Luminar AI is a beginner-friendly photo editing software based on artificial intelligence. Here, I track all changes to Luminar AI – from the beta version until the most recent version, in chronological order. To learn more, read my full Luminar AI review.
How to update Luminar AI?
On macOS, you can update by clicking on Luminar AI in the top menu bar and choosing Check for updates.
On Windows, you can update by clicking Luminar AI in the left-hand corner, then choose Help > Check for updates. If you’re running Luminar AI as a plugin for Photoshop, Lightroom Classic, or Photoshop Elements, I recommend you also re-run the plugin installer.
Luminar AI 1.3.0 – May 27, 2021
On May 27, 2021, Skylum released Luminar AI Update 3. This update brings improvements to Sky AI, support for new Apple hardware and image formats, and minor improvements to Augmented SkyAI and Dodge & Burn Tool.
Improved SkyAI tool
According to Skylum, the updated SkyAI produces even more realistic results with greater control and accuracy.
- Better Sky Detection – Once a new sky is selected, Sky AI now uses improved horizon detection to more accurately place it in the scene. Refined edge detection and masking are used to better integrate the new sky for a more organic effect.
- Better Reflections — The improved sky position is then used to create more realistic reflections in water. Haze, Warmth, Brightness and Water Blur sliders give users more precise control over reflections.
- Better Relighting — Improvements in color accuracy create a more natural effect when the new sky is used to automatically relight the entire scene, including reflections. Three relighting controls allow users to dial in the lighting to fit their creative vision.
New support for Apple hardware and image formats
With new hardware in Apple devices, Skylum pushed an update to make Luminar AI work on them.
- Apple M1 Support — LuminarAI now runs on Apple’s next generation M1 machines. With the native M1 support in Update 3, macOS users can take full advantage of the faster processing of Apple’s M1 chips.
- HEIC Support — Update 3 also adds support for HEIC image format, so Windows users can now open and edit photos taken on iPhones and other iOS devices.
Improvements to other tools
- Augmented SkyAI — Now, sky objects you add to the custom folder are instantly available for preview. Speaking of previews, you can now select any sky object in the visual browser to instantly preview it in your scene. To help you explore this new feature, we’ve provided three Augmented Sky Objects — free of charge — in the marketplace.
- Dodge & Burn Tool — Easily paint highlights and shadows into your photo to enhance the mood. With the new Softness slider, subtly refine the edges of the area for a more natural effect.
Luminar AI 1.2.0 – Mar 16, 2021
The second Luminar AI update brought the long-promised sky reflections automatically added by SkyAI and simplified workflow even further.
Improved SkyAI with reflections and more
Skylum was the first to create automatic sky replacement technology. Now, Skylum delivered on its promises and request by several creators: a faster, more robust experience of the new SkyAI 2.0 tool that now automatically adds reflections of the sky to reflective area, such as water.
- Sky reflections in water: Luminar AI will automatically reflect the new sky in the body of water in the most realistic way possible. The new sky automatically conforms to the angle and depth of the scene to produce incredible results down to the smallest details. (Check my review on how it performs in reality)
- Scene relighting: SkyAI now provides realistic scene relighting by eliminating strong color casts from the sky on foreground objects. Improvements to these tools provide discrete control over the amount and saturation of relighting enhancements. The new Relight Human control can dramatically improve environmental portraits by matching people to the new sky for a more realistic effect.
- Seamless sky orientation: New controls for Rotation and Horizontal Offset join existing controls that allow new skies to be flipped, rotated and positioned for a perfect fit.
- Easier sky selection: Quickly browse and select new skies with a new visual interface from the SkyAI panel. Six new free skies were added with this release and now it’s easier to add your own skies or add new sky packs.
Transformable Texture Overlays
With Update 2, Local Masking adds amazing new creative abilities. The Texture tool now offers advanced controls to transform texture and image overlays.
- PNG Overlays: PNG files with transparency can now be uploaded as textures in LuminarAI. These files can then be used to add special effects to photos, including watermarks, text, emoticons, and other decorative elements.
