Luminar 4 Sky Replacement - Taj Mahal
Landscapes,  Software

The New Sky Replacement Filter in Luminar 4 – WOW!

Skylum Software has released a new version of their popular Luminar photo editing and image library software and the top feature is their new AI Sky Replacement Filter.  The Sky Replacement filter produces excellent results and is easy to use.

The filter comes with 29 replacement skies or you can use your own skies.  If you do use your own skies, make sure you use descriptive filenames (blue sky, wispy clouds, sunrise, etc.) to indicate the type of sky to make selecting the right sky easier.

There are relatively few sliders in the filter.  Since the software has only been out about a week, Skylum has not published the Luminar 4 user manual yet.  However, the filter is relatively simple to use.

The primary sliders are:

  • Horizon Blending – allows you to blend between the new sky and your original photo
  • Horizon Position – you can move the start of the new sky up or down in your photo
  • Relight Scene – changes your original photo to match the lighting in the replacement sky
  • Flip Sky – lets you flip the sky horizontally.  Other than this, you cannot move the replacement around in the image for different looks.
  • You can also change the temperature and exposure of the sky.

Overall, the AI Sky Replacement filter works amazingly well.  I’ve put several before and after photos in the blog.  These were created in a just a couple of minutes in Luminar 4.

I did find a few opportunities with the software that hopefully they will correct in future updates.

  • If the sky doesn’t have a straight horizon, the software may not work correctly.  See below where the white barn roof was confused as part of the sky.
  • If you maintain your own sky library, the software will not let you import RAW files you will need to process them or convert them to a different format (JPG, TIF, etc.).  This isn’t a big deal as I like to process and remove the noise from my replacement skies anyways.
  • If your sky takes up a smaller portion of your image, Luminar won’t recognize it and the Sky Replacement filter is grayed out.

These are just a few minor issues, overall the Sky Replacement filter alone is worth the price of Luminar 4.

Written by Martin Belan
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