How to remove a background with Luminar Neo’s Background Removal AI Extension

Want to easily remove the background from a photo using artificial intelligence? There’s a powerful new tool that can help you with that. It’s a new addition to Skylum’s Luminar Neo called Background Removal AI and in this article we’ll show you what it is and how you can use it.

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Full Disclosure: This article was brought to you by Skylum, the software company behind Luminar NEO.

A few weeks ago, the team at Skylum released an impressive new extension for Luminar Neo called Background Removal AI, which can automatically remove the background behind one or more subjects in a photo with just one click.

According to the company, the new artificial intelligence-based tool can recognize the main subject and up to nine types of other elements in an image, giving users a choice of which to keep. If there are imperfect masks, once the AI ​​tool is complete, users can use a refinement brush to correct anything the neural network may have missed.

Anyone who has spent time creating composites for product photography and advertising knows that it can be an incredibly tedious and time-consuming process, so each progression makes up for the time it takes to mask, create layers, and export those assets is spent to release, incredible will be welcome. The big question on everyone’s mind is how well does it work.

Luminar Neo Background Removal AI feature

What is this new AI background removal tool?

Background Removal AI is one of the latest expansion packs for Luminar Neo that uses machine learning neural networks to train it to intelligently remove backgrounds from your images. Skylum trained this tool on tens of thousands of images to accurately detect and quickly crop out backgrounds so users can easily replace them. In most cases, the AI ​​extension can do this in a matter of seconds, but it may take a little longer depending on the complexity and depth of field of the image.

To clarify, this is a collection of add-ons (which also includes HDR Merge, Noiseless AI, Upscale AI, Supersharp AI, and Focus Stacking) that are not included with Luminar Neo as they are not needed for general photo editing, but rather a more specialized niche toolset for those who want to do slightly more creative things with their images. If you are interested in using these extensions, they are available as part of the subscription model published by Skylum, or you can purchase them all directly as a one-time purchase.

Why is background removal useful?

Background removal is fairly commonplace in the world of commercial photography and advertising. It helps viewers avoid distractions and focus on the topic or product you want them to pay attention to. Replacing the background with a simple solid color (or any other background) can help people avoid the chaotic scenario that a product or person might have been shot in, leaving them with a clean, vibrant, and distraction-free environment.

Even when photographing products in a “clean” environment, there can be an unwanted color cast in the background, removing which can help clean it up and allow the editor to easily achieve a pure white (or whatever color they’re aiming for). ) to achieve. If you’re shooting for a brand, removing the background will help ensure images stay consistent no matter what setting they were shot in, which can help viewers feel more trusting of you.

It could also be that the photo was not exposed correctly and the background or foreground is too bright. Removing the background and replacing it with a “plate” can make the image look more natural and aesthetically pleasing.

Even if you’re not a serious or professional photographer, background removal can be used for both fun and creative purposes, whether it’s isolating subjects in portraits to create a collage or turning images into internet memes.

How to use background removal AI

The process for using the tool is pretty simple, but it does require a bit of digging to find at first. After opening an image in Luminar Neo and opening the EDIT section, you should click on Layer Properties at the top and then select Masking to open the first set of options to choose from.

Select Background Removal AI from the available options to start neural network analysis of the image and identify the subject (or subjects) you want to keep. Based on what the AI ​​recognizes from the image, you’ll be prompted to select some additional choices to (optionally) enhance the mask, e.g. B. Identifying things in the image like people (people), plants, buildings, etc. Make your selection here, click the “Remove” button and let Luminar Neo do the work for you.

After the background has been removed you can further edit your image or optionally select the Refinement Brush dropdown menu to enhance and enhance the masking done to select and separate your image subject. Some images might need a little tweaking to get the mask just right, especially in lighting situations where reflections and glare are present, but after a few brush commands the AI ​​should pick things up quickly.

Here you are presented with a “three color” mask layout, where blue represents the background and anything you want to remove, the “checkered” white area represents the transition, and then the brown mask is designed to refine the object or person in the image that you want to isolate and extract.

Once you’ve made any refinements, you can simply further edit your image by switching to another tool and the background will be officially removed, making it easy to save as a PNG asset or even further edit in Luminar Neo to do something create new.

While it’s not perfect, I was able to extract a random image from one of my trips to Alaska, isolate it, import it, and then stitch it together into a makeshift “commercial” type photo in under a minute total. It actually took longer to choose a new background than to do the work and make the edits and adjustments to the final image seen above.

Fast, easy and impressively accurate

The background removal AI works quite well, and while there are some cases where the masking isn’t perfect, it’s very easy to quickly fix the mask and get the image (layer) to where you want it for further editing and need production. The masking works best when you have clean and well-defined lines, but if those areas slip out of focus or are severely glared, the system can struggle a little, but remember that the tool works on most artificial intelligence-based ones Systems only work over time and the more work you put into them, they get better.

While the removal AI tools can manage some fairly complex hair selections as well as semi-transparent materials, saving many users countless hours of manual masking, there will still be some scenarios where there’s room for refinement that you’ll spend a little money on have to spend time cleaning up and adding to the masks. Even in these scenarios, the AI ​​background removal tool can help users save over 90% of the labor and time spent on these usually complicated tasks with just a few clicks.

Pricing and Subscription Plans

Luminar NEO is available in a variety of combinations from $99 to $119 per year as part of subscription plans or for $149 as a one-time individual purchase. In addition, users can purchase the 2022 Extension Pack which includes 7 extensions (HDR Merge, Noiseless AI, etc.) for $299 for even more creative power.

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Full Disclosure: This article was brought to you by Skylum, the software company behind Luminar NEO.


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