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A look at Textures and Blend Modes in LuminarAI

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LuminarAI is making advances. Today I’m working with textures and creating an artistic image using techniques that are a bit different from I am used to. There are no layers in LuminarAI as I am used to working with in Photoshop. But, that doesn’t mean there isn’t the ability to create layer-like images. Let’s take a look.

Starting image

Original capture with no adjustments to RAW file.

I often work with different textures and Blend Modes to create depth, enhance color and dimension using Adobe’s Photoshop. LuminarAI allows for this to happen but it is a different architecture than Photoshop. There are no layers. I repeat — there are no layers.

LuminarAI is setup this way for all changes to be always editable. The process allows making changes but the changes can then be masked. This system makes it possible to go back and makes nondestructive changes.

Th textures above were converted using the Blend Mode in LuminarAI. Results of the Blend Mode are seen instantly when you hover over the name. Makes it easy to see what you’ll get. That result can also be masked in and out of the image for complete control.

LuminarAI Local Masking

Head to the Local Masking tab to initiate your changes. There are two types of changes — Basic and Texture — with three types of Masks available. Paint Brush, Radial and Gradient masks can be applied depending on the most efficient way to elicit your changes.

Basic tab

Local Masking Basic tab with changes made.

Let’s do Basic first. The Basic tab includes Exposure, Warmth, Contrast, Highlight and Shadows along with Structure and Saturation. You may adjust any or all of those items and mask from areas where you don’t want that change.

Keep opening new Basic tabs and make your individual changes and mask each until you have the look you desire.

Texture overlays

Local Mask Texture tab

Textures have the same masking tools available as the Basic. In addition, there’s a tab to navigate and load a texture file from your system. Note that only TIFF and JPEGs are supported as textures, not RAW files.

In addition, there are tools to rotate and resize the texture file. Advanced settings open the option for Blend Modes, Brightness, Contrast, Saturation and Hue. This is where the real fun occurs in my opinion.

Finished image

Completed image using four Basic tabs and two Textures including Blend Modes in LuminarAI. Each Local Mask tab is masked either using the Paint Brush or the Gradient mask tool.

Once you have finished finessing your file you will then Export to the file format of your choice, on your disk or send it out to 500px, Messages, SmugMug or email.

I found it took a bit of practice and play to get the result for which I was looking with blend modes. Any new program takes time to work out. LuminarAI makes many file adjustments quick and easy. If you are like me, you’ll need a little time to get out of the layers mentality and into the Local Masking of Luminar to get the most out of the program as a standalone. Don’t forget you can always use LuminarAI as a plugin to Photoshop and get even more options!

Yours in Creative Photography, Bob

Create more, with Luminar Neo

Fulfill your creative ideas with Luminar Neo! Preorder now and get the Photofocus preorder bundle, full of extras like a deep dive training video, templates, LUTs, textures and more when Luminar Neo launches.

Bob Coates

Bob Coates

Bob is a lens-based artist and has had the honor and privilege to author books and articles on photography and has presented seminars and programs from Hawaii to the Caribbean. As a former Panasonic Lumix Ambassador, he has been able to stay up with the latest technology in the micro four-thirds cameras. Coates is a successful commercial and fine art photographer based in Sedona, AZ with his wonderful wife who makes it possible for him to do all he does in the photography industry. Need a speaker? Get in touch. Art website | Photography blog | Commercial website

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