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dmstraker

Luminar 2018 notes

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I'm an inveterate tech twiddler. Anything new, I've got to have a go. That's how I found Affinity and it's now my main editor. Luminar has been doing well on the Mac and just out for PC so I thought I'd give it a twirl.

Installing as a plugin for Affinity works fine. Just Add in Edit/Preferences/Plugins, giving it C:Program Files/Skylum as the presets folder. It then appears under Filters/Plugins in Affinity.

Overall, it looks a bit like a cross between Nik and On1, with a simplified adjustment stack, applicable on multiple layers, either globally or painted in. It doesn't have On1's smart brush but is easier for using layers. Generally, though, if you like layers, stick with Affinity. Where it does shine is, like Nik, in the range of filters, such as the sunburst effect.

It does seem to be rather a memory hog (which I suspect Affinity is too) because with nothing else running on a 16Gb machine, it goes slowly and you quickly get 'low memory' messages.


Dave Straker

Cameras: Sony A7R2, RX100V

Computers: Win10: Chillblast i9 Custom + Philips 40in 4K & Benq 23in; Surface Pro 4 i5; iPad Pro 11"

Favourite word: Aha. For me and for others.

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It still works standalone. Having the plugin allows you to switch to Luminar, apply a filter, and bounce back, without having to play around with temporary files between Affinity and Luminar. Much like the way Nik filters works.


Dave Straker

Cameras: Sony A7R2, RX100V

Computers: Win10: Chillblast i9 Custom + Philips 40in 4K & Benq 23in; Surface Pro 4 i5; iPad Pro 11"

Favourite word: Aha. For me and for others.

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How is the standalone performance and mem usage in contrast to On1 here, especially when dealing with RAWs?

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Overall, it looks a bit like a cross between Nik and On1, with a simplified adjustment stack, applicable on multiple layers, either globally or painted in. It doesn't have On1's smart brush but is easier for using layers. Generally, though, if you like layers, stick with Affinity. Where it does shine is, like Nik, in the range of filters, such as the sunburst effect. ...

Well nowadays those tools all offer mostly similar things, one vendor looks what the other has and offers here as features and then adds that too. Lately they all have the tendency to combine their previously seperated sold tools into one. The tools even look all quite similar in their UI L&F styles and also often usability wise, which is sometimes a little bit boring. Sometimes I wonder if they all are going (or are dictated) to imitate Apple Photos here or it's more due that they think they must have/offer some seemless integration (in terms of L&F). - However, feature wise they are getting closer and closer to each other and thus other factors like performance, mem usage, stability and quality of the output images will finally only make probably a difference here.


☛ Affinity Designer 1.8.3 ◆ Affinity Photo 1.8.3 ◆ OSX El Capitan

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The Nik developers prior to google gobble are now Macphun/Skylum, so the similarity is not surprising.  As far as ON1 is concerned, they seem to be based on the adobe model and just my opinion is very unsuccessful.   I own it but gave up on it a long time ago.  Glad to see that Luminar 2018 can be used as a plug-in thru AP.  

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A place On1 fails is in handling 'different' screens. I've a Microsoft Surface, which is high-resolution and fairly small overall. On1 fonts come out in all kinds of sizes and I had to give up on a demo at my local club where I had to feed it through a second-screen projector. Affinity is just fine.

By and large, systems such as On1 and Luminar tend to surprise when you find they don't have 'basic' features such as a flexible transform. I know people who swear by them, but they tend to be photographers who want to just do some one-click presets or limited tweaks.


Dave Straker

Cameras: Sony A7R2, RX100V

Computers: Win10: Chillblast i9 Custom + Philips 40in 4K & Benq 23in; Surface Pro 4 i5; iPad Pro 11"

Favourite word: Aha. For me and for others.

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How is their overall performance and mem usage in comparison? - I recall that On1 some time ago claimed to be fastest for RAW processing, though I've never tried their RAW development engine, so it might be they finally claimed too much here.


☛ Affinity Designer 1.8.3 ◆ Affinity Photo 1.8.3 ◆ OSX El Capitan

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I have had really good experiences with Luminar 2018 so far (granted I have only been using it for a couple days). Every raw image I threw at was processed reasonably quickly on a mid range machine and the ease of getting a nice looking image is terrific. I can pull up a raw image (CR2) and spit out a nice looking final render in under a couple minutes. In DXO it would have taken me WAY longer to get a comparable image and many times I couldn't have done it solely in DXO. Granted, the noise reduction is better in DXO and it handles lens distortion better but when your end project is to get a nice picture to put in a scrapbook or on the wall, those high end features really don't come into play. DXO also always introduced artifacts into my images when I used some of those higher end features (chromatic aberration fixes and lens sharpness) so I don't miss them much. If I needed to process a high ISO image I can always pop into DXO and use the noise reduction there.

 

There are some bugs to work out still but the same holds true for Affinity. I don't feel like the speed of the program is that slow. I can pull up a full quality raw image from my T3i, add several filters to it and even another layer or adjustments with a mask and still have it working pretty much real time (on a i5 8GB machine). In fact, I find it to be at or better than the performance of DXO.

