The Essential Tools are some of the most frequently used tools in Luminar Neo. These tools perform core adjustments that are useful for most images.
- Select an image in your Catalog or open a single image.
- Click the Edit Tab.
- Choose the desired tool from the Essentials Tools section in the list.
Develop/Develop RAW Tool
For maximum control over your raw files, be sure to give DNG camera profiles a try. Luminar recognizes the industry standard DCP files you may already have on your computer (or have bought from third parties). These offer a high degree of control over how a raw file’s color and tone are handled.
Exposure. This slider adjusts the global luminance of the image. Moving it to the left results in a darker image (reduced exposure value). Moving it to the right results in a brighter image (increased exposure value).
Smart Contrast. This slider adjusts the contrast of the image. Contrast refers to differences in luminance or color that allow you to distinguish objects in an image from one another. Practically speaking, contrast is determined by the difference in the color and brightness of an object relative to other objects within the same field of view. This slider’s innovative capabilities limit color shift and prevent details from becoming blocked up.
Highlights. This slider adjusts the brightness of the brightest areas of the image. Moving it to the right causes bright areas to become brighter, while moving it to the left makes them darker.
Shadows. This slider adjusts the brightness of the darkest areas of the image. Moving it to the right causes the darkest areas to become brighter, revealing additional details. Moving it to the left makes such areas darker.
Blacks & Whites
Whites. This slider adjusts the white point of the histogram and white tones in the image. When you move it to the right, the brightest tones become brighter while the histogram compresses to the right. Moving it to the left causes the white tones in the image to become darker as the histogram compresses to the left.
Blacks. This slider sets the histogram’s black point and adjusts the image’s black tones. Moving it to the right makes the black tones brighter as the histogram compresses to the right. Moving it to the left makes the black tones darker as the histogram compresses to the left.
This is one of the most powerful tools for adjusting your image’s tone. It allows you to brighten, darken, add contrast, and shift colors. Curves can be applied to all color channels together or to each color channel individually and can help you manually fine-tune the brightness and contrast of an image.
- Color selectors. You can use the white, red, green, and blue color selectors to make curve adjustments to all channels equally or to an individual channel (such as blue to emphasize the sky).
- Control points. You can add up to 10 control points. Drag up to add contrast to an area and drag down to lighten the area. Multiple control points can be employed for contrast adjustments based on tonal range.
White Balance. To calculate a custom white balance, choose the Eyedropper tool (to the right of the White Balance drop-down menu) and click on an area in your image that should be a white or neutral gray. If you are working with a raw file, you can use the White Balance drop-down menu to choose from various presets similar to those found in a camera’s white balance menu.
Temperature. This slider warms or cools an image by adding Cyan or Yellow to change its color temperature.
Tint. This slider adjusts the amount of green or magenta and is useful for removing color casts from an image.
Saturation. This slider adjusts the intensity of all colors in your photo.
Vibrance. This slider adjusts only the intensity of muted colors, ignoring well-saturated colors. It’s helpful in achieving fine control when adjusting color.
Sharpen. The Sharpen tool helps focus soft edges in a photo to increase the clarity of focus. Use this tool to improve image quality significantly. Keep in mind that too much sharpening can give your photo a grainy look.
Radius. This slider allows you to adjust the distance from contrast edges at which the sharpening effect is applied.
Masking. This slider controls the zone in which details are amplified. Moving it to the left increases the size of the zone and makes the image more detailed. Moving it to the right reduces the size of the zone of sharpened zones.
Upon close inspection, you may notice unwanted and distracting noise or grain in your image. This is typically caused by shooting photos with a high ISO setting on a digital camera, but it can also be caused by underexposure or a long shutter speed. An entry-level consumer camera is more likely to exhibit noise problems than a professional camera. Fortunately, Luminar Neo offers an easy tool to reduce or remove unwanted noise.
Luminosity Denoise. This slider removes grayscale noise from an image.
Color Denoise. This slider removes color noise from an image.
Boost. This slider increases the aggressiveness of the Denoise tool.
Optics Auto Corrections
This tool is helpful in enhancing your image and removing lens imperfections. Its sliders are designed to remove flaws in the image caused by the lens or camera handling. The exact controls you’ll see vary between standard and raw files.
Auto Distortion Corrections (raw only). Click this option to automatically correct lens distortion. This tool analyzes your image and its metadata to calculate an automatic fix. Get rid of wide-angle distortion and get truer perspective lines and more attractive portraits.
Auto Fix Chromatic Aberrations (raw only). Chromatic aberration is a type of color fringing. It often happens with telephoto lenses and in areas of high contrast. Chromatic aberrations tend to show up as magenta or green edges around objects.
