This article is an ultimate guide to the Luminar Vignette Tool, which you can find within the Essentials Tools Panel. The Essentials Tools Panel in Skylum Luminar is a set of filters, and are some of the most frequently used tools in image post-processing workflows.
Vignettes in photography are a result of lens limitations, normally in zoom lenses. The effect is a reduction of an images brightness and/or saturation towards the periphery of the lens glass compared to the centre. But, they can also be used as a creative way to draw the eye into an image. Introducing the Vignette Tool.
Luminar Vignette Tool
Luminar allows you to have creative control over the vignette. This includes darkening or lightening the edges, the intensity of the vignette, and even the position within an image. Generally, the Vignette Tool is one of the final effects used within an image post-processing workflow.
Before we look at what all the sliders do, here is a quick demonstration using the Luminar vignette tool.
Firstly, opening the Vignette panel you immediately see two sliders and one button, and form the Basic Settings. These are:
- Choose Subject [Button]
- Amount [Slider]
- Size [Slider]
Choose Subject basically allows you to set the centre point for your vignette. By default, the centre point is in the centre of the image, so the button is useful if you say; want it to be offset.
The Amount slider adds either a white vignette or a black vignette to your image. Moving the slider to the right add a gradually more intense white border, and to the left a black border.
As a general composition rule, whilst a white border looks funky, it actually draws the eye to the edge of a photo. This is due to the eye being attracted to lighter tones in an image. A black border usually works better.
The Size slider increases or decreases the area of vignetting within the image Moving the slider to the right will reduce the area of vignetting, and to the left will increase it.
Luminar Vignette Tool – Advanced Settings
Left-clicking the Advanced Settings brings up several options:
This has two settings. You have the choice of applying the vignette effect either pre-crop or post-crop. By default it is set to post-crop, as it would normally make sense that you want the vignette applied to your final image, and not the one before it was cropped.
This slider changes the shape of the shaded area from rounded to more rectangular.
For the example video, I set the Amount to -73 for a black vignette. Then, adjusted the size to 3, and, adjusted the roundness to -18.
In the before / after example below, you can see that the dark vignette really draws your eye into the image, creating a pleasing effect.
This slider sets the smoothness of the transition between the area of shading. Basically, you can choose between having a feathered edge or a harder line. This is useful if for example your wanted to use the vignette to create a border. Setting the Feather to a hard edge, and the roundness to give you a more rectangular shape, will achieve this for you.
The inner light is a brightness adjustment, and works globally on the image, but leaves the vignette intact. Its useful if after adding the vignette you want to brighten the image slightly.
Edit Mask Capability
To use the Edit Mask from the drop-down menu, you first apply vignette effects you want. 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.
Luminar Vignette Tool – Conclusions
The Luminar Vignette Tool can be used to add pleasing effects during your post processing. You are able to apply either a traditional vignette, or go for something more contemporary.
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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Here are some other Luminar articles that you may be interested in:
An Essential guide to the Luminar Colour and Luminosity Denoise capability.
The ultimate guide to the Luminar Color Tool, including interactive worked examples.
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