For once in my life, I've been handed an edit job that is shot in such a way that I can grade the whole thing in one pass with a LUT.

On this particular edit, I need to first use a Log conversion LUT, and then can apply the additional grade LUT. I'd like to do this with Adjustment Layers to facilitate easier revisions (rather than clip-level effects).

What is the correct order of rendering with regards to adjustment layers? If I put each LUT on a different layer, which is applied first?

My searching revealed no answers; apologies if my underslept brain has missed an obvious one.

3 Answers 3


I'm fairly certain that Premiere Pro renders all layers from bottom to top. I have found several sources that confirm this behaviour for After Effects, but nowhere is it stated explicitly for Premiere Pro.

From the Adobe documentation for After Effects:

A composition consists of layers stacked on top of one another in the Timeline panel. When the composition is rendered—either for previewing or for final output—the bottom layer is rendered first. Within each raster (non-vector) layer, elements are applied in the following order: masks, effects, transformations, and layer styles. For continuously rasterized vector layers, the default rendering order is masks, followed by transformations, and then effects.


Rendering layers from bottom to top is also the logical order. If it was the other way around, blending modes and certain other effects couldn't function properly. Let's say I have two video layers, the upper one being set to multiply as it's blending mode. This blending mode takes into account the pixels of the video layer below it. This wouldn't work if that layer hadn't been rendered yet.

So I would suggest this layer order for your timeline:

Adjustment Layer with color grading effects
Adjustment Layer with color correction effects
Layer with video clips 

Alternatively, you could just put all your LUT effects on the same adjustment layer. Keep in mind that effects on a clip are rendered top to bottom. So if you have just one adjustment layer that holds one LUT effect for color correction and another one for color grading, make sure the color correction effect is on top in the Effect Settings panel.

  • 1
    Shouldn't it be bottom-to-top?
    – Gyan
    Nov 27, 2016 at 14:05
  • @Mulvya ehem ... yes. My bad ^^'
    – MoritzLost
    Nov 27, 2016 at 14:07
  • One more thing: "make sure the color grading effect is on top" --> bottom, right?
    – Gyan
    Nov 27, 2016 at 15:15
  • @Mulvya indeed. Guess I utterly confused OP. Sorry :p
    – MoritzLost
    Nov 27, 2016 at 16:28
  • I'm fairly certain it doesn't matter from a rendering perspective. Say you have a simple lut that makes e everything more blue. Then you have another effect that adds more contrast. The lut is just mapping values from a certain 'level' to another, while the contrast is just adding to that. Whether ones on top or ones below it doesn't matter, they are both 'flattened' during render. The only reason you might want your minor color temp and exposure changes to be made before is to match clips or adjust so the lut looks good. But if everything's homogeneous it doesn't matter.
    – Alex
    Dec 18, 2016 at 3:24

I agree with McFlySoHigh. If you have multiple adjustment layers placed one above the other, the effects will be applied from Top to Bottom.

A bit more on the order of effects application in Premiere Pro: First, it applies effects from Master Clip, Then go the effects applied to the clip in a regular way: to the Effect Controls panel (Top to Bottom) Then, nested sequence And at the very end, effects from Adjustment Layers are applied, going from the top layer to the bottom one.


If your LUT is applied to the footage files as a filter within the project (and it shows up in your Effects Controls Window Pane; order will matter, and you will want it at the TOP.

PPro prioritizes from Top to Bottom for Effects.

If you can apply your LUT to the footage outside of PPro, where it actually writes to the clips metadata which Premiere would then interpret, then you don't need to add it in PPro; but you should still do the LUT process first.

Use your LUT to color correct your footage to "Primary". Then use your color correction effects to get the look you want once all your footage is graded to match.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.