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Sunday, 3 January 2021

Luminar Ai

 I thought I would start making some notes about Luminar AI which is a new photo editting product from Skylum software.

They have a number of previous products including Photo Lemur which has an automated workflow to enhance pictures and Aurora HDR for HDR enhancements.

Their previous mainstream product is Luminar (currently version 4) which aims at more traditionally editting but making things easier for normal people to use.

Luminar AI promises to use artificial intelligence to suggets templates which are enhancements similar to looks in Luminar and Presets in Lightroom.

Does the product work?

Well it doesn't work with much else running, I quite often use Lightroom at the same time as World of Tanks and other software but Luminar AI just crashes if a game is loaded.

Standalone it will run but its catalog is basic, it's just a list and doesn't approach Lightroom for provision of digital asset management, it's essentially just a browser, so no geo-tagging, no keywording, no collections for export.

My initial experiences with Luminar AI have been disappointing, standalone the AI templates are definitely A and not very I. Combined with a lack of DAM capability I was all set to invoke my right to request a refund as many customers have already done - a lot of hype to deliver something that is merely ok.

However, I have chosen to perservere, in some cases I have had a positive response from the vendor where I have had issues although there is still a clear absence of a roadmap to convince anyone it is going to get better. 

One of the issues I have had resolved though is use with Lightroom as a plug-in. AI does not work like other plug-ins, you  have to Export not Edit which is odd but once that option is discovered it does work and unlike Editted pictures the output is not then returned to the collection you were it although the picture is uploaded to Lightroom and can be manually added.

Is Luminar AI worth the effort?

Yes, I have paid for it and what I have found is that using the templates to experiment is worthwhile. Unfortunately, there is no preview capability (which given the AI must be doing something why is that information not available?) so you have to apply a template and once chosen go to Edit and make sure all the other attempts are removed, workflow does not appear to have been considered and another issue I have raised that has not had a response. What I have found though is that the templates provide ideas, some I have found I then cannot replicate in Lightroom so have used the AI output but most just highlight that I can tweak the picture back in Lightroom which means the product is adding value but not necessarily for the reasons Skylum thought it would.



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