As it was probably expected, Skylum has jumped on the generative AI bandwagon. Its first-ever generative AI tools for Luminar Neo are coming, and they will let you erase objects, expand images and replace elements in three clicks. The tools are called GenErase, GenExpand, and GenSwap, and let’s see what they have to offer.
Luminar Neo’s generative technology relies on a Stable Diffusion model. As always, the AI tools aim to make your editing faster and simpler, so you can spend more time shooting. Skylum says that it wants to pave the way toward a future “where AI becomes second nature during the editing stage.” However, while they want to save your time behind the screen, they want AI to serve you, not replace you.
“Our team at Skylum is proud to shepherd in a new era of AI photo editing that leverages our best-in-class technology to inspire and enable our community to bring their creative ideas to life,” said Ivan Kutanin, CEO of Skylum. “As we continue to expand our suite of tools, we’re excited to incorporate generative AI into our software. The new AI features provide photographers with the latest technology to produce visual storytelling beyond their imagination, but not as a substitute to replace their real-life experiences for such an essential art form.”
The new generative AI tools
As I mentioned, there are three new tools: GenErase, GenExpand, and GenSwap. Here are the main characteristics of all of them.
GenErase is something like the Erase tool on steroids. It removes unwanted distractions from your images, but also replaces those areas using content-aware AI tools. But what’s the difference, you may wonder? Folks from Skylum explained that the regular Erase tool uses the information already in the photo. GenErase relies on it too, but tries to predict and replace the erased object to match the surrounding area perfectly.
There are a few things worth noting. First, GenErase works only with an internet connection, as all edits are performed on the cloud. However, keep in mind that Skylum doesn’t store your images on its servers. Then, if you want to generate a new object in place of the erased one, it won’t happen on its own after using GenErase. You’ll have to use one of several available AI tools to do it (for example, GenSwap, but more on that later).
Next, the result sometimes won’t be perfect on the first try. In cases like this, you can use the GenErase tool several times in the same area until you get the desired result. Unlike Photoshop, you won’t get three AI-generated options to choose from.
Here is a little demo of Luminar Neo’s GenErase. Keep in mind, though, that this is significantly sped up. In real-life use, regenerating the erased area takes one to three minutes. But, the feature is still in beta, and it requires a strong internet connection, so I expect it to be faster once the full version is available.
As the name suggests, GenExpand extends the boundaries of your photos. It’s something like DALL-E’s Outpainting feature introduced last year. Basically, it lets you paint it the area outside the borders of your image.
Just like GenErase, it does all the work on the cloud, so you’ll need a stable internet connection. Skylum notes that GenExpand can’t go beyond generating a 1536×1536 image at the moment.
GenSwap lets you to change the image composition by replacing or swapping objects, or adding new details AI-generated details according to your prompt. In other words, it’s something like Photoshop’s Generative Fill. GenSwap allows you to add elements such as trees, animals, and more. For example, change an ugly tree for a better-looking one, add a bird to the sky, or drop a stone in the desert. Once you delete an object with GenErase, you can add another object that you think would suit the composition better.
Availability and pricing
The new tools will be released one by one throughout October, November, and December. GenErase will be here first, available on October 26, 2023.
Platform upgrades and generative technologies will be available to monthly, annual and 2-year Pro, Explore, and Ultimate plan subscribers. Special prices for new users range from $14.95 to $269 until October 28, 2023. Existing Luminar Neo lifetime (perpetual) license owners can opt to switch to the Pro annual subscription at a special price ($69 for the first year until October 28, 2023). Alternatively, they can make a one-time purchase of the 2023/24 Creative Journey Pass for $69 (special price until October 28, 2023). This pass will grant access to generative technologies until August 16, 2024, as well as all new features announced and released before that date (Extensions excluded).