Luminar Neo by Skylum: AI-based edition that targets photographers’ pain points

Skylum, the developers of Luminar AI, will soon be launching another standalone photo editor, and the new software will use 3D depth mapping to correct for light. by Skylum Neo Light, slated for launch this winter, is a Photoshop-Lightroom plug-in that combines AI-based edits with layer-based edits, specifically targeting photographers’ weak spots and simplifying complex editing routines.

Creators can combine multiple images as layers on a single canvas, including RAW images for maximum control over color and light. Blending, masking, and opacity can be used to create collages, double exposure effects, and other powerfully creative interactions between layered photos.

Initially teased earlier this month, Luminar has since shared more features that the next program will showcase. Relight AI uses the program’s 3D depth mapping to independently correct foreground or background. Uneven lighting is a common photography problem, especially when access to lighting equipment is limited. Luminar says Relight AI allows photo editors to independently correct these issues, by adjusting the exposure of the background but not the subject, for example.

[Read: ON1 Photo RAW 2022: Noise Reduction and Sky Swap AI]

The new Relight AI joins some of Luminar’s existing tools like Sky Enhancer AI, Accent AI, and Portrait Bokeh AI with a new layered-based program. The program will also include Mask AI, which will automatically mask portraits, sky, water, mountains, vegetation, and architecture for localized adjustments. Luminar says the program will also automatically remove dust spots from sensors, as well as power lines.

In Luminar Neo, removing the background can also quickly refine outlines.
Skylum says that while the automatic background removal is usually sufficient, the edges can be sharpened quickly.

Skylum’s Luminar Neo applies changes on export, rather than every change. This allows editors to go back and undo or adjust previous edits without losing further work, according to the company.

[Read: Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom 2021 New Features for Photographers]

Skylum launched Luminar AI less than a year ago. Neo appears to take the same AI-driven approach, but aimed at a different user, with Layers suggesting that Luminar is aimed at photographers who would typically use a layer-based program like Photoshop.

Skylum now directs users looking for a Luminar 4 license to Luminar AI, by calling Luminar AI “a final sequel to Luminar 4. However, Luminar AI lacks several features of the original Luminar series. Image organization is limited to files, without star rating or labels. While Skylum hasn’t shared all the details, Neo doesn’t appear to be tackling digital asset management either.

While another program risks creating a more confusing product line, Luminar says Neo is built on a new modular engine designed for faster releases of new features in the future. The new program is slated to launch this winter with Layers and Relight AI, but the background removal of AI-based portraits and masks is already slated for a later update, not the initial launch. Luminar Neo joins Luminar AI and Aurora HDR.

Luminar Neo is expected to cost $ 79 for a single device license. Pre-orders are open now and reduced to $ 65, or $ 94 when paired with Luminar AI. Two device licenses start at $ 76 with a pre-order price.

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