Skylum Is Launching a New Image Editor Called Luminar Neo

Skylum revealed Luminar Neo today, which builds upon the unique AI-editing technologies for which the company is well known. According to the company, Luminar Neo further re-imagines the image editing experience, which enables creators to be more expressive with fewer boundaries and rediscover the joy in their creative work.

“As the latest member of the Luminar family, we designed Luminar Neo to allow artists to take on more challenging image creation work and achieve results which often seem unattainable,” said Dima Sytnik, Co-Founder and CPO of Skylum. 

What Does Luminar Neo Do?

Expected features in this new editor include:

  • Transform photos with new relighting options. Luminar Neo analyzes each image to recognize the depth of a scene and its subject which allows precise control over exposure and tone.
  • Remove blemishes and distracting elements. Luminar Neo automatically recognizes and removes artifacts caused by a dirty camera sensor or lens. New tools make removing unwanted background elements easier than ever before.
  • Powerful background replacement. Take full control of the background for portrait photos by quickly replacing it with an all-new image or background.
  • Round-trip mobile image management. Our new companion mobile app makes it simple to add pictures captured on a mobile device to your Luminar Catalog. Once edited in Luminar Neo, results can be sent back to the mobile device for easy social sharing or viewing on the go.

The software is expected to ship this winter and will be available as a package deal with Luminar AI.

My Thoughts

It looks like another interesting effort from Skylum. It appears to be aimed at portrait photographers more than, say, landscape photographers, but it’s hard to tell until I have the software in hand. Still, LuminarAI has some excellent tools for portrait work, like skin smoothing, lighting controls, and bokeh. That makes me think there’s going to be some overlap with LuminarAI, and I’m wondering why they don’t incorporate these new tools into the existing product. I hope it’s not a ploy to soak photographers twice, once with LuminarAI and then again with Luminar Neo. Luminar says the two products have different workflows, and photographers are free to choose which is the better fit. 

In a more detailed response, Skylum says:

LuminarAI is the easiest-to-use image editor fully powered by AI for those who prefer a time-saving, template-driven workflow for quick results. The app can swiftly guide you to the best outcomes while still preserving editing flexibility. It’s a compact and easy-to-navigate application that already packs everything one needs for great results.

Luminar Neo is for those who want more editing options and more creative control. The app provides the ability to build detailed and expressive images with advanced layer-based workflow and flexible tools that can be applied in any order. It also boasts a high-speed core engine with background rendering and accelerated exports for more complex tasks. (while also retaining the features of Luminar AI).

In my own landscape work, I find LuminarAI a powerful and time-saving tool. They’ve got very creative people on the software end, but companies have to be careful to be not seen exploiting their users or there will be a backlash. We don’t have any real details on the specifics of this release. Skylum says Neo is not a replacement for AI and that LuminarAI will continue to be sold and supported. 

I look forward to getting an early release of Luminar Neo and will share my thoughts at that time. 

Here’s a link to sign up and purchasing info. The company says in the coming weeks, they’ll share more information on Neo.

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