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One of the new, and very cool new tools coming to Luminar 4 is AI Structure.
Structure – the adjustment of detail and clarity – has been a useful tool in my editing toolbox for a long time. The downside was that sometimes it added too much crunchy detail in areas where I didn’t want it – such as faces, skies, water, etc.
The new AI Structure tool in Luminar 4 is changing the game by using machine learning to apply structure selectively. It’s object-aware technology recognizes faces, skin, skies, and more and adds intelligent enhancement only where it is needed, rather than globally across an entire image.
Structure vs. AI Structure
The biggest difference between Structure (the tool that has been in the last few versions of Luminar) and AI Structure coming to Luminar 4 is its ability to discern what areas need more detail, and which don’t.
I was fortunate to get my hands on the Luminar 4 beta and have been testing all of the new features, including AI Structure. Learn more about the other great features coming in my Luminar 4 FAQ Article.
For this article I chose two images, both captured along the Santa Barbara waterfront. I ran them through Luminar 3 and Luminar 4 to show the differences between the legacy Structure filter and the new AI Structure in Luminar 4.
In the comparison above you can see that both edited versions on the right and left are more detailed than the original in the center (you can click on each image for a larger view). The global adjustment from Luminar 3 (on the left) did produce some unwanted artifacts. We will zoom in on a few areas below to take a more detailed look.
At first glance it looks like the Luminar 3 version is more detailed, but if you look closely (click to zoom) there are a lot of grainy artifacts present on the flag and in the background behind the netting. The version using AI Structure in Luminar 4 is far cleaner.
In this example, the artifacts become more apparent in the Luminar 3 version, especially in the upper left corner. The Luminar 4 version has roughly the same amount of detail enhancement in the lace window covering, but significantly less grain/noise in the painted areas.
The water is where we really start to see the downside of the global adjustment in Luminar 3. The water looks crunchy and there are a lot of grainy artifacts, especially in the gray area in the upper right, and the turquoise area in the foreground (click to zoom). With AI Structure in Luminar 4 the detail of the water gets a slight enhancement but retains a smoother texture overall without any unwanted artifacts.
The next example captures a broader view of the scene encompassing the harbor with the coastal mountains in the background. I chose this image to see how AI Structure in Luminar 4 would handle several different objects and textures – sky, weathered boats, and water. (Click on the images below to see larger versions.)
Zooming in to the sky really showcases the power of AI Structure in Luminar 4. The image from Luminar 3 on the left is very grainy while the Luminar 4 image on the right maintains a smooth texture throughout the blue sky area.
In the next image, pay close attention to the texture of the water. The channel was fairly choppy (even without any enhancements). The global adjustment of Luminar 3 made the area far more crunchy while the Luminar 4 version preserved the existing detail without overdoing it.
In the next example, I wanted to show how Luminar 4 intelligently locates the areas that should be enhanced with additional detail. You’ll notice that the back of the boat in both the Luminar 3 and Luminar 4 versions are roughly the same.
In our final zoomed-in example we will examine the rippling water in the foreground. The Luminar 3 version on the left is, once again, far noisier and the ripples have started to get a little bit crunchy. The Luminar 4 version does get a small amount of detail enhancement, but the overall effect is smoother and more natural.
Pre-Order Luminar 4 with AI Structure
If you like to add a bit of extra detail and drama to your photos, then you’re going to love AI Structure!