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.