Creative Tools help you express yourself with your photos. Explore options for color and style that can affect the mood of an image.
- Select an image in your library or open a single image.
- Scroll to the Creative section in the Edit sidebar
- Choose the desired tool from the list.
Relight AI Tool
The RelightAI tool in Luminar Neo offers total control over the lighting in a photo. It’s perfect for creatively improving an image and solving technical issues for backlit photos.
This tool is unique because it analyzes the scene in three dimensions. By creating a 3D map of a photo, Luminar Neo can spread light naturally in 3D space across a 2D image. This produces superior photorealistic results.
This tool is helpful for any photo that needs an extra source of realistic light in the foreground. It is excellent for amateur photographers and hobbyists who struggle with setting up light sources or adjusting exposure before taking a photo.
- Brightness Near. This slider increases or decreases the amount of light in the foreground.
- Brightness Far. This slider increases or decreases the amount of light in the background.
- Depth. This slider controls the transition point between foreground and background. Moving this slider to the left sets it closer to the camera and moves it further away to the right.
- Dehalo. Blends the light gradually around the subject to restore detail and remove unwanted artifacts such as adjusting hair that blends in the background of a portrait.
- Warmth Near. Refine the color temperature of the foreground by adjusting the amount. A negative value will cool the image by adding a blue tone, and a positive value will warm the image by adding a gold tone.
- Warmth Far. Refine the color temperature of the background by adjusting the amount. A negative value will cool the image by adding a blue tone, and a positive value will warm the image by adding a gold tone.
Sky AI Tool
If the sky in your photo isn’t compelling, you can easily replace it with the SkyAI tool. This tool is designed to work with flat or blown-out skies but can be refined to work with most skies using sliders. Using the power of artificial intelligence, SkyAI automatically analyzes an image identifies where the sky begins and ends, recognizes if water is featured in the image, and then seamlessly replaces the sky and adds reflections to any body of water to create a realistic look.
Sky Selection. Visually select the sky you want from the dropdown list and instantly have an idea of what your final result will look like. You can add your own skies individually or in bulk.
To add a single sky, click the + icon at the end of the sky list and browse your computer for a sky to add.
Select Show Custom Skies… from the Sky Selection dropdown list to add a group of skies. Then drag and drop your custom skies to the folder that opens. We recommend keeping fewer than 50 skies loaded at a time for better performance.
- Horizon Position. Click this button to open the Shifting Horizon Control. There are three ways to use this tool to refine the position of the sky.
- Position. Grab the center-line of the pin to move the new sky vertically to freely place it exactly where you want it in the scene.
- Horizon Blending. Click and drag the line to smoothly adjust the transition between the current and new horizon. Use a higher value to achieve a more photo-realistic look.
- Rotation. Move the pointer to the outside line until it becomes a curved arrow for Rotation. Then, rotate the new sky on the Z-axis for perfect placement.
- Vertical Position. You can freely offset your new sky vertically and place it exactly where you want it in the scene. SkyAI will perfectly scale it to fit while keeping it aligned with the horizon. The Vertical Position slider controls the Textures in the sky and water areas but moves them in opposite directions in relation to the Horizon Position line until you get the ideal match between your new sky and its reflection.
- Horizontal Position. With this slider, you can freely position the sky horizontally and place it exactly where you want it in the scene. SkyAI will perfectly scale it to fit while keeping it aligned with the horizon.
- Flip. Flips the new sky to change its direction in the frame. Beneficial when a photo has shadows that you’re trying to match.
- Shift. Set the desired position of your horizon line
- Rotation. You can rotate the new sky on the Z-axis for perfect placement.
- Global. This slider affects how the texture is mixed into the scene. A higher value will increase the amount of new sky that is added.
- Close Gaps. This slider fixes small details and holes not initially filled by the replaced sky. You may need to adjust it if the image has refined details such as trees or wires.
- Fix Details. This slider fixes small imperfections around the edges of your new sky.
- Relight Strength. This slider adjusts the exposure of the scene to match the new sky.
