Luminar photo-editing app

Started by Speedster, November 27, 2018, 09:27:28 AM

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Hi all;

Well, you all know me by now, so you know that I am very careful about recommending any apps. 

But I wanted you to know about a new photo-editing app that I purchased yesterday and installed this morning.  To be blunt, IMO it's a game-changer just as KeyShot was!  Just wanted to share it with you.

It is an AI based (I believe) app that is very simple, and yet very deep, just as is KeyShot.  It's a standalone, or sits as a plug-in to Photoshop and Lightroom.  You can just switch back and forth between them to suit!

Think of it as a "finishing" app, as it works with photos, or in our case, with completed (or almost completed) renderings.  Like the last step in the workflow, or the "icing on the cake".  There are a number of categories, and the "Interior" will knock your socks off!

And at $69 US, it's a no-brainer!

Below are the results of five minutes work after install...  The first is the KeyShot comp that I sell as a print.  Or used to!  I'll soon have a new one!

Bill G


Can't say I like it really... gives me flashbacks to when 'hdr' became a mainstream thing and you got that clown-vomit look everywhere.
I'm more in the school of what VSCO tries to do, which is to mimic film in a more subtle way. To each their own I guess.


Clown puke. Now that's funny :)

I"m not a huge fan of the over saturated look, but I'm wondering , Bill, what the actually print process does to the color? The over saturated look might be necessary? I can see applications for each, and I'd actually really love to see one of these as a black and white or deep sepia tone. That middle one with the sun blasting away at the trees int eh background reminds me of minnesota thunderstorms when the sun pops under the cloud line and there's a huge contrast to the dark on the horizon and the trees that the sun is hitting.

Just for fun, I moved my browser window from my cheap 21" samsung crap monitor to my main dell color calibrated monitor, and it did tone down quite a bit.


Guys, thanks so much for the comments! 

RRIS: "Clown-vomit" is very funny, and the optics are awful!  VSCO is interesting, but not likely applicable to my work.  But I think I understand what you are saying.

Matt:  Yes, my bottom line is the final print, as well as the tastes of my niche market.  I render on an EIZO high-end monitor ($1600) that is color calibrated monthly.  I print on MOAB "Museum Luster" media, with the print flow carefully calibrated on my Epson P800 printer to ICC profiles.  What I get is truly what I see on the monitor, and believe me, it's not an easy process of proofing.  I proof at 8x10, then print usually on 13 x 19 media, with a few on 17 x 22.  At $3 a sheet, I'm careful, not to mention some $600 for a set of ink cartridges.

Note that my images look like crap on Geri's ViewSonic monitor.  But such is the "state of the art" in technology vs. price point.

Since the late 1960's I've taken many Kodacolor, Kodachrome and Fuji color images that show exactly the "pop" of sunlight through the clouds that just explode in color.   I've found that my market wants strong and dynamic color.  I'm in a transition from product design (46 years self-employed!) to CG and fine arts, and frankly I'm surprised as to what I've discovered.  I'm going to post more on this separately.

Interesting comment about Black/White.  Almost everything I do are subjects that predate color photography in the early 1900's.  The only reference images we have are often stunning BW prints and glass plates.  Most were Silver Halide or Platinum prints.  One main feature of my work is that I'm showing the subjects in color for the first time.  My materials and paint schemes are carefully researched from "Builder's Style Cards", paint samples uncovered during restorations, or early paintings (rare) or stone lithographs and hand colored prints. 

So below is a stack of one print, from the raw (pre-post) KeyShot 8, through other versions as indicated by the naming.  The 2nd image was done with CS5 post followed by using DAP5, and will be the May cover shot of the Narrow Gauge and Shortline Gazette, which I believe is my fifth cover.  The editor was overjoyed at the strong color!

Now... one takeaway.  I minored in photography in college, under the master Imogene Cunningham.  She always taught us to go to where we like it, then BACK OFF!  We always tend to push things too far.  You see this in the amazing evolution of KeyShot over the years.  When new toys are introduced, we all tend to go crazy with them, like insane and crazy materials, etc.  But then we back off and nail it.

As I've lectured in the past at SolidWorks World about CAD;  just because we have the toys doesn't mean we have to use them.  In SolidWorks (and all others I presume), 90% of our work is done with 10% of the tools.

Again, thanks so much for the input!

Bill G


Hi Speedster, I can totally see where you're coming from and slightly envious of your color setup there!
Color is a tricky thing for me, I like to use it more sparingly.. although somehow I'm fascinated by works from William Eggleston or Alex Webb (mainly his older analog stuff).


"go to where we like it, then BACK OFF!"

this is so true from years and years of doing color correction in the video world. Real world stuff is pretty bland and desaturated, but people like color. Glad you are going for what you like, that's what this is all about. The B&W one is my fav, I see that as a cover for a good western novel.


Hey, Renze!  Wow!  Eggleston is one of my favorite photographers as well, and his work is a big influence on where I hope to go with mine. His Masterwork, The Democratic Forest, is in my collection, and (gulp, at $600) is the most expensive book I've ever bought.  But every KeyShooter would benefit by studying him.

Another photographer you should know is Aaron Jones, (now retired) who I worked with here in Santa Fe, New Mexico.  He's considered one of the world's top three product photographers, and invented the HoseMaster lighting system, which I designed an prototyped for him.  Visit for a mind blowing experience!

When KeyShot first introduced Physical Lighting, like IES and the like, as well as Interior Mode rendering, I did a lot of experimenting trying to emulate Aaron's effects, to some success. Below is my "Bowl of Oranges" (modeled in SolidWorks) as an example of using only "painted" physical lighting, with no HDR.

Bill G


Being a Luminar user, I figure I might as well chime in here... it IS a nice editor. I'm currently test driving the version that includes asset management for writing a review, which is coming soon.

It's not an AI based application, though it has some features and filters that ARE AI based. Most of its filters are very controllable, and that HDR look is a stylistic choice, certainly not imposed by the software.

I've edited several photos in my portfolio using Luminar...