About Thomas Fitzgerald

Thomas is a professional fine art photographer and writer specialising in photography related instructional books as well as travel writing and street photography. 

Skylum announces another new feature of Luminar 4: AI Structure

Skylum announces another new feature of Luminar 4: AI Structure

Yesterday, Skylum announced the next new feature of Luminar 4 in their somewhat odd slow roll out of software features. The tool, called AI structure, uses artificial intelligence to add structure to an image in an intelligent way.

Basically the idea is that when adding detail to an image, there are often areas that you don’t want to add detail to, or don’t want to overdo, such as on people. What this does is use AI to analyse the image, and then only enhance areas that need detail, and keep other things like skies and people clean. It also avoids halos on high contrast areas which is often an issue with some other tools.

Here’s a snippet from the press release explaining how it works:

AI Structure in Luminar 4 automatically identifies objects like people and their faces, skin, sky, buildings and more, and improves them intelligently, instead of globally across the photograph. It adds detail and clarify to areas that otherwise wouldn’t have much, boosting the structure and making for a much more pleasing image.

What this means is that instead of adding Structure to an entire photograph, it selectively does so, meaning photographers no longer have to mask or brush out the effect. Photographers can also take it an extra step further, with special “Structure Boost Technology” controls, allowing users to make extremely detailed photos for creative image looks.

They also posted a demo video:

I did get access to a beta version of the AI Structure feature and it is interesting. It’s far more useable than the previous structure tool, and looks much more realistic. As the blurb says, it does avoid overly processing faces, but it also seems to avoid processing areas of flat colour, or even areas with lots of bokeh. Here’s a quick demo on one of my own images to give you an idea on a “regular” photo (and yes, I know it’s a pretty bad shot) and not one specifically picked do demo the feature:

Here’s an example of it on a big contrast scene. I’ve posted a crop to show you the difference between regular structure and AI structure around the area between the sky and the crane so you can see the lack of halos.

And finally one more shot, when used in conjunction with other filters. This is a before and after, with just AI Structure turned off on the “before”. (Other filters used were Accent AI, AI Sky Enhance)

Overall, it’s a nice feature, and it’s a good use of AI, as having to mask images to correct things normally, would be a pain, but the actual detail isn’t hugely enhanced. It’s more like an intelligent clarity, and doesn’t really do what the regular structure does, or what you could achieve with detail enhancer. It’s another tool to have in your toolbox, and it does give you a reasonably natural look. Used in conjunction with other filters it will be a useful feature, but it’s more subtle than things like Lightroom’s Texture, or even Luminar’s own other detail tools.

Luminar 4 is slated for release in the Autumn (Fall) and is currently available for pre-order.

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Attacked for (not even) taking photos on the street

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