- Relight Saturation. This slider adjusts the saturation of the relighting effect to realistically add the color from the new sky to the scene.
- Relight Human. This slider controls relighting for any people in the scene, matching people to the new sky for a more realistic effect. Use it on environmental portraits and lifestyle photos to see the drastic difference!
- Reflection Amount. Allows you to adjust the intensity of the reflection to your liking.
- Water Blur. Allows you to blur the reflected sky to better match an uneven water surface due to waves or ripples.
- Defocus. This slider defocuses the sky and is useful when a shallow focus is used with a foreground object.
- Grain. Use this slider to match new skies to the grain in the original photo for a seamless, realistic effect.
- Atmospheric Haze. Use this slider to add a soft haze to the sky. Haze is helpful in matching a replacement sky to the original image, especially if there’s moisture in the sky or environmental pollutants.
- Warmth. Use this slider to adjust the color temperature of the image.
- Brightness. This slider darkens or lightens the new sky. It’s useful for matching the original scene.
Adding Your Own Skies
You can load your own skies into LuminarAI from the Sky Selection drop-down menu by choosing Show Custom Skies … and copying your own JPEG files into the folder that opens. See this article for more details on using your own skies. We recommend keeping fewer than 50 skies loaded at a time for better performance. You will see the skies from your Custom folder in the main list of skies available for SkyAI. To remove skies from this list, remove them from the Custom folder.
Sky Replacement Guidelines
Follow these guidelines to achieve the best results with the SkyAI tool in Luminar Neo. Doing so will give Luminar Neo the most information possible and ensure the best results. While the SkyAI tool includes sample skies for you, many photographers will want to use sky photos of their own creations.
In order to use a sky photo with the SkyAI tool, it must meet these requirements:
- Minimum of 1,200 pixels on the short edge (higher resolutions preferred)
- JPEG format. You can export an image as a JPEG file in Luminar Neo by clicking the Export tab, the Save Photo to Disk button, and the JPEG format. You can use a quality setting of 60–85 to keep file sizes smaller.
- Keep the image size below 10 megabytes for the optimal performance of the tool.
How to Capture Skies
The sky replacement technology in Luminar Neo requires skies to be photographed in a specific way to achieve realistic results. You can also pre-process existing sky images to meet these guidelines and export new JPEG files for use by the SkyAI tool.
- Mode. This drop-down lets you choose between four atmospheric effects: Fog, Layered Fog, Mist, and Haze. Fog and Mist can fill most of the frame (depending on the Depth slider), whereas Layered Fog and Haze are mainly applied in the lower third.
- Amount. This slider sets the intensity of the atmospheric effect and is set to 0 by default. Increase the value to apply AtmosphereAI adjustments to your image.
- Depth. This slider adjusts the depth of the atmospheric effect. Increasing the Depth value brings the effect closer to the front of the frame.
- Lightness. This slider is set to the maximum value of 100 by default. To make your atmospheric effect darker or more subdued, decrease the Lightness value.
Add a whole new light source to your photo — the sun! You can control its position, warmth, and the amount of glow for a subtle or even dramatic change in lighting. Combine the Sunrays tool with blending modes for even more control of your lighting.
- Place Sun Center. Click this button to position the sun. You can also drag the position off of the photo canvas.
- Amount. This slider controls the overall intensity of the sun’s rays.
- Overall Look. This slider changes the overall brightness of the scene.
- Sunrays Length. This slider controls the distance the sun rays travel.
- Penetration. This slider impacts how much the sun passes through an area. It can be helpful when trying to composite the sunrays into a photo naturally.
- Sun Radius. This slider affects the size of the sun (the origin point of the sun’s rays).
- Sun Glow Radius. This slider changes the size of the glow around the sun.
- Sun Glow Amount. This slider changes the intensity of the sun’s glow.
- Number of Sunrays. Use this slider to select the number of sun rays.
- Randomize. This slider will generate an entirely new variation based on your current settings.
- Sun Warmth. This slider can change the sun from a bright white to a warm glow.
- Sunrays Warmth. Use this slider to adjust the color temperature of the rays.
