Luminar Neptune

Discussion in 'Image Processing' started by mcasan, Jun 15, 2017.

  1. mcasan

    mcasan Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 26, 2014
    Atlanta
    The crop tool on Luminar was crap because you could not define and save crop ratios for all the difference sizes of paper, mats, or image sizes you wanted. Thank goodness the new Luminar Neptune release has fixed that! That update plus integration with Aurora and Creative Kit means Macphun is stepping up their game.


    ...from email ad by Trey Ratcliff about the new Luminar release

    The crazy cats at Macphun's in-house research and development team have come up with something amazing. It's called Accent AI and is a filter that comes with the newest update of what is now Luminar Neptune. What is Accent AI you ask?? Well... it is a new photo filter powered by the artificial intelligence technology by Macphun. The new Accent AI Filter allows anyone to create stunning images with a single slider instead of using dozens of adjustments and controls. It takes just a second and one swoosh of a slider to remarkably improve a photo. Pretty cool eh?

    As well as Accent AI, Luminar Neptune also introduces a new workspace called Quick & Awesome. As the name implies, the workspace consists of 3 essential filters which quickly create fantastic results: the aforementioned Accent AI Filter, Saturation & Vibrance, and Clarity. Using the Accent AI Filter gives users amazing instant results, however, if there is still fine-tuning to be done, the other two filters can quickly help improve the photo without any extra effort.

    What else is new?

    Along with the two big players above, there are a few other new and improved things that come with this update.
    • + Plug-in integration - With Creative Kit and Aurora HDR 2017 ā€“ Seamlessly access favorite features from Macphunā€™s other photo editing tools.
    • + Brush, Gradient and Radial Gradient tools - Dramatically faster performance yields smoother selective editing.
    • + Vignette filter - Addition of Vignette Styles, Place Center and Pre- and Post-Crop modes delivers even more flexibility to this popular photo finishing tool.
    • + Memory management - Increased overall performance for large files and 5+ simultaneous open images.
    • + User Interface changes - Extensive improvements to in-app animation and mode transitions make for a more pleasing editing experience.
    • + Crop tool update - Ability to specify custom crop sizes bring the ultimate usefulness to cropping.
    • + Local history - Provision for reviewing separate history while in Transform, Denoise, Clone & Stamp modes helps optimize editing.
    A special offer just for the update, available 15 - 25 June, 2017

    Being the good folk that they are over at Macphun they have decided to put on a special offer to celebrate this new action packed update. This is a package deal that includes Luminar + Video Training, eBooks, Presets and Overlays for $69 for new Macphun users, or $59 current Macphun users. A total value of $309.
     
  2. Repp

    Repp Mu-43 All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Jan 27, 2011
    Oak Harbor, WA
    I'm watching the video up on Photo Joseph's youtube page. The new abilities are very very cool looking, especially the paint in/out each individual filter. That is super awesome!
     
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  3. mcasan

    mcasan Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 26, 2014
    Atlanta
    Agreed! You can do the right level of noise reduction for a bad area and not soften the entire image to death.
     
  4. WT21

    WT21 Mu-43 Legend Subscribing Member

    Feb 19, 2010
    Boston
    Would love to hear anyone's input on this package.

    I also can't find a "try before you buy" link -- anyone know of one?
     
  5. mcasan

    mcasan Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 26, 2014
    Atlanta
    As soon as the DAM and lens corrections are released and working properly, I will very likely give up CC. There are many reviews and demo videos of Luminar on Youtube. Neptune is the new release and Pluto was the previous one. If you want a trial copy, write to Macphun for one.
     
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  6. steveadams

    steveadams Mu-43 Veteran

    350
    Jun 16, 2016
    South Georgia
    Steve Adams
    P5182117.

    I can try to give you a review. Cup of coffee while you read this? I have a 27" iMac with retina display and 8 GB of memory. I've had Luminar since it first came out. It's made by MacPhun and I've liked their other products so I went for this one too. I've never been overly impressed by it. I picked up Affinity around the same time and I've spent most of my time learning it. Luminar is easier to use and gives good results, but I just can't get comfortable using it. The photo above is an ORF (raw) that Luminar converted to a jpeg. No effects have been added.

    If you have never used Luminar, what I like is you can use individual filters to tune your photo as you please, or you can select from presets to find something similar to what you want. The selection of presets (many are free) continues to grow. Even if you select a preset, it will pull up all the filters for that preset and you can fine tune the photo.

    Some of what feels uncomfortable are the filters and their order. The filters go into a workspace (nothing more than the right hand side of Lightroom or Photoshop) as you select them. So, one time you may have the Saturation filter on top of the workspace and the next time it might be the Tone filter on top and Saturation is buried near the bottom. It would be nice if the filters had a designated space in the workspace and usually appeared in the same order (I know that the order of the filters can make a difference in the photo but we all know that there is a certain order that corrections should be done with and they could at least set the filters in that same order).

    They say the new version has major memory improvements. But if I have a layer of minor filter adjusments, add a mask layer with 1 adjustment, and then add another layer for a vignette, now it has slowed down and takes 1/4 second to see any changes or adjustments. I have 8 GB of memory so I can't believe it's maxing it out. So I'm not impressed by the memory changes.

    Another minor annoyance is my mouse has lost the spring for the scroll knob. As I move my mouse around the photo, sometimes the photo magnifies. Sure, the scroll knob controls the level of magnification. I will go into preferences and change that. Sorry, no prefence panel to change anything. I'm stuck with all the factory defaults for everything.

    As I've mentioned elsewhere, the new Accent AI filter seems useful and works good most of the time. I've has one photo (out of 12-15) that this filter did not help the overall look. I haven't tried the dehaze or goldenhour filters but have no reason to suspect they won't do as advertised.

