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Luminar AI receives major update, adds Apple M1 compatibility

Luminar AI 3 Screenshot
(Image credit: Skylum)

Taking photos of magnificent skies in the real world often requires luck – or more patience and effort than many photographers are willing to put in. That's where software comes in, and one of the best programs for sky replacement, Luminar AI, just got even better thanks to a new update.

As the name suggests, Luminar AI is power by artificial intelligence to take the guesswork and the legwork out of replacing skies in images, and now it’s received its third major update, further boosting further its capabilities and adding that all-important Apple M1 compatibility. 

Compatibility with the M1 chip is also found in other popular photo-editing software, such as Adobe Photoshop and Capture One. Apple users with one of the newer machines can now take advantage of super-speedy processing when using Luminar to replace those skies faster than ever.

Algorithm magic

Thanks to new algorithms, skies should appear even more realistic, while users are afforded a little more control over how the finished results appear. When you add a new sky, horizon detection has been improved for a more seamless blend between the sky and the rest of the scene. 

Water reflections were added in a previous update – meaning that if your scene has a reflection of the sky in it, any new sky will also appear in the reflection. With the new update, these effects are promised to be even better. There are also additional sliders for tweaking the results, including Haze, Warmth, Brightness and Water Blur.

Luminar AI 3 Screengrab

(Image credit: Skylum)

If you’re adding a replacement sky that's dramatically different from the original, Luminar will also now adjust the lighting of the entire scene, altering colors for an overall more realistic impression.

Other new upgrades include HEIC image support, allowing you to enhance your iPhone and other iOS device photos, an improvement to the existing Dodge & Burn tool, and new free Augmented Sky objects (lanterns, butterflies, and a moon) that are available to download.

Even better news for existing Luminar owners is that the Luminar AI Update 3 is free to download. Otherwise, the software can be bought for as little as £59 / $69 for a one-computer license. It can be used either as standalone software, or as a plug-in for programs such as Photoshop or Lightroom.