- Amount. The Amount slider controls the overall intensity of the adjustment.
- Local Contrast. This slider adds a targeted contrast adjustment to the image’s finer details.
Brightness & Saturation
- Brightness. This slider darkens or lightens the details in the image. It’s useful for bringing out details in areas like the skies.
- Saturation. This slider controls whether colors become washed out or are more saturated.
Mood Tool (LUT)
- Choose LUT. In this drop-down menu, you can choose a built-in LUT or a recently used LUT, or you can load your own.
- Amount. This slider lets you reduce the intensity of the LUT.
- Contrast. This slider impacts the overall contrast of the image and can be used to refine the LUT’s appearance.
- Saturation. This slider impacts the overall saturation of the image and can also be used to refine a LUT’s appearance.
- Amount. This slider sets the overall strength of color toning applied to the image.
- Saturation. This slider increases the intensity of the color in the bright areas of the image.
- Hue. Slide through a spectrum of colors to choose the toning of the bright values in the scene. Becomes available once you apply Saturation.
- Saturation. This slider increases the color intensity in the darker areas of the image.
- Hue. Scroll through a spectrum of colors to choose the toning of the darker values. Becomes available once you apply Saturation.
- Balance. This slider shifts the balance between the Highlights adjustments and Shadows adjustments for split toning. Slide it to the left and Shadows adjustments will take precedence; slide it to the right and adjustments to the Highlights will take precedence.
The Matte tool can give your photos an aged look with flat colors and high contrast. It works well for landscapes and portraits to change the emotion of your image.
- Amount. This slider adjusts the overall strength of the matte effect.
- Fade. This slider controls the loss of detail in the darker areas of the image.
- Contrast. This slider adjusts the relationship between the brighter and darker area of the image.
- Vividness This slider can be used to affect the saturation of the matte effect.
- Range. This slider affects the portion of the image in which the color is shifted.
- Hue. This slider selects the color that the image takes on.
- Saturation. This slider can be used to affect the saturation of the color toning effect.
Neon & Glow
Neon & Glow allows you to bring more creativity into your photos. You can easily add a magic touch of glow inside or outside any object or bring more focus highlighting anything with the neon light effect.
The Mystical tool gives your image a dreamy look by softening the luminescence while increasing the contrast and saturation. It can create a fantasy look by increasing contrast and adding a creative glow prioritized in the lighter areas of the image.
- Amount. This slider adjusts the overall strength of the tool. For a moderate effect and a more realistic image, keep the value of the Amount slider below 40. If the Amount value is 0, the tool is not applied. Move the slider to the right to increase the Amount.
- Shadows. This slider adjusts the black point for the darker areas of the image.
- Smoothness. This slider controls the smoothness of the Mystical effect. A higher value creates a gentler blend between the affected and unaffected areas of the image.
- Saturation. This slider is a practical way to adjust the color saturation of the Mystical effect.
- Warmth. This slider adjusts the Mystical effect’s hue towards the spectrum’s warm end.
- Type (Soft Focus). This drop-down menu allows you to choose from four glow effects: Soft Focus, Glow, Orton Effect, and Orton Effect Soft.
- Amount. This slider sets the overall strength of the tool. If the Amount value is 0, the tool is not applied. Move the slider to the right to apply the tool and increase the Amount.
- Softness. This slider controls the softness of the Glow effect. A higher value creates a gentler blend between the affected and unaffected areas of the image.
- Brightness. Use this slider to control the brightness of the effect.
- Contrast. Use this slider to set the contrast in the areas of the image to which the Glow tool is applied.
- Warmth. With this slider, you can make the hue of the Glow effect warmer or cooler.
The Blur tool effortlessly incorporates three distinct blur styles into your photos: Gaussian, Motion, and Twisted. Additionally, you can fine-tune the blur effect's intensity, angle, and position while using masking to target your image's specific areas. Blur serves a dual purpose, enabling you to rectify issues within your image or apply a creative touch. Here's a quick exploration of the tool and its applications.