Auto Defringe. This adjustment can remove halos and edge noise (particularly in high-contrast areas).
Optics Manual Corrections
Lens Distortion. Drag this slider to the left to widen the barrel shape of the lens. Drag it to the right to pinch the barrel shape and compensate for lenses with wider angles.
Devignette. This slider removes any darkening at the edges of an image caused by the lens itself. This is a corrective tool, not a stylizing tool. If you want an artistic vignette, be sure to explore the Vignette tool.
Devignette Midpoint. This slider refines which areas are brightened or darkened by the Devignette slider.
If your image needs to be scaled or transformed, use these sliders to adjust perspective distortion manually.
Vertical. Tilts the image vertically to correct for vertical distortion, which, for instance, can occur when a tall building is photographed at street level.
Horizontal. Tilts the image horizontally to create straight lines and correct for horizontal distortion, which, for instance, can occur when an object is photographed off to the side.
Aspect. Moving the Aspect slider to the right corrects for horizontal aspect distortion. Moving it to the left corrects for vertical aspect distortion. The Aspect slider can work in tandem with the Vertical and Horizontal sliders. For example, making a correction with the Horizontal slider may distort the aspect of a subject. To correct this, you can move the Aspect slider until the subject looks natural.
Enhance AI Tool
- AccentAI. Under the hood, AccentAI uses more than a dozen controls. This tool tends to yield naturally beautiful results with one simple slider. The AccentAI tool can substitute for many traditional controls, including shadows, highlights, contrast, tone, saturation, exposure, and details.
- Sky EnhancerAI. Luminar Neo detects and analyzes the sky in an image to improve the sky’s texture, tone, and colors. The Sky EnhancerAI tool can recognize the sky in most photos as well as distinguish between water and other elements. It also detects objects in the foreground (and their edges) for perfect masking. Sky EnhancerAI performs the necessary improvements to recover details and improve the texture of the sky and clouds, selectively adjusting brightness, contrast, saturation, and vividness. It is designed to work with most photographs of the skies and works from the blue hour in the morning to the blue hour in the evening. However, it is not designed to work with night skies.
- Select and Deselect. By default, the Select button is chosen. When brushing over an image with Select chosen, you select areas to erase (indicated with a red overlay). By clicking the Deselect button, you can deselect areas to erase (removing the red overlay).
- Size. This slider increases or decreases the brush size. You can also use the left and right bracket keys ([ ]) to decrease and increase the brush size. It’s a good idea to keep the brush slightly larger than the size of the object or blemish you’re erasing.
- Erase. Click this button to erase areas of your selected image (indicated with the red overlay).
- Clear Selection. Click this button to clear your current selections so you can start over.
- Restore. Click this button to restore the current selection.
The Erase tool serves a similar purpose to the Clone tool, allowing you to remove unwanted objects or details. But its approach is different from Clone. Rather than setting a source point for pixels, with Erase, you simply click and brush over unwanted areas. Luminar Neo then examines the surrounding pixels and generates a new texture based on its awareness of what’s nearby in the photo. It then matches the original pixels’ texture, lighting, and shading. This approach is often reasonably practical, as this tool is fast and easy to use.
The Remove Powerlines tool is helpful for automatically removing unwanted objects like power and phone lines from the sky of a landscape photo. Getting a clear image in just a few seconds is now easy. This tool saves time when editing photos of weddings, landscapes, and popular sightseeing spots, getting rid of power lines, phone lines, and other annoying little details in the sky.
The Remove Dust Spots tool helps remove dust spots and particles caused by dirt on their lenses or sensors. Since this is a common problem, removing the undesired effects of such foreign objects on photos with the help of AI (rather than erasing or cloning) can help photographers create better photos faster and more efficiently. Remove Dust Spots in Luminar Neo automatically removes the effects of dust and debris on the camera sensor and lens. This feature is helpful not only for lenses that quickly get dirty but also for fixing photos taken in such situations as when dirt and dust quickly get into lenses or sensors and ruin photos that a photographer has traveled many miles to capture.
Structure AI Tool
- Amount. This slider selects the strength of the StructureAI effect. Moving it to the right increases the amount of visible detail in the image. Moving it to the left removes detail and flattens the image. This tool is soft and produces natural results.
- Boost. This slider adjusts the overall display of details. Moving it to the right accentuates details. Compared to Amount, Boost emphasizes small details and is more aggressive. It offers an HDR-like look.
- Saturation. This slider adjusts the intensity of all colors in your photo.
- Vibrance. This slider adjusts only the intensity of muted colors, ignoring well-saturated colors. It’s helpful in achieving fine control when adjusting color.
- Remove Color Cast. This slider automatically removes undesirable color casts in your images by detecting and adjusting the hue.
