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Webinar Recording with NPEG on Sky Replacement with Luminar 4

On May 11, 2020 I did a free webinar for the National Photography Enthusiasts Group (NPEG) showing how to use Luminar 4 for Sky Replacement.

In the webinar I showed the AI Sky Replacement Tool as well as the new AI Augmented Sky Tool in action on a number of photos using clouds & skies from my 3 Cloud Kits.

This is a recording of that webinar.

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Disclosure about product links and affiliations: Some of the links I provide are affiliate links which means I get a small commission, with no additional cost to you, if you click it and end up buying something. It helps me provide free educational resources and articles. So if you use them, thank you! My affiliations however never influence my opinions on any products/services and I am only affiliated with companies whose products/services I personally use.

Skylum Announces AI-Powered Portrait and Skin Enhancement Tools for Luminar 4

Today Skylum continues to unwrap new features for the upcoming Luminar 4 by announcing new AI-powered portrait and skin enhancement tools. Portrait photographers – and really anyone who photographs people – are sure to be excited about these new tools to quickly enhance the look of people in their photos.

While I have not yet been able to use this hands-on, I have watched a presentation on these new tools working on a beta version of Luminar 4 and I have to be honest, the presentation was quite impressive making quick work of portrait enhancements such as smoothing of the skin, blemish removal, along with eye & teeth & lip enhancements.

AI Skin Enhancer

Using AI (Artificial Intelligence) technology Luminar 4 can automatically detect faces & skin in your photos. The AI Skin Enhancer will allow for the automatic removal of various skin imperfections like acne, freckles, and moles all while smoothing the skin. It does this while also keeping small details like hair & eyelashes & skin pores preserved.

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New Blog Post From Skylum Shows Their Excitement for AI – Are You Excited?

Skylum just posted a new blog article from the Chief Product Manager of Skylum talking a little bit more about the upcoming Luminar 4. No new features have been announced outside of the previously mentioned AI Sky Replacement filter, but the article does mention that Skylum is heavily invested in Artificial Intelligence to make our photos better.

No AI was used in the creation of this photo – rather a number of manual adjustments were made by myself, including a lot of dodging & burning.

Some interesting quotes from the article: “The secret sauce is how Luminar 4 uses Artificial Intelligence to give users professional quality results in a much simpler, quicker, and more natural way…So Pam (and others like her) can stop being shy about letting her art shine through. So you can use Luminar 4 to grow as a photography artist, not to get tripped up by the most tedious parts of photo editing…We are helping Pam become a photo artist and enjoy the entirety of that process. How cool is that?”

How cool is that? I have no idea, as Skylum hasn’t mentioned anything yet besides the AI Sky Replacement filter, which from what I understand might not allow us to use our own sky photos.

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Skylum Today Announces Luminar 4 – What Now Happens to Luminar 3?

Today Skylum has announced Luminar 4, a paid upgrade to Luminar 3, shipping this fall. Details however are still vague as to what new features Luminar 4 will have outside of the one new feature being mentioned at today’s announcement, even though Luminar 4 is now available for pre-order.

What is that new feature, and what now happens with Luminar 3? Let’s take a look.

New Luminar 4 with Sky Replacement

As I just mentioned, outside of the new Sky Replacement feature I will discuss, Skylum is not mentioning any other new features coming to Luminar 4 at this time. This is a real curious marketing strategy for a number of reasons, but first I’ll talk about this new feature.

For years I as well as many other photographers have been requesting and waiting for Skylum to give us a content-aware smart brush for those of us who need to to cutouts or to do sky replacement. Something like what ON1 Photo RAW has as well as other programs.

Well for those looking for such a brush, it isn’t looking like this is it.

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Luminar Flex from Skylum Updated to v1.1 – What is Flex and What About this Update

Skylum today has released a free update to Luminar Flex bringing it to version 1.1.

What is Luminar Flex? Don’t they have Luminar 3 too?

For those not familiar with Flex, think of all the great photo editing filters and tools from Luminar 3, minus the not-ready-for-primetime catalog features that Luminar 3 has. If you don’t want to use the “DAM” (digital asset manager) of Luminar 3 (and I can’t blame you as it has been a big disappointment from day 1) but still want to use Luminar’s filters to enhance your photos, then Flex might be for you.

Luminar Flex v1.1 running as a plugin inside Photoshop

I say “might be for you” because this is where things get a little confusing. And bear with me for a moment as I discuss Flex, as I never posted a review of it when it first came out. If you just want to see what’s new with Flex, scroll down to the New Features.

A Little History

Luminar 3 arrived back on December 18, 2018 and was initially marketed by Skylum as a Lightroom replacement, even though it barely had any more organizational power than Finder on Mac or Explorer on Windows. I was not a fan, and apparently I wasn’t alone as the majority of people in my Learn Skylum’s Luminar & Aurora HDR Facebook Group who voted in a poll I conducted just last month still couldn’t use the DAM because of missing features and/or performance issues. Only a small percentage were happy with Luminar 3 at the time. In fact, one of my most popular YouTube videos I have is a video I recorded showing how to use Luminar 3 without the catalog.

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Starting with No Image Library in Luminar 3

In my Learn Skylum’s Luminar & Aurora HDR Facebook group, I have noticed some people wanting to kind of hit the reset button on Luminar 3. Maybe they added too many photos at once in Luminar and it is not running great. Or maybe they don’t want to even have Luminar 3 index their photos but still want to use Luminar 3while waiting for things like keywords and LR migration to appear in future updates.

I prepared a video just for you 🙂

This video also appears in my Mastering Luminar 3 Online Course.

I’ll show you a few ways to start from scratch and also which files and folders you can delete to free up some hard drive space if you don’t want to use a photo library in Luminar 3.

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