Gaussian blur is a blurring technique that creates a soft and smooth effect by averaging pixel values within a specified radius. It's commonly used to reduce noise, enhance skin tones, or create a gentle, dreamy atmosphere in photos.
Here's a step-by-step guide for applying Gaussian Blur to your image to enhance focus on the subject while softening the background:
- Access the Edit tab to reveal the editing tools within the window.
- Next, navigate to the Creative Tools section and opt for the Blur tool.
- Select the Gaussian Blur option and gently apply a small amount of blur until the background and surrounding areas achieve the desired softness.
- Now, let's eliminate the blur effect from the main subject by employing a masking technique. Click on the Masking option, and then choose the Brush tool.
- Confirm that your brush settings are configured with both softness and strength set at 100%, and fine-tune the brush size for precise targeting of the subject. To eliminate the blur effect, switch to the Erase mode.
- As you paint over the subject with the brush, observe how the surrounding areas become beautifully soft while your main subject remains sharply in focus.
Twisted blur is a more artistic and unconventional blur effect. It distorts the image by twisting and distorting pixel data, resulting in a surreal, swirling, or vortex-like appearance. This effect can be used for creative and abstract purposes, turning ordinary photos into visually captivating works of art.
Here's a step-by-step guide to getting creative with your image:
- Begin by duplicating the layer. Right-click on the layer and choose the "Duplicate" option.
- Now, you'll be working on the new duplicated layer. Select the Blur Tool once more.
- This time, opt for the "Twisted" blur type and apply it at a strength of 100%. You can adjust the angle and center of the blur if needed, but the default settings look good for this image.
- Take note of the artistic effect created in the surrounding areas due to the Twisted blur.
- Just as before, mask out the subject to reveal the bottom layer. Make sure you're in "Erase Mode" when doing this.
Feel free to embark on further experimentation to enhance the artistic appeal of your image. Consider incorporating additional elements, such as a texture layer, which can introduce intriguing depth and tactile qualities to your composition. Additionally, don't forget to explore the possibilities of adding a vignette, a subtle shading, or a border effect, which can frame your image beautifully and draw attention to the focal point, adding a finishing touch to your artistic vision.
Motion blur replicates the visual effect of objects in motion, such as a speeding car or a swiftly moving subject. It generates streaks or trails in the direction of motion, adding a dynamic and kinetic quality to the image, often employed in sports or action photography.
Here's a step-by-step guide to adding a creative motion effect to an image:
- Begin by duplicating the layer. Right-click on the layer and select the "Duplicate" option.
- Next, head to the Creative Tools section and choose the Blur tool.
- Within the Blur tool options, select "Motion Blur" and set the amount to 100%. Keep the angle at its default value of 0.
- To make the motion effect more prominent, close the Blur Tool by clicking the "Blur" title and reopen it.
- Reapply the same settings with a 100% blur amount.
- Now, stretch the duplicated layer. Open the Layer to reveal a bounding box around it. Click on the center point along one side and drag it outward to elongate the image. You can also move the image to the left to reveal the bottom layer.
- Lower the opacity of the stretched layer to reveal the bottom layer more prominently. Adjust the position as needed.
- Like the previous tutorial, mask the subject's face on the top layer to maintain clarity.
Consider adding light leaks and overlays to enhance the effect further for a creative finishing touch.
The Blur tool provides a versatile and powerful set of tools for enhancing your photos. With the ability to seamlessly apply Gaussian, Motion, and Twisted blur styles and precise control over intensity, angle, and positioning, this tool offers both practical and creative possibilities. The masking feature allows for selective application, ensuring your edits are tailored to your image's unique requirements. Whether you're looking to fix imperfections or infuse artistic flair, the Blur tool is a valuable asset in your photo editing toolkit. This quick exploration has merely scratched the surface of its potential, inviting you to explore further and unlock the boundless possibilities it offers for your image enhancement endeavors.
Film Grain Tool
- Amount. This slider controls the degree of graininess in the image.
Size & Roughness
- Size. This slider adjusts the size of individual grains.
- Roughness. This slider allows you to select the coarseness of the grain.