September 20 2021

Luminar Neo — new capabilities, infinite possibilities

Skylum details four new Luminar Neo tools which help lift artists to new creative heights

NEW YORK, NY - September 20, 2021 — Skylum is excited to reveal additional details about its newest creative image editor, Luminar Neo - shipping winter 2021. The application further reimagines the image editing experience and enables creators to be more expressive with fewer boundaries and rediscover joy in their creative work.

“Every day, Skylum technology is unlocking the potential of our artist community, helping them discover and, at times, rediscover their creative passions. With Luminar Neo, we’re excited to bring new and unique abilities to help creators express themselves through compelling images.” — Dima Sytnik, Co-founder & CPO of Skylum

Luminar Neo incorporates the best of Luminar 4 while building on the ground-breaking technology found in LuminarAI. Powered by a redesigned, modular engine, Luminar Neo accelerates the development and release of new features in the future. Luminar Neo extends the capabilities of the Luminar family and unlocks new opportunities for artistic expression.

Luminar Neo — new capabilities, infinite possibilities

Layers of creativity unlocked

Creators can combine multiple images as layers on a single canvas, including RAW images for maximum control over color and light. Blending, masking and opacity can be used to create collages, double exposure effects and other powerfully creative interactions between layered photos.

PNG images with transparency can be added to layers, allowing artists to move beyond strictly photographic compositions. Textures and other graphic elements can add additional flourishes to the final work. Once these elements are on a layer, they can be easily moved, rotated, and flipped to place them precisely within the composition. Luminar Neo includes built-in overlays and object libraries which allow artists to start creating layered compositions right out of the box.

Depth aware control over scene lighting

An artificial intelligence that drives several tools in the Luminar family is 3D Depth Mapping. It is used in AtmosphereAI and Portrait BokehAI to recognize the contents of a photo. Depth mapping seamlessly identifies the planes (e.g., foreground, midground, background) and the elements (e.g., people, buildings, skies, animals). 

Now we unveil a new tool. RelightAI is a lighting tool that uses the 3D Depth Map in a whole new way. RelightAI provides discreet and creative control to artists:

  • Independently adjust lighting in the foreground and background to recover detail and color. 

  • Fix a portrait where the foreground subject is underexposed. 

  • Enhance a landscape photo, where the background is overexposed. 

RelightAI helps isolate the problem areas for correction while leaving the rest of the image untouched. Advanced controls let the artist naturally reposition and blend the light. 

By combining RelightAI with other scene aware tools, photographers can precisely adjust the lighting of any photo. Examples include:

Sky EnhancerAI — Precisely adjust the color and exposure of the sky and clouds.

AccentAI — Balance exposure and color before RelightAI to create appealing contrast.

Portrait BokehAI — Adjust the depth of an image and control background blurring.

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Effortless removal of portrait backgrounds

Human aware AI in Luminar Neo allows an artist to cleanly isolate the subject and remove the background altogether with just one click. While automatic background removal is generally sufficient, edges can be refined quickly. 

Coupled with layers, Portrait Background RemovalAI enables creators to build unique compositions using multiple photos without the tiresome manual process of masking found in traditional image editors. Initially focused on portraiture, other uses of this technology are being explored by the development team to provide more creative options in the future.

Context aware masking opens new creative doors

Upon opening an image, Luminar Neo can identify hundreds of items, like the skies, bridges and flowers. These help calculate accurate AI-powered adjustments. Luminar Neo uses this power to allow visual storytellers to select and use several of these items to generate precise AI-powered masks using MaskAI.

MaskAI is truly useful for creative editing:

  • Accurately control the transparency of a layer for composited imagery.

  • Use a mask to target how a tool is applied, limiting its effect for precise results.

  • Combine multiple AI-powered masks together to speed up editing.

For example, artists can now select a tool like Super Contrast or Color Harmony, to apply targeted exposure and color adjustments to a layer. Once the tool is selected, a context aware mask can be applied, for example limiting the edits to a building or the trees. The result of the tool is restricted to the masked area. MaskAI includes masks for portraits, skies, water, mountains, vegetation and architecture, with more masks expected to be released over time.

A strong foundation for the future

After evaluating the needs of the most-demanding creative artists, Luminar Neo is built around a new, robust and powerful engine which marries the speed and efficiency of sequential rendering to the creative flexibility of parametric editing.

In traditional editors, sequential rendering stores modified pixels at every step of the edit, which can make rolling back changes more difficult. Parametric editing previews changes but does not apply them until the image is exported. This approach makes rolling back changes simple and fast but requires much longer render times, particularly with tools built with AI technology.

Luminar Neo takes a hybrid approach. Changes are rendered as the edit progresses. In addition, a smart edit history provides infinite levels of undo for every image. As a result, the overall editing environment is faster and more stable. This approach allows users to selectively remove and reorder the application of tools and effects then quickly render these changes with the flexibility of a parametric editor. Avialability. Luminar Neo ships this winter with Layers, Relight AI and other exciting tools. Portrait Background Removal AI and Mask AI are planned for the first free update to Luminar Neo, scheduled for release in the first quarter of 2022. 

This hybrid approach to rendering is just one example of how Luminar Neo’s core engine is built to solve problems now while preparing for future innovation. The complete modernatizion of the Luminar engine unlocks many new and useful options for editing and compositing that will delight artists and photographers. Over time, Skylum will release new AI-powered tools and effects powered by this new core engine. 


Luminar Neo ships this winter with Layers, Relight AI and other exciting tools. Portrait Background Removal AI and Mask AI are planned for the first free update to Luminar Neo, scheduled for release in the first quarter of 2022. 

Early-bird pricing for Luminar Neo application and plugin is available here and includes a 30-day money-back guarantee from the time of shipping. Luminar Neo will also be carried in both the Microsoft Store and macOS App Store.

To learn more about Luminar Neo and sign up for updates, visit 

About Skylum Software
Skylum is a global imaging technology company focused on creating tools that make it easier for creatives to get things done. Skylum’s Luminar platform unleashes creativity through the innovative use of automated and intelligent image processing, which still allows the artist complete control over the final product. Skylum has won the Red Dot Award, Apple’s Best of Year, “Best Imaging Software” by TIPA and EISA, as well as several other top industry awards. 

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Luminar Neo — new capabilities, infinite possibilities(3)

Anastasia Sliusarenko

Head of PR&Communications

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