    Here is that same cup of coffee and the only filters used were the Accent AI, added a hair of saturation, added some clarity. This will give you something to judge the Accent AI filter with.

    P5182117 coffee cup.
     
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  7. mcasan

    mcasan Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 26, 2014
    Atlanta
  8. Lcrunyon

    Lcrunyon Mu-43 All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Jun 4, 2014
    Maryland
    Loren
    Interesting review. Thank you.

    It seems that two of your criticisms could be easily fixed with an update. If they did fix them, and knowing that the speed is what it is, would you then like it enough to make it your primary editing software? Or would you still stick to something else?

    I recently left Apple Photos and debated between Adobe CC and Luminar. I had the other Macphun products and thought they were pretty good. I downloaded a pre-Neptune trial version of Luminar, but it didn't have all the features I wanted and ultimately went with LR. LR is working well enough, though I'm still learning how to use it the way I want, and haven't even touched PS yet. I have the other Macphun products as plug-ins, and they do add to the overall capability.
     
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2017
  9. steveadams

    steveadams Mu-43 Veteran

    350
    Jun 16, 2016
    South Georgia
    Steve Adams
    I don't know, that's a tough call right now. I really like what Luminar does with RAW photos. I think Affinity will be more powerful in the long run. I still use Perfect Photo Suites 9.5 too because it has filters and presets that I like but I hate what it does with RAW. I will say that the Neptune upgrade has made me use Luminar again and more of my photos are going straight into it first. Even before any more updates, Luminar will become my primary editor for quick results. Photos that needs masking and local editing will go directly into Affinity.

    I gave up on Apple's Photos in the early 2000s when I had hundreds of photos lost during an upgrade. That's when I learned the photos were not going into a folder but hidden somewhere in all the Apple/Linux world of mystery. I've never like Adobe software because it's not intuitive with the Apple OS and seems to fight with it at times. I did learn to use the basics of Photoshop 5 before I gave up on them.

    The Neptune upgrade is free if you already have Luminar so I would at least upgrade it and try it.
     
  10. steveadams

    steveadams Mu-43 Veteran

    350
    Jun 16, 2016
    South Georgia
    Steve Adams
    Their website still has a free trial link. There are 2 different links in the middle of the page for the free trial. Just go slow and you should see them.

    Photo Editor for Mac ā€“ Best Photo Editing Software for Mac | Luminar
     
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  11. emoslaughter

    emoslaughter Mu-43 Regular

    111
    Apr 9, 2011
    Cleveland Ohio
    Douglas French
    Does it use the embedded m4/3 lens corrections yet? With out that, it's a no go for me.
     
  12. steveadams

    steveadams Mu-43 Veteran

    350
    Jun 16, 2016
    South Georgia
    Steve Adams
    You would need to ask them how it handles lens corrections.
     
  13. Tilman Paulin

    Tilman Paulin Mu-43 Veteran

    359
    Jun 10, 2013
    Just had a first go at the trial this morning and think it's quite promising. Simple to use, yet powerful.

    Did anyone else have the issue though, that when you switch workspaces you lose any settings you have made (all the sliders jump back to default)?
     
  14. steveadams

    steveadams Mu-43 Veteran

    350
    Jun 16, 2016
    South Georgia
    Steve Adams
    Yes, they assume you're not happy with the results so they reset everything. If you want to keep the settings, open a new adjustment layer. This will apply and store all your settings from the first layer and allow you to add more in the new layer. Ideally, you might use the first layer for global adjustments, a second (or more) layer for localized adjustments (using masks).
     
  15. Tilman Paulin

    Tilman Paulin Mu-43 Veteran

    359
    Jun 10, 2013
    Ah, guess I understand...

    With Luminar, workspaces are not a way of accessing one set of image parameters in different layouts...

    It's more like a stack of filters on the right(?) (similar to the old Nik Color Efex suite...
    Luminar 'workspaces' are more like the Nik 'filter recipes' then... when you applied a new recipe it replaced all the existing filters too)

    Thanks for clarifying!


     
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2017
  16. Chazworth

    Chazworth Mu-43 Rookie

    18
    Oct 12, 2012
    Colorado (USA)
    Charlie
    Here are a few thoughts on Luminar from my experience--

    First off, I love tinkering with editing software and am a big fan of the Nik software. I have also used the On1 software and other plugins. Prior to Luminar, I used the other Macphun tools, including their HDR product, Aurora. Here are a few things that I really like about Luminar:

    -The "workspace" concept is excellent and very powerful. I have created collections of filters for common photo types and saved them as workspaces that I can quickly load. It is also very fast to add additional filters to the current workspace, as the filter list is readily available, and you can choose filters by type, recently used, favorites, etc. Once you take the time to establish a workflow, you can move very fast through the process.

    -The filters are top notch, and many mirror the filters that I love in the Nik software. I still use the Nik software for finishing touches, but I am slowly replacing these Nik edits with a corresponding edit in Luminar.

    -The implementation of presets is really powerful. Basically, presets are workspaces, but the filters are "activated", rather than set at their zero values. I use both my own presets and ones that I have downloaded from Macphun. It is really helpful to examine the filter settings that are included in the Macphun-provided presets so that I can learn about how the different filters work. It is also very easy to start with a preset, then dial the effects up or down based on the photo's needs.

    -Overall the software is very fast for me.

    -The training videos are really good.

    Prior to the recent release of the "Neptune" version of the software, I thought that the brush tool was a little laggy and imprecise, which is definitely a negative. Neptune seems to have made big progress with the brush. Also, although there is a luminosity masking tool, it seems a little imprecise and difficult to use. I look forward to improvements in this tool.
     
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