- Hue/Saturation/Luminance. In this drop-down menu, you can toggle between adjusting the Hue, Saturation, and Luminance when adjusting the sliders below.
- Hue. Adjusts the hue or basic color shades of your image for the selected target. Moving the Hue slider to the right results in a shift towards the next color in the list (for example, from Orange to Yellow). Sliding to the left shifts the hue toward the previous color in the list (for example, from Orange to Red).
- Saturation. Adjust the color saturation for the selected target. Moving this slider to the right results in a more intense color. Moving it to the left removes color.
- Luminance. Adjust the brightness of the selected target color. Sliding this control further to the right results in a brighter color within the image. The further to the left, the darker the color.
- Hue Shift. This slider lets you roll the hue in a photo for subtle or dramatic changes. A little hue shift is perfect for eliminating unwanted color tints, while a significant shift is perfect for a dramatic style.
Black & White Tool
- Convert to B&W. Click this button to convert between color and black & white.
- Luminance. When the Luminance button is selected, the Red, Yellow, Green, Cyan, Blue, and Magenta color sliders control the brightness of each respective color as it’s converted to black and white.
- Saturation. When the Saturation button is selected, each color slider introduces the respective color into the black and white image where it was present in the original color image.
The Details tool helps you create dramatic photos and brings crystal-clear sharpness to your images. With the proper detail enhancement, you can make your photos look sharp, with no halos or artifacts.
- Small Details. This slider sets the sharpness of fine details. At 0, the tool is not applied. Moving the slider to the right increases the clarity of small details, while moving it to the left washes out fine details.
- Medium Details. This slider sets the sharpness of medium-sized details. At 0, the tool is not applied. Moving the slider to the right increases the clarity of medium-sized details, while moving it to the left decreases their sharpness.
- Large Details. Use this slider to set the sharpness of the global contours of objects in the image. At 0, the tool is not applied. Moving the slider to the right increases the sharpness of global contours, while moving it to the left decreases its sharpness.
- Sharpen. The Sharpen tool helps focus soft edges in a photo to increase the clarity of focus. Use this tool to improve image quality significantly. Keep in mind that too much sharpening can give your photo a grainy look.
- Details Protection. To ensure that areas of the image aren’t over-processed, use the Details Protection slider.
- Details Masking. This dynamic masking tool allows you to reveal details only in appropriate areas and help you define your image’s sharpness.
- Sharpening Radius. This slider allows you to adjust the distance from contrast edges at which the sharpening effect is applied.
- Sharpening Masking. This slider controls the zone in which details are amplified. Moving it to the left increases the size of the zone and makes the image more detailed. Moving it to the right reduces the size of the zone of sharpened zones.
The Denoise Tool. Upon close inspection, you may notice unwanted and distracting noise or grain in your image. This is typically caused by shooting photos with a high ISO setting on a digital camera, but it can also be caused by underexposure or a long shutter speed. An entry-level consumer camera is more likely to exhibit noise problems than a professional camera. Fortunately, LuminarAI offers an easy tool to reduce or remove unwanted noise.
- Luminosity Denoise. This slider removes grayscale noise from an image.
- Color Denoise. This slider removes color noise from an image.
- Boost. This slider increases the aggressiveness of the Denoise tool.
- Dehaze. This slider applies the perfect blend of contrast, clarity, and color adjustments to eliminate the effects of fog and haze often found in cityscapes, landscapes, and aerial photos. It’s especially helpful when editing photos shot through glass or with a lot of mist or fog in the scene.
- Golden Hour. Use this slider to bring warmth, softness, and a golden glow to all of your photos. Simply dial in the amount of warm toning to introduce more overall color vibrancy. Quickly emulate the magic that happens just after sunrise and just before sunset.
- Foliage Enhancer. This slider automatically enhances the colors of foliage and greenery, making them more vivid and natural. It’s a good choice for nature and lush landscape images.
- Foliage Hue. This slider modifies the hue of the foliage affected by Foliage Enhancer. It’s helpful in achieving the right amount of green.
- Choose Subject. Click this button to enable a crosshair. You can then click within the photo to center the vignette. This allows you to adjust the focus of the vignette by offsetting it and guiding the viewer’s eyes to your subject.
- Amount. This slider adjusts the darkening around the edges of the photo. Move it to the left to give more shading or to the right to brighten the edges.
- Size. This slider sets the size of the obscured area. Moving it to the left increases the darkened area. Moving it to the right decreases the darkened area.
- Roundness. This slider changes the shape of the shaded area.
- Feather. This slider sets the smoothness of the transition between the area of shading and the rest of the image.
- Inner Light. This slider increases the brightness in the image’s central region, which is not affected by shading. It allows you to create a contrast effect.