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Recently Skylum Software announced Luminar 4 – the next major upgrade to its flagship photo editing software. For long-time Skylum (formerly Macphun) followers, and avid Luminar users, the announcement came with a lot of questions. I’ll do my best to answer them and keep this page updated as I get more information.
Skylum Focuses On Innovation
According to Skylum CEO, Alex Tsepko, Luminar was invented to “make photo editing more accessible and innovative.” In short – their goal is to explore and create new tools, not re-create existing tools.
Skylum will be doubling down on new tech such as Artificial Intelligence (AI) tools that will help photographers make better images faster and easier. Their commitment to improving the library/catalog isn’t being abandoned, but photo editing is the focus.
For those looking for a Lightroom alternative, Luminar could be a good fit. However, if you’re looking for a Lightroom replacement (i.e. something that has most of the bells and whistles of Lightroom), you might want to consider sticking with Lightroom and using Luminar as a plugin (my personal workflow).
The Luminar 4 release is planned for late autumn 2019 and is currently available for pre-order. They plan to share another new feature each month leading up to the launch, so be sure to bookmark this page. I’ll update it as additional information is released.
To date – Skylum has announced four new innovative features: AI Sky Replacement and AI Structure, AI Skin Enhancer and AI Portrait Enhancer! (More about these new features below.) I recently got access to the beta of Luminar 4 and each of these new features packs its own “WOW” factor!
I’ve put together a list of FAQ’s at the end of this post that will hopefully address most of the questions and concerns current Luminar 3/Luminar Flex users have so be sure to scroll down.
AI Skin Enhancer & AI Portrait Enhancer
Portrait retouching can be painstaking work. To do it right, you have to make sure to preserve the features that make the subject unique…but also make them look their absolute best. In the past, keeping a subject looking natural (not like a plastic doll) took quite a bit of finesse, but with Luminar 4’s new AI portrait tools the game has changed.
The new AI Skin Enhancer and AI Portrait Enhancer can help photographers achieve professional results in a fraction of the time by using AI technology that instantly recognizes the right areas to adjust.
AI Skin Enhancer
The AI Skin Enhancer can get rid of imperfections, and smooth skin while making sure the hair and eyelashes stay sharp.
AI Portrait Enhancer
The AI Portrait Enhancer is a collection of tools that are designed to highlight and improve the primary features of a person’s face. It includes eight adjustments:
- Face-aware Lighting
- Eye Improvement
- Dark Circle Removal
- Red Eye Correction
- Face Contouring
- Eye Enlargement
- Lips and Teeth Enhancement
Here are a few examples from the Skylum team:
Ready to see the AI Skin Enhancer and Portrait Enhancer in action? Check out the video below:
One of the things I like most in photo processing is increasing the intensity of the details in my images. Unfortunately, most tools that make this happen often create undesirable artifacts such as noise and halos. To solve these issues, the developers at Skylum have created AI Structure – a tool that will enhance detail intelligently.
What does “intelligent detail enhancement” mean?
AI Structure is content-aware (meaning it identifies objects such as people, faces, clouds, water, buildings , and more), and human aware (to keep skin tones looking natural) with no manual selections needed.
Here are a few before/after shots from the Skylum team:
Check out AI Structure in action the vide below:
AI Sky Replacement
If you’e ever attempted to replace a sky in a photograph, you know it isn’t easy. The process can be very time-consuming, requiring a lot of attention to detail. The AI team at Skylum aims to change that with the new AI Sky Replacement tool.
I have FINALLY seen this tool in action and had a chance to test it. It is freaking awesome. It produces realistic results by detecting semi-transparent objects at the horizon level. It also detects the lighting and will relight the scene to make the new sky match as naturally as possible.
Q: Will I be able to use my own sky photos with the AI Sky Replacement tool?
A: YES! You’ll be able to use your own high-resolution files sky images. The tool will also come with a few included samples and others will be available for download.
Skylum recently released a teaser video of AI Sky Replacement in action:
The images below were provided by Skylum:
Luminar 4 FAQ
Q: What’s new in Luminar 4?
A: AI Sky Replacement, AI Structure, AI Skin Enhancer and AI Portrait Enhancer. Additional new features will be announced monthly leading up to the November release.
Q: Is Luminar 4 a paid upgrade?
A: Yes, Luminar 4 is a paid major version upgrade. All current users of Luminar 3, Luminar Flex, and Luminar 2018 are eligible for special upgrade discounts.
Q: How much does Luminar 4 cost?
A: Luminar 4 will retail for $89 when it is released, but great pre-order discounts are available now!
- Current users of Luminar 3, Luminar Flex, and Luminar 2018 can pre-order Luminar 4 for $59
- New users can pre-order Luminar 4 for $69 or get Luminar 3 now, and Luminar 4 when it is released for
$99$89 when you use my link and enter my coupon code ANGANDRIEUX at checkout.
Q: Do I have to pre-order now?
A: No, you have several months to consider your purchase. However, those who pre-order early will get the lowest prices.
Q: Is there a money-back guarantee?
A: Yes. Skylum’s 30 day money back guarantee applies and the countdown does not start until the day Luminar 4 is released.
Q: What will happen to Luminar 3?
A: Luminar 3 users have a lifetime license that does not expire. If you choose not to upgrade, Luminar 3 will continue to work and be supported for performance and compatibility.
Q: What will happen to Luminar Flex?
A: Luminar Flex users have a lifetime license that does not expire. If you choose not to upgrade, Luminar Flex will continue to work and be supported for performance and compatibility.
Q: Will Luminar 3 get any more free updates?
A: Yes. Based on the newly updated Roadmap on Skylum’s website you can expect to see Luminar 3.2 sometime later this year which will provide support for macOS 10.15, better memory management, and new camera support. There is also an additional update planned for early 2020 that will include IPTC Basic editing, a search tool for text fields, and new camera/lens profiles.