 

Compared to NIK, for simply processing a photo to get a nice picture, I can get a quality look quicker in Luminar. Obviously NIK has other features which aren't part of Luminar's scope so it doesn't do any good comparing those. I look forward to the additions that are promised. I always by software on what is currently available though, not what they promise will come later. There is always less disappointment that way. :)

 

I haven't tried using it as a plug in in Affinity yet. If that works it would be icing on the cake.

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At the moment it is not really working as plugin:

 

1. If you use as plugin you can pass a picture into but you can not pass back into Affinity after processing in LUMINAR, you get an empty workspace (windows)

(grab the plugin Luminar2018.8bf manually from C:\Program Files\Skylum\Luminar 2018\PluginData )

I have many other issues using it standalone:

 

2. You can't change localisation, the language is selected based on regional settings and is enforced, the localisation is really bad, so bad that i stopped exploring the app (mix of DE/NL/EN-US). I don't expect a clean translation but at least a possibility to have it in english. The Beta was just english what was OK.

3. You have functions like "Hide in Dock", we don't have a dock, the Software disapper somewhere in Paralleluniverse and can be called back with Alt-Tab

4. There is no Fonts Antialising, the gui is looking like scratched in wood, very primitive.

5. Still sRGB only, like in the Beta

6. Performance is not on top but i'm maybe to sensible on this. I would expect more speed on my system specs (OCd i9 7900x)  but i keep this unjudget for now because of 2.. 

7. The beta had a nicer filter slector, each filter had a description, now it is a simple (ugly looking) list, they are now translated and i was from beta experience familiar with the english names. 

 

There may be more issues but i try first to get support for at minimum 2. Deleting localisation files is not helping, it is being restored by msi installer on application start. 

The ideas in Luminar are good and the reason i bough the app but i prefer to wait till the banana is more ripe.  

 

For me personaly it is still a learning process to bring my expactations in relation with what i paid, we should not forget that we get with Affinity and Luminar an imense amount of software for our Euros, but some quality aspects as minimum and knowledge of new platform (for Macphun Windows seems to be new) i think are expectable. 

 

  • Example of the bad gui on 1st screenshot, elements not anti aliased and extremly small (also in relation of other OS dpi settings), text can be cutted depending on lenght. 
  • 2nd screenshot shows one of the bad translation examples, even i'm for united europe i prefer have clean dutch and german and not a mix of both :-) (there are much more) 1st word is NL the 2nd is DE, system regional setup is DE
  • 3rd screenshot shows your workspace after this bi-lingual export message (picture is gone). 
  • 4th screenshot is your ticket into the mirrored universe (Im Dock ablegen) and some Denglish language experience
  • 5/6th another heavy language mixture in the filter list

 

 

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keep Apple away...

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A question for dmstraker, in your post you stated:

 

'Installing as a plugin for Affinity works fine. Just Add in Edit/Preferences/Plugins, giving it C:Program Files/Skylum as the presets folder. It then appears under Filters/Plugins in Affinity.',

but it looks like it was done on a PC.  

 

I am using a Mac and have tried to install Luminar 2018 as a plugin without success.  Have you done this on a Mac? And if so, how did you achieve this?  

 

 

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Yes, p_mac, it is on Windows. I don't have a Mac and can't really comment.

Can anyone else from the Macista world offer help??


Dave Straker

Cameras: Sony A7R2, RX100V

Computers: Win10: Chillblast i9 Custom + Philips 40in 4K & Benq 23in; Surface Pro 4 i5; iPad Pro 11"

Favourite word: Aha. For me and for others.

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On 18/11/2017 at 3:38 AM, thorium666 said:

At the moment it is not really working as plugin:

... etc

You've got further into it than me, thorium666. Looks trickier than I first thought...


Dave Straker

Cameras: Sony A7R2, RX100V

Computers: Win10: Chillblast i9 Custom + Philips 40in 4K & Benq 23in; Surface Pro 4 i5; iPad Pro 11"

Favourite word: Aha. For me and for others.

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Thanks MEB, I was reading dmstraker's initial post and his statement as follows:

 

On 2017-11-16 at 5:42 AM, dmstraker said:

Installing as a plugin for Affinity works fine. Just Add in Edit/Preferences/Plugins, giving it C:Program Files/Skylum as the presets folder. It then appears under Filters/Plugins in Affinity.

 

It made me assume that if one could do this on Windows, then it could also be done on a Mac.  Thanks for your reply and the link.  

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Hi, 

on Appel, is the gui also "handmade" implemented, means with such frayed and not scaling with system DPI ? I still wonder how something like this can be released in a non-beta where on the other hand i have lot of fun playing with the LUT remapping. 


keep Apple away...

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Dear All, 

 

since one of the last updates Luminar is usable as Plugin under Windows. The processed image is passed back into Affinity Photo as sRGB only. This is is not changing the fact that the application is still a lingual & esthetic worst case scenario.


keep Apple away...

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