Luminar Essentials – AI Structure

The Essentials Tools Panel in Skylum Luminar is a set of filters. They are some of the most frequently used tools in image post-processing workflows. This article is an ultimate guide to the AI Structure Tab, which sits within the Essentials Tools Panel. Firstly, a teaser video from the Skylum team.

The AI Structure tab consists of just two sliders and an Edit Mask capability. The purpose of this tool is to enable you to target contrast, detail and clarity. Artificial Intelligence (AI) comes into play because the tool is content and human-aware. So, for example, the tool recognises human features in an image so that they don’t get over-processed. This leaves humans looking natural and the elements in the image around them atmospheric and grainy.

Luminar AI Structure

AI Structure

Amount – The Amount slider is used to adjust the strength of the AI Structure effect. The slider datum is centre. Moving the slider to the left flattens the image results in a loss of detail. Conversely, moving the slider to the right increased the amount of detail and clarity.

Boost – This slider specifically targets the level of detail in the image. It is particularly useful for surfaces with texture as it emphasizes and hardens the image. It is extensively used in HDR imagery to give that classic grainy atmosphere that you often see in HDR.

Edit Mask – All of the AI tools in Luminar contain an Edit Mask option. This pull-down menu allows you to selectively paint the AI Structure filter to regions of the image that you choose. Giving you even more creative power over the effect.

AI Amount Example

Using an example factory scene, you can see that at -100 the detail is softer in the image, but no change is made to the man in the photo. With the slider at 100, there is more detail and contrast, particularly in the metal structures and background.

Amount = 100
Amount = 100
Amount = 100
Amount = -100
Amount = -100
AI Amount Slider

AI Boost Example

Using the same example file, you can see that the metal texture has become more grainy and defined. The effect has not though impacted the skin tones of the man in the image. As with AI Amount, the effect is subtle, but gives a more gritty feel to the composition.

AI Boost

Edit Mask Capability

To use the Edit Mask from the drop-down menu, you first apply either the AI Amountr or the AI Boost filters. Then selecting Brush in the Edit Mask drop-down menu, you can paint the areas of the image you want to affect.

You can change the brush size using the bracket keys:

  • [ = Smaller Brush
  • ] = Larger Brush

You can also change the flow of the effect for finer control over the edit.

This Luminar Essentials article forms a suite of interactive guides on the Skylum Luminar photo editing software. If you found this useful, please check out our other Luminar articles and how-to guides in the Learn Photography section of our site.

If you don’t yet have a copy of Luminar, but would like to purchase one, you can get a copy from the Luminar website.


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