Best Practice for Luminar Filter Order

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    Angela Andrieux

    Hi Allen,

    Great question! We usually recommend starting with RAW Develop or Develop on your base layer and then adding an adjustment layer (or layers) for subsequent edits. What I add after the Develop layer depends on what I want to accomplish with the photograph. The last filters I usually add are Vignette and Sharpening. If you'd like to post an example of a typical photo you shoot I'd be happy to give you a workflow suggestion. :-)

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    Robert Garnett

    I agree with Angela's workflow suggestion and would add that after RAW Develop I would apply noise reduction and dust-spot removal before making any other adjustments. (Counter productive to enhance what you want to remove).

    What hasn't been fully answered is whether the order of the filters or layers makes a difference to the final image. Prior to using Luminar I used the Nik Collection and the order of each adjustment did matter, even within the same layer.

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    Phil Hurd

    That is a good question!

    Angela's idea of keeping the RAW Develop inits own layer is a good one, which I never thought about. I would like to know whether the order of the filters makes a difference though.

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    Kim Austin

    This is really useful for me. Glad you asked Allen and your suggestions, Angela and Robert are great.  I find this forum much better than the FB one. Thank you. 

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    Phil Hurd

    I'd still like to know which filters to use first etc.

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    Julia Kot

    Hi Phil, 

    I would also recommend to run RAW Develop / Develop filter first as it let you adjust the primary image. Especially, if you work with RAW files, it is recommended that you apply the Raw Develop filter to the image first in order to fine-tune it.

    Also, I recommend you to check this info about filters in Luminar. Feel free to ask if any questions arise. 

     

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    Robert Garnett

    Thanks Julia for reminding me about the user guide, however the issue of how to order the filters is still not resolved. So based on my observation of both how a native LMNR file loads and the information in the user guide I offer the following comments and suggestions.

    I save only the basic date, not history nor original files. When I open an LMNR file I first see the native RAW image, then it changes according to how I edited in layers. I experimented with a separate layer for each filter and it appeared to process each layer sequentially. (Hopefully the April update will improve processing speed so this is less apparent) I am unable to discern whether adding several filters in a single layer are processed sequentially, but I assume that they are. In other words, no matter how many times you go back to re-edit a filter setting, when the file reopens it applies the last setting then applies the next filter, then moves to the next higher layer.

    I guess that the order of the filters within a single layer will normally make little difference. Each filter will be saved in digital format format, unlike the analogue treatment of film and print processing. It would follow that adding additional layers for one or more filters should similarly have little or no effect on the final result. But something in the User Guide made me think the there may be an effect when Blending is invoked in the process.

      "the effect achieved by blending a filter varies with the contents of the original layer and the filters applied. A blending mode compares the content of two and enacts changes based on the content of both"

    As the blending mode for each filter and each layer can be changed, the order of processing will likely make a difference. I don't know whether this is also true when all blending modes are set to Normal, but processing changes to layers sequentially will intuitively apply the changes of the next layer to the result of the previous layer(s).

    So my conclusion is that both Angela and Julia are right to advise making RAW develop adjustments first in a separate layer. As to ordering the other filters, it depends.......

    If you use presets, add each one as a separate layer and add adjustments/additional filters in an additional layer.  My workflow is individual, not batch, so I follow RAW Develop with Denoise and dust-spot removal (if needed) then Light, Detail and Colour filters (as suggested by Jim Nix) and end with finishing filters (e.g. Vignette, Orton) as needed.The additional layers don't seem to add much overhead to file sizes (unlike saving history) so the more layers you have, the more you can make adjustments to opacity and blending as you progress.

    Great to have an opportunity to share thoughts with other users of Luminar, even if I haven't got it spot-on. Big thanks to Skylum Team for your guidance and particularly to the developers for bringing us a great (albeit not quite perfect) post-processing tool.

     

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    LARRY FITZPATRICK

    After watching some of Jim Nix videos I created three workspaces;  Light Control, Details Tools and Color Control. They contain following filters

     

    Light Control:

    Accent AI

    Tone

    Adjustable Gradient

    Dodge and Burn

    Polarizing Filter

     

    Details Tools:

    Structure

    Clarity

    Details Enhancer

    Sharping

    Microstructure

     

    Color Control:

    Color Temperature

    Saturation/Vibrance

    Vividness/Warmth

    Golden Hour

    Split Toning

    HSL

    Split Color Warmth

     

    First I crop and strengthen if needed

    Then I create a layer and open the Light Controls Workspace. Getting the lighting correct is essential. Most of the work is done with Tone Filter to obtain a good histogram.

     

    Sometimes, a second layer is created for Detail Control Workspace. This depends on how much I want the image to pop.

     

    If required I create a third layer for the Color Controls must of the time the Light Controls did all of the color adjustment needed.

     

    I use this workflow 90% of the time.

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    Cass Cassim

    Hi there, I have just purchased Luminar. I am familiar with a number of image processing applications from Photoshop, through OnOne Raw, to Lightroom and CaptureOne. Luminar presents a very simple interface, and I have to say that some of the adjustment filters are missing a few refinement controls I am used to, but none-the-less, as I only installed it today, I will persevere a while to see if it has a part in my image processing flow.

    But, with that out the way, I was trying to look for some info on the filter order, and I can confirm, after just a simple test, that the order of processing is top down within each layer, and then bottom up in the layers panel. A bit of a shame they are reversed, but once you know, then...

    So, as I can see, for a quick check for yourselves on the possible importance of filter order, do this simple test.

    1. Open a color photo.

    2. Add a Color Balance filter.

    3. Add a Saturation/Vibrance filter.

    4. In the Saturation/Vibrance filter, shift the Saturation slider to -100. The image is now seen in grey scale.

    5. In the Color Balance filter, move the Cyan-Red slider to +50. The image remains in grey scale, but the tones are shifted.

    6. Now reverse the order of the filters so that the Saturation/Vibrance filter is above the Color Balance filter. This can simply be done by using your mouse to grab the Saturation/Vibrance filter title bar and moving it to 'just' on top of the Color Balance filter title bar (similar to moving around layer order). This should change the order of the filters.

    7. You will then see that the image has turned somewhat red in color.

    So, in this case, the first arrangement will adjust the color of the original image first using the Color Balance and then to grey scale using the Saturation/Vibrance. In the second arrangement, the original image is first turned to grey scale using the Saturation/Vibrance, and then that grey scale image has color applied using Color Balance.

    So, the filter order can be important.

    This will be more so if we are talking about blending options and masking of each filter. Just remember that the filters work from the top going down, and the layers, which can be used to achieve the exact same thing, work from the bottom upwards.

    Hope that helps clarify for people.

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