In order to achieve the best results with Luminar 4’s AI Sky Replacement tool, it is suggested that you follow these guidelines. Doing so will give the application the most information and ensure best results. While the filter includes sample skies for you to use, many will want to use sky photos of their own creation.

Technical specifications

In order to use a texture with the AI Sky Replacement filter, it must meet these technical specifications:

  1. Make sure the file is of adequate resolution. This means a minimum of 1,200 pixels on the shortest edge. Higher resolutions are preferred.
  2. The files should be saved in the JPEG format. You can export an image as a new JPEG file in Luminar by choosing File > Export and choosing the JPEG format. You can use a quality setting of 60–85 to keep file sizes smaller.
  3. Keep the image size below 10 megabytes for the optimal performance of the tool.

How to capture sky textures

Luminar 4’s sky replacement technology requires sky texture to be photographed in a specific way to achieve realistic results. You can also pre-process existing sky images to better meet these guidelines and export new JPEG files for use by the filter.

Best practices

Use the following guidelines for best results:

  • Sky texture should have a certain orientation. Make sure that the bottom edge of the photo is aligned with the horizon. The top part of the image should be oriented toward the zenith.

  • Horizon line should be perfectly aligned for a straight edge. Do not use sky textures where the horizon is not aligned to the bottom part of the image. If needed, you can crop and pre-preprocess the image to a new file in advance.
  • Sky texture should contain ONLY the sky. Be sure to avoid any other objects like trees, mountains or power lines. This will significantly affect the quality of the sky replacement effect. Even the smallest non-sky objects on the horizon can lead to unwanted artifacts.

  • Shoot wider. A sky texture captured with a wide-angle lens is preferable as it will match many different scenes.

  • A photo should have perspective. Ideally, clouds on the horizon should be further away and any cloud near the top of the image should be closer to the viewer.

Issues to avoid

In order to achieve the most realistic results, please avoid images captured incorrectly. The AI Sky Replacement filter will generate poor results if the following images are used.

  • Avoid telephoto lenses. Do not use sky textures captured with a telephoto lens set to a large focal distance. This will generate unrealistic results.
  • Irregular angles. Do not use a sky texture with random orientation.

  • No horizon. Do not use a sky texture without a clear (and level) horizon line.

  • No foreground or objects. Avoid using a sky texture that contains mountains, trees or any other kinds of objects on the horizon.

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