Luminar Neo Gives Us a Better Preview of What’s Coming

Skylum has been teasing her new editor called Luminar Neo for several months now, and today, I received another hands-on preview of the app, available on Windows and Mac. The new version seems to run a little faster than the previous preview, and it’s completely original to Apple silicon. I tested it on a 16-inch MacBook Pro using the M1 Max chipset. The release version would be faster, but Neo was fine-tuning a clip.

The features that distinguish the Neo from the Luminar AI currently offered are:

  • Relight AI
  • Dust Spots Removal
  • Remove Powerlines
  • Luminar Arrow

In the public release in February, all users will receive most of the functions currently available in Luminar AI, the functions of presets and layers, and the new engine version that provides better performance. Remove image background AI and Mask AI will be available in the first free update of Luminar Neo. This Early Access Edition ships to select Skylum customers who pre-order Luminar Neo.

This early access version of Luminar Neo is currently missing the Histogram, Dodge & Burn tool, Clone & Stamp tool, Portrait Bokeh AI tool, Body AI tool, Face AI tool, Image 3D Transform, Color Picker in the Develop tool, and flip and rotate functions Its Crop, Copy and Paste, Pencil Pressure (only on macOS) for Radius and Opacity, Linear and Radial Gradient functionality for masking, Apply when scrolling LUTs in the Mood tool, Undo Redo functions, Sync adjustments, and Copy and Paste adjustments functions.

In addition, in macOS, there is no context menu in the single image view of the catalog and the Edit tab, the undo function is missing in the masking, the erase function is missing after applying the vignette effect, and incorrect states may appear in the scanning steps of the tab Archives. In Windows, the Sky AI sliders are disabled, there are problems when using development tools, significant delays while using scanning and fast forward in the History tab, no active plug-ins, limited hotkeys.

As you can see, there is very little in the way of previewing, but I was able to test most of the new features that are available. I was particularly interested in a power line removal tool. It worked fine in the last preview and seems to be improved even further.

Here is the above:

and then:

If I’m taking pixel pictures I can still see a ghost from some of the wires removed, but with the scan tool it was easy to do a quick cleanup. Anyway, using the tools saved me about half an hour of time, and I couldn’t do it like Neo did.

I had some small specks of dust on my wide angle lens, and the Neo sent them in quickly.

I’m still not affected by the re-lightening tool. I don’t find it much different than using linear gradients on an image, and I think the effect of the re-lightening tool is very subtle. In addition, when re-lighting near the horizon, the effect flows into the sky, and should only affect the landscape. I’ve suggested these changes to the Luminar team.

There is an interesting new feature in this version called Luminar Share. Luminar Share is a new feature built into Neo that allows Luminar Neo users to transfer photos from desktop to mobile (and back) wirelessly. It also makes it easier for users to share the edited images in their social media accounts.

Luminar Share features include:

  • Wireless transfer of images between Luminar Neo on desktop and Luminar Share on mobile
  • Flip photos from Luminar Neo on a mobile device
  • Easy to share photos on social media
  • Luminar Share is available on both Android and iOS and is free for all Luminar Neo users.

It’s a smart idea, and I’ve tried it. It was nice to quickly send raw iPhone files to Luminar Neo and get some edited files from Neo on my Mac quickly to my phone. Everything works smoothly and without problems.

I expect Luminar Neo to be a huge success. There has been some grumbling about Skylum constantly killing past software to sell new versions, and this argument has some merit. Photoshop has been Photoshop since the 1980s. It has been improved and improved. Skylum changes names every year it seems. It’s unnecessarily confusing, and people feel like they’re starting over.

However, Skylum pushed the envelope on AI and features and forced Adobe and others to offer things like sky replacement and more AI features.

I’ve done some raw shots of the drone and done a full process in Neo and was happy with the results, despite some features missing in this preview.

Expect Luminar Neo next month. As of this date, the Luminar Neo costs $79, which is pretty reasonable for powerful and easy-to-use software. However, prices are variable with almost daily deals and upgrade prices for Luminar AI users.

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