Skylum, the company behind the popular photo editing software Luminar Neo, recently announced their latest plug-in, Studio Light, available at the end of this month.
I received an advanced look at the beta version of this new plug-in and got to test a few images with it. Keep in mind, this is not the shipping version so some features may be subject to change before the product ships.
The plug-in, Studio Light, is designed to give photographers the ability to replicate popular studio lighting effects in post processing. These effects include the placement of light and color, easily allowing a photographer to add multiple lighting effects and colored lights to different parts of a portrait.
The beta version that I tested allowed me to place the position of the light and use two patterns that created either a dot or strip effect. If I choose neither light pattern, I can move a circle of light around the image, casting light based on the depth point. A texture feature will also be available that will allow countless different patterns for shadows. For example, palm trees or window blinds, but it wasn’t ready yet at the time of my testing. This feature is expected to ship out on August 31st.
When placing a light using the plug-in, the photographer can choose the horizontal and vertical position, and the depth, meaning how far in front of or behind the subject the light is. I found this feature to work well in the beta version, but it didn’t always correctly identify parts of the depth the way I would have wanted. However, a masking tool made it very simple to add or remove areas based on where I wanted the light to appear.
Carefully placing the Depth Center allows for controlling the light so it appears from a single side of an image, affecting only the areas on the side of the subject closest to the center marker.
Using the ever-growing combination of AI based tools and plug-in’s now available for Luminar Neo, creating an image that draws the eye has become quicker and easier than ever before.
I feel that Studio Light may not be the most powerful plug-in Skylum has created. However, bundled with the rest of what Luminar Neo has to offer, it is one of many tools that create images that sell. It shares effects similar to that of Face AI. However, the biggest difference is you can create different shapes of light with it. The AI built into Studio Light also constrains the lighting effect to the entire subject in the portrait. Meanwhile, Face AI constrains light only on the face of your subject.
By adding to the feature set of Neo with AI based plug-in’s, Skylum has created an editing platform that can quickly change boring images in eye catching portraits in minutes. Studio Light is another tool in Neo’s impressive toolbox that makes editing fun and easy.