- Easy placement: New overlay elements can be easily moved, flipped, rotated, resized and placed anywhere you want. There’s even blending modes and masks to precisely control how the object interacts with the original image.
- Overlays in Templates: Once applied, an overlay can be synced across multiple images or saved in a custom template for future re-use.
Improved Templates experience
Templates are an essential part of the innovative LuminarAI workflow. As a result, Skylum is constantly working to improve the Templates experience. In Update 2, finding the perfect Template for your photo is even and faster.
- Easy Access: To make them easier to find and use, all Templates, including Favorites, My Templates Purchased, and Legacy Templates, are now available within the main Templates tab, just beneath For This Photo.
- Easier Browsing: Template Group previews are now uniform in size to make them more visually accessible and comfortable to work with.
- Marketplace Integration: Templates purchased in the Luminar Marketplace are now automatically added to For This Photo and may be presented by LuminarAI when suggesting enhancements for your photos.
Improved camera support
Update 2 brings support for new cameras and file formats to Luminar AI.
- New Cameras: Canon EOS R5, Canon EOS R6, EOS 850D, EOS-1D X Mark III (lossy compressed files), Fujifilm X-S10, Leica M10-R, S3, SL2-S, Nikon Z 5, Z 6 II, Z 7 II, Olympus E-M10 Mark IV, Panasonic DC-G100 / G110, DC-S5, Sony ILCE-7C (A7C), ILCE-7SM3 (A7S III) and Zeiss ZX1.
- New File Formats: Lossy compressed CR3 files and Lossy compressed RAF files.
Luminar AI 1.1.0 – Jan 19, 2021
Luminar AI 1.0.1 is the first update to Luminar AI.
Let’s check what’s new.
Updated Edit panel layout
Edit panel layout was redesigned to offer a more comfortable access to all of the Edit tools in one list. The Essential, Creative, Portrait, and Pro tools are divided into colour-coded categories, but you don’t need to switch between tabs anymore.
New pop-up when clicking the Import icon
Thanks to a new visual back-up, you will have an easier time navigating through the importing options. Just click the plus icon in the toolbar and choose whether you’d like to add a folder or a single image.
Enhance AI opens by default
The Enhance AI tool is now first in the Edit tools list and opens by default when you first access the Edit panel. This nice little update contributes towards a smoother workflow, because if you use Enhance AI to edit your photos, you should start with it.
Easily scroll through suggested Templates
Now you can more comfortably scroll using the Templates in the For This Photo section using the left and right arrows to choose the AI-recommended smart Template that works best for your photo.
Redesigned Toning tool
The Toning tool now has Shadows and Highlights buttons and matches the design of other Luminar AI tools.
Helpful tooltips added throughout the software
By hovering over the icons in Luminar AI, you can now learn what each feature does and how it can help you make better images.
Localizations in French, German, and Japanese were improved. Plus, the names of Templates in History are now localized.
In total, Skylum teams fixed 111 bugs, these are the most noticeable:
- Export photos and replace existing files in folders without crashes
- Move subfolders within a folder without a hitch
- Use Clone & Stamp on zoomed photos and enjoy a smooth result, without any artifacts or crashes
- Smoothly switch between Template previews with no more overlapping of the previous and next Templates preview
- Add PNG files to your textures in the Local Masking tool
- Use Cmd+Z or Undo in the Erase tool to go back one step instead of removing all previous adjustments
- The Sky AI tool now shows all images in the Custom list, including images with the TIFF or TIF extension
- Install Luminar AI as a plugin in Lightroom and Photoshop in a beat without duplicate files in the plugin folder
- No more issues with working in the Edit panel, when when the screen is scaled to 150% and you’re viewing in full HD
- Apply changes in the Optics tool and switch to other tools without loss of image sharpness
- Experience a smooth, crash-free migration from Luminar 4 even if the Looks folder is inaccessible
- Achieve a realistic background blend when adding your custom Objects in PNG format using Augmented Sky AI
…And more! I hope you enjoy the steadier and smoother experience.