We published the announcement last month when Skylum told us that the upcoming Luminar 4 included AI sky replacement. No layers, no masking. One click.
We know that sky replacement is not for everyone, and the debate is a valid one. For my own landscape work, I'm happy to be able to add a sky from my own sky library when I'm faced with "severe clear" weather on a scene that really needs more than a wide area of just blue.
There are many methods of replacing skies, one of the best is with the Adobe Plugin LandscapePro. It's still a tedious process, involving getting the mask just right, and when there are a lot of tree branches and leaves in front of the replaced sky it's hard to avoid fringing and a pretty ragged look.
Here's a look at some samples from Skylum working with a pre-release version of Luminar 4.
It looks quite good to me, and the sky under tree branches and leaves looks really good. All with one click. Luminar 4 will also adjust the lighting on the landscape to match the inserted skies. As far as I know, this is the first application of AI to sky replacement, and t looks like a winner. As I've previously pointed out, Adobe showed us a similar feature a few years ago, but never delivered it.
Luminar 4 will also have a host of other new features when it comes along in the fall. I expect to have a preview version of the app along with other reviewers, and hope to see if the reality of the app can match the hype.
While originally Skylum said you would not be able to use your own skies for sky replacement, they have since wisely relented and that feature will be onboard. What will be missing in the first release will be sky reflections in water, a difficult task in AI but something that LandscapePro does nicely. It can also be done in other editors, but it's a bit tedious and often not convincing.
Pre-orders are now available on the Skylum website.
Pricing will be announced at a later time, and upgrade pricing will be available for current users. Skylum also notes development continues on Luminar 3, and there was a recent update with bug fixes to the current version.
What Next ??? Model Subject Replacement ??
I might just wait for the Nude Model Replacement Package.
The last image of a farm in this article is a perfect example of how unintelligent the AI is at choosing sky replacements. The real sun is golden hour camera left, yet the sky chosen is post-sunset camera right. I still think it does a brilliant job of masking, so perhaps there's a mask export feature for us PS people?
For people who seem to think that everyone should use photography the exact same way that they do, and cannot understand someone needing anything different, real estate and architecture photographers frequently need to do sky swaps, especially real estate photographers. Not everyone photographs like you, people have different needs.
I am not saying this is the be all end all solution, just saying open your minds that there are other photographers in the world that very frequently need to do sky swaps. And not just for RE and arc. Just because you think a picture should have the exact same sky it had at the time, doesnt mean that the product manufacturer you are shooting images for in their advertising would agree. They DGAF what the sky looked like. This isnt photo journalism. It is creating the best image possible that will entice people to buy a product.
The modern age photographer is mainly a PC user, not a camera user. Sad but true.
Your point is?
The last picture of a homestead in this article is an ideal case of how unintelligent the AI is at picking sky substitutions. The genuine sun is brilliant hour camera left, yet the sky picked is post-nightfall https://leonflix.me camera right. Regardless I figure it makes a splendid showing of concealing, so maybe there's a cover fare highlight for us PS individuals?
While originally Skylum said you would not be able to use your own skies for sky replacement, they have since wisely relented and that feature will be onboard. https://leonflix.co/ What will be missing in the first release will be sky reflections in water, a difficult task in AI but something that LandscapePro does nicely.