How to Remove a Background Using the Luminar Neo Background Removal AI Extension

Want to easily remove the background from a photo using the power of artificial intelligence? There’s a powerful new tool that can help you do just that. This is a new extension to Luminar Neo from Skylum called Background Removal AI, and in this article we’ll show you both 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 of Skylum released an awesome new expansion for Luminar Neo called Background removal AI which can automatically remove the background behind one or more subjects of a photo with just one click.

According to the company, the new AI-based tool can detect the main subject and up to nine types of other elements in an image, giving users a choice of which ones to keep. If there are any imperfect masks, after the AI ​​tool completes, users can use a refinement brush to fix anything the neural network may have missed.

For anyone who has spent time creating composites for product photography and advertising, they know it can be an incredibly long and tedious process, so any step forward to free up time spent masking, creating layers and exporting these assets will be incredibly accommodating. The big question that stays in everyone’s mind is how well it works.

Luminar-Neo-Background-Removal-AI-Feature

What is this new AI background removal tool

Background Removal AI is one of the latest expansion packs attached to Luminar Neo that leverages machine learning neural networks to train it to intelligently remove backgrounds from your images. Skylum trained this tool using tens of thousands of images to accurately recognize backgrounds and quickly cut them out so users can easily replace them. In most cases, the AI ​​extension can do this in seconds, but it may take a little longer depending on the complexity and focal depth 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) which are not included with Luminar Neo as they are not required for editing general photo, but rather a more specialized niche toolset for those who want to do a little more creative things with their images. If you want to use these add-ons, they’re available as part of the subscription model that Skylum has released, or you can buy them all outright as a one-time purchase.

Why is background removal useful?

Background removal is quite common in the world of commercial photography and advertising. This helps viewers avoid distractions and focus on the topic or product you want them to pay attention to. Replacing the background with a solid color (or any other background) can help people avoid showing the messy scenario a product or person may have been photographed in, leaving them with a clean, vibrant, and seamless frame. distraction.

Even when shooting products in a “clean” environment, there may be an unwanted color cast on the background which removal can help clean up and allow the editor to easily achieve a white pure (or the color he was aiming for). If you’re shooting for a brand, removing the background helps keep images consistent no matter what setting they were captured in, which can help viewers feel more confident in you.

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

Even if you’re not a serious or professional photographer, background removal can also be used for fun and creative purposes, whether isolating subjects in portraits to create a collage or transforming pictures in internet memes.

How to Use Background Removal AI

The process of using the tool is quite simple but requires a bit of research to find it at first. Once you have an image open in Luminar Neo and open the EDIT section, at the top you will want to click Layer Properties and then select Masking to open the first set of options to choose from.

From the available options, select Background Removal AI to initiate neural network analysis of the image to identify the subject(s) you wish to retain. Depending on what the AI ​​detects in the image, it will prompt you for a few more choices to (possibly) improve the mask, such as identifying elements in the image like (human) people, plants, buildings, etc. . Once you’ve made your selections here, click the “Remove” button and let Luminar Neo do the work for you.

Once the background is removed, you can continue to edit your image, or optionally select the Refine Brush drop-down menu to enhance and enhance the masking that has been done to select and separate the subject of your image. Some images may need a bit of tweaking to get the perfect mask, especially in lighting situations where highlights and highlights are present, but after a few brush commands the AI ​​should figure things out quickly.

This is where you will be presented with a “three color” mask layout where the blue represents the background and whatever you want to remove, the white “checkerboard” area represents the transition, then the brown mask is used to refine the object or person in the image that you want to isolate and extract.

Once you’ve made improvements, you can simply continue editing your image by switching to another tool and the background will be officially removed, allowing you to easily save it as a PNG asset, or even continue editing in Luminar Neo to create something. New.

While it’s not perfect, I was able to extract, isolate, import a random image from one of my trips to Alaska, then composite them together for a makeshift “Advertisement” shot in less than a minute at total. In fact, it took me longer to choose a new background than to do the work and make the changes and adjustments to the final image seen above.

Fast, easy and impressively accurate

The background removal AI works quite well, and while there are a few cases where the masking isn’t perfect, it’s very easy to quickly fix the mask and get the image (layer ) where you need it for further editing and production. Masking works best if you have clear, well-defined lines, but if those areas become blurry or have a lot of glare, the system may struggle a bit, but remember, with most systems based on the artificial intelligence, the tool will only get better with time and the more work you put into it.

While the Removal AI tools can handle quite complex hair selections as well as semi-translucent materials that save many users countless hours of manual masking, there will always be scenarios where there will be some room for upgrades that will require you to spend a little time cleaning up and adding masks. Even in these scenarios, the AI ​​background removal tool can easily help users save more than 90% of the labor and time spent on these normally complicated tasks with just a few clicks.

Pricing and Subscription Plans

Luminar NEO is available in a variety of combinations ranging from $99 to $119 per year under the subscription plansor for $149 all at once autonomous purchase. Additionally, users can purchase the Expansion Pack 2022 which includes 7 expansions (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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