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Portrait Background Removal AI with Luminar Neo

luminar neo background replacement

Here, we’re taking a look at Luminar Neo and its new background replacement tool. Whilst background replacement is nothing new, it has always been a slow and painful process requiring tedious masking and surgical selections.

But with Luminar Neo, Skylum Software appears to have boiled down this complex procedure to just a few clicks. Not only that but looking at the samples, the effect appears impressive indeed. If you have some time on your hands, feel free to browse the samples and compare the before and afters. Jump to Conclusion.

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Table of Contents

What is Luminar Neo

Luminar Neo is the latest Photo Editor from Skylum Software since Luminar AI. Besides its Background Replacement function, Luminar Neo offers Stunning Presets, Layer-based Photo Editing, Portrait Background Blur, much more besides.

For more information, check out my hands-on Luminar Neo review. Or if time is money, enjoy the quick video tour below.

Overall, Luminar Neo is an excellent photo editor that vastly exceeds its potential to change backgrounds. Nevertheless, Portrait Background Removal is a Headline feature so we better take a closer look.


Luminar Neo Background Replacement

Along with Layers, Relight AI, and Erase AI; Portrait Background Removal is one of Luminar Neo’s super-features. In some ways, it’s similar to Luminar Neo’s famous Sky Replacement tool.

In one click, Luminar Neo can automatically determine your photo’s background for its foreground and remove it. Then, it slides in a new background and relights the foreground to match. As you can see below, it appears to work pretty well.

Luminar Neo

If you look very closely, you’ll notice some of the subject’s hair is clipped but you’d never know if you didn’t line up the original.

If you’re like me, you’ll want to try this yourself. But for the moment – you can’t. Whilst Luminar Neo has been released, Portrait Background Removal will land a little later as a free upgrade. So for now, we can look at more samples provided by Luminar’s developers, Skylum Software.

Luminar Neo background replacement Samples

Here, we take a look at 3 different vendor-provided photos processed using Luminar Neo’s background replacement feature. Overall, the results are impressive indeed.

Background Removal Sample 1

Luminar Neo

Here, Luminar Neo has replaced the background whilst correctly leaving the white wall in the foreground intact. Very good.

Background Removal Sample 2

Luminar Neo

Once again, the results are impressive. But if you look carefully, you might notice that the subject’s hair is been trimmed a little and that her hat’s diameter has been reduced. Yet, I would never have noticed these anomalies without the direct comparison.

Background Removal Sample 3

Luminar Neo

In this version of the same image, our subject is magically transported to the jungle. Here we can see Luminar Neo’s lighting effects transferring the scene’s green hue onto the subject. Just as it would in real life.


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In Luminar Neo, it seems Skylum Software has successfully automated background replacement. Not only is Luminar Neo able to surgically remove one background and insert another, but it effectively readjusts the subject’s lighting so they appear to belong in their new surroundings.

I imagine background replacement will become hugely popular with product photographers, marketers, and conscious-limited influencers looking to oversell their lifestyle. After all, with travel being somewhat limited these days, Luminar Neo’s background replacement technology will have some highly practical applications.

Luminar Neo Presets

Of course, you can buy Luminar Neo today – but you won’t get Portrait Background Removal until a later date. This is a shame. But Skylum Software has previously stated it will ship as a free update once it’s ready.

If you’re interested in Luminar Neo in general, check out my owner’s review. If you can’t decide between Luminar Neo and Luminar AI – have a look at Luminar Neo vs Luminar AI. Happy Snapping!

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Save more: Use Coupon Code: SILENTPEAK10

3 thoughts on “Portrait Background Removal AI with Luminar Neo”

  1. In the “Jungle” background replacement, the skin colour of the model has also changed, not
    for the better, in my opinion. My question is, Can the background be changed without altering the main subject or must the whole composition be changed automatically?

    1. Hi Philip – unfortunately, the beta release of Neo does not include the background replacement feature. However, it does have Relight AI; which can automatically detect the subject from his/her background and allows you to adjust the exposure and white balance of either. Obviously, this is speculation but it does mean that the background replacement feature could also have independent background/foreground adjustments. Fingers crossed.

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