looks Capture CC and re-save it.
- You can include additional effects like vignetting, etc., which LUTs don’t support.
With this in mind, the Looks created in Looks can be reproduced – you do get something like the test scene, but it is not accurate and not consistent*.
*It is not consistent per se, but you could achieve consistency with grading. In this respect, Looks are RC while LUTs are AC. Two unique tools with overlapping areas of usage and differences as well.
Some quirks and glitches of Hue CC, version 1.01:
- Not all video formats and sizes are supported. Sometimes you get a blank/black preview, sometimes another image posterized. The good news is it does not crash the app.
- You only get to choose one Hue and change it. If you select another hue, you can only change that. You can’t do a complex grade in Hue CC.
- It only works in vertical mode. Large-sized images are cropped, as you can see in the video.
- Hue has trouble finding colors in Log footage, as can be seen in the end of the video.
- It is unclear if Hue can find all hues/colors in normal footage.
- The size and aspect ratio of the test image is usually different than video formats, so in a test scene additional hues can creep in which are cropped from the shot footage.
- How Hue CC handles recompressed videos is unclear. iDevices are not known for external storage.
Why I prefer a desktop version
It is extremely unlikely for someone to stumble across a scene with a ‘look’. Most people will use reference images downloaded from the Internet. If that is the case, a desktop with a calibrated display offers more benefit – both in terms of speed and storage space but also in terms of viewing conditions and color accuracy.
Ultimately, these looks must also be applied on a desktop. Even if you try to export LUTs from your grading tool to use with an external monitor, not all features in a Look can be used in a LUT.
Therefore, I don’t see why anyone has to reach for a phone (small screen) or iPad (larger screen real estate) just to tweak a few colors. Also, even if I understand why iOS was chosen, it’s funny when you think about it: Android phones have equally good cameras, better screens and more processing power and storage space.
Is Adobe Looks a gimmick or a serious color tool?
It’s not a gimmick, that’s for sure. There’s some serious color-crunching going on in the background, but I feel it’s still an app with tremendous potential underdeveloped in its current avatar.
I’m sure if Looks catches on Adobe will throw more resources at it and make it better. Still, I have my doubts – Adobe has been known to add and remove apps at will.
The bottom line is as follows:
For editors and colorists: Looks Capture CC cannot match the accuracy of an official LUT, and neither can it guarantee consistent results from project to project, which begs the question: What happens when you have a thousand+ Looks saved in your library? Do you really have the time to test them all on every project? If you plan on organizing your Looks based on, well, looks, how would you start naming them, and won’t it create problems when others don’t use language the way you do?
For filmmakers and cinematographers: Sure, you can playfully use Looks to ‘transfer’ a look from one image to the next, if you are happy with the fact that you can only change the saturation of one hue at a time. Other than this, I see no practical use for Looks that a LUT (universally acceptable in the *.cube format) or color grading app can’t do faster – in the hands of a professional.
Which begs another question: Who is Looks really for? I don’t know, but I know it’s not for me.
That’s it for my Adobe Looks review. I hope you have enough information to decide whether the app is the right choice for your workflows.
What do you think? Will you be using Adobe Looks for your projects?