It’s been a while since Skylum has added any extensions to Luminar Neo, its sophisticated image editor. Now, however, there’s an important feature coming.
Panoramas are nothing new, of course. They are as old as film itself, and we’ve had digital panorama creators built into Photoshop and Lightroom and some dedicated apps for panoramas for many years. This new extension from Skylum has some unique features.
First, and expected is regular pano stitching. Drag your raw or JPEG files, and you’ll get a panorama with no seams. Then, there’s HDR Panorama. You can combine multiple exposures and brackets into a single HDR panorama.
Next, and this is new and unique: panoramas from video. The Panorama Stitching extension allows you to add your video footage and seamlessly extract frames to stitch together into panoramic images. Skylum says you can: “Re-imagine action sequences in a whole new way as your videos are transformed into stunning, wide-spanning photographs.”
Finally, the extension offers Object/Subject Composition Panorama. It allows you to select specific subjects within a video and convert them into panoramic images. The Panorama Stitching Extension intelligently isolates and combines frames centered around your chosen element, resulting in visually striking panoramas.
Using the Panorama Extension
I gave the standard panoramas a try with some drone photos I took recently. You import the individual frames, drag them into the extension window, and then you’re offered different projections to match what you’ve shot.
Before you assemble the frames, Neo will offer you a control panel allowing you to remove vignettes or distortion. Also, you can remove any chromatic aberration.
You’ll quickly get a preview, which will look uneven, as all assembled panoramas do.
Then, it will auto-crop, giving you a seamless new image. You can manually adjust the crop if you like.
To my eye, the processed images look every bit as good as what I get out of Lightroom or Photoshop. The only missing bit is that Adobe offers auto-fill to reduce the amount of cropping. It uses Adobe’s Content-Aware technology, and it works quite well.
In my own work, I do the cropping manually with Photoshop software anyway, so essentially, in my workflow, the Neo and Adobe tools are functionally the same.
How Did It Work?
Just fine. I think a lot of people will be thrilled to see this tool in Luminar Neo. Not only does it do a fine job on panoramas, the video tool looks promising and innovative. I didn’t have any video on hand to try it with, but I’m looking forward to a test. There are some samples of the video tools in action on the Skylum website.
How to Get It
The software will be released on July 20 and will be available to monthly and annual subscribers of the Pro and Ultimate plans, as well as all other Extensions.
Luminar Neo owners with a lifetime license can now pre-order the Panorama Stitching Extension individually at an early-bird price or transition to one of the subscription plans. People who are non-subscribers can get a lifetime license for $149 instead of the regular $199 from Skylum via their web page.
I think this is one of the most powerful extensions Skylum has offered. I would also rank the HDR and Focus Stacking Extensions highly as well. It’s going to be great to not have to exit Luminar Neo to create these panoramas, and I think users of this software will be pleased.