Luminar AI Changelog

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Luminar AI changelog thumbnail

This is a complete Luminar AI changelog where I track all changes to Luminar AI. From the beta version until the most recent version, in chronological order, here’s everything you need to know.

To learn more, read my full Luminar AI review.

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Luminar AI 1.4. – July 27, 2021

The Luminar AI update 4 brought the long-awaited Portrait Bokeh AI tool. With it, Skylum also updated the Sky AI tool and improved how Textures work. If you want to learn about Update 4 in detail, read my Luminar AI Update 4 review.

NEW: Portrait Bokeh AI

The new tool Portrait Bokeh AI is located in the Portrait section of Luminar AI tools. Using AI, Portrait Bokeh AI creates a depth map of an image. It then uses this information to accurately blur the background while keeping the main subject (person) in focus. This creates beautiful bokeh.

In addition, Portrait Bokeh AI gives you great control of the background look. You can change its warmth, brightness, add glow to it, and control the depth. In cases when Luminar AI fails to correctly mask the background from the subject, you can use brushes to mask in our out areas in a photo.

Portrait Bokeh AI panel
Portrait Bokeh AI panel

Currently, Portrait Bokeh AI only works in images that depict a person. In these, it can recognise various poses, and according to them adapt the depth map.

The Skylum team hinted that an update that’s going to work for pets, such as dogs and cats, might be coming soon.

IMPROVED: Sky AI is easier to use

Sky AI is now a lot easier to use with the new Horizon Position tool that pops up the so-called Shifting Horizon Control slider. Previously, you could only control the horizon position by moving the sliders, and other than the intuition, you had no idea, where the horizon really is. Now, you can simply grab it with your mouse and move it around.

Sky AI Shifting Horizon Control
A GIF showing how the new Shifting Horizon Control slider works

In addition, Human Relight now more accurately tweaks human skin tones.

IMPROVED: Textures have previews

Textures can now be previewed without applying them, which significantly improves your workflow. By simply opening the menu, you can see what each Texture is going to look like.

Textures preview in Luminar AI
Textures now have a preview

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.


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.


  • 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 the reflective areas, 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. 

IMPROVED: 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 cover

Luminar AI 1.0.1 is the first update to Luminar AI.

Let’s check what’s new.

UPDATED: Edit panel layout

The Edit panel layout was redesigned to offer 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.

Luminar AI 1.0.1 Tools

NEW: Pop-up when clicking the Import icon

Thanks to a new visual backup, 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.

Luminar AI 1.0.1 Adding 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.

Luminar AI 1.0.1 Toning

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.

Luminar AI 1.0.1 Tooltips

Localization improvements

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:

On macOS:
  • 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
On Windows:
  • 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.


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