Skylum shows off the new Luminar 4 Sky Replacement feature in action

Aug 15, 2019

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

Skylum shows off the new Luminar 4 Sky Replacement feature in action

Aug 15, 2019

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

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Sky replacements are fairly common in photography these days. Not everybody is shooting a camera with a wide enough dynamic range to always capture a well-exposed subject without a blown out sky. Or, perhaps the sky on the day you were shooting is just a bit boring. Typically, we take to Photoshop to do the sky replacement and blend it in with our foreground scene.

Luminar 4, though, is coming with a new AI Sky Replacement feature, first mentioned last month. Now, Skylum has released a video showing the sky replacement feature in action in the latest beta edition of Luminar 4.

YouTube video

Replacing skies manually in Photoshop takes time and effort. Sure, you can get quicker with it the more you do it, but it can still be a pain to cut out your scene, and then match the colours so it looks like your scene was actually lit by the sky above.

Luminar 4’s AI Sky Replacement feature figures it all out for you. And not only does it figure out exactly what parts of your image are sky and which are not, but it will recolour the ground to match the new sky you’re dropping into the shot to help things blend better. It can also figure out the angle of the shot to try and ensure that the sky fits the focal length and perspective.

It manages to do it without adding the obvious halos you often see with automated tools, and it also seems to handle tricky objects quite well, as you can see from the image at the top of this post with the bars coming from the top of the shot and bending around.

I still think for the most control, you’re better off going into Photoshop and doing it manually. But it’s certainly a handy feature for occasional use, and the results don’t look bad at all.

Skylum tells DIYP that they are planning to introduce more new AI features into Luminar 4, which they say they’ll be revealing very soon. For now, though, if you’re already using Luminar 3, a new 3.1.3 update was released yesterday that includes a few new features, a bunch of fixes, and speeds up performance.

Luminar 4 is expected to be released sometime in autumn 2019, and discounted upgrade prices will be available for existing Luminar users.

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John Aldred

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

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2 responses to “Skylum shows off the new Luminar 4 Sky Replacement feature in action”

  1. Victoria Renard Avatar
    Victoria Renard

    I usually underexpose in my phone and manually in my SLR to get dark clouds in places like Scotland or Seattle so the sky looks more ominous. Then I finish it off in Photoshop. I’d have to be able to do that with this. I’m certainly willing to try it.

  2. m4k3m3 Avatar
    m4k3m3

    If anyone is looking for performance enhancements with the 3.1.3 update, don’t bother. Photo taken by iPhone 6Plus took ~3 seconds to clear up after selecting it. Happens with 3-4 images out of 5. After installation deleted 3 photos and after that the right click menu failed to appear at all anymore. Was back after reboot.

    I don’t care about AI gimmicks. I want a responsive photo editing software and Luminar 3 is anything but. I originally thought it was just choking on 40+Mpix images but apparently even the 12Mpix iPhone 6+ and SE JPGs are too much for it. :(