One of the things I really like about the Photo-editing app, Luminar, is how simple it is to use, both as a standalone app or as a plugin extension. The interface is pretty minimalistic and doesn’t take too long in becoming familiar with.
This is especially useful if, like the majority of creators, you perform most of your editing or retouching tasks using Adobe Photoshop. For me, Luminar is like the digital music mastering tool you might use in order to polish the final production of a track.
Providing your Mac is up-to-date and sufficiently endowed, Luminar works fine for most cases. You can learn more at Software Folder.
Presently, I have been using Luminar for Mac OS as a standalone app. And have yet to explore the layers feature. However, with the aid of Affinity Photo or Adobe Photoshop, I think I’d be more inclined to perform most of the more manipulative and tricky tasks in either of these two programs.
What do you use in your photo-editing workflow and for finalising your artwork pieces?
Luminar AI is the ‘brand new’, or rather, evolutionary rendition of previous Luninar versions. It’s ‘brand new’, becuase it has been totally rebuilt form scratch. But this time with AI technology right at the core.
Now, for those of us who are already familiar with Luminar, will know that the app has been established on the idea of simplifying the photo-editing process. So that busy photographers and photo artist can more readily perform ‘edits’ without the tedious, but also unnecessary, steps typically involved.
As a creative photographer, I am sure there is nothing more frustrating than knowing what you want to achieve, but just because you do not know how to create layers, masks, and get those marching ant things to come up on you screen, you can’t make the changes yourself…
Or maybe, you do know how to perform all the above. But wow, it seems like such a long winded process that also distracts from actually being creative.
And it does this all without fully taking away the tools that users already know and use.
However, when you do make use of the AI powered tools, its like magic, you’ll be smitten by the intuitiveness.
Wanna edit just the lips?
Without the hoopla involved with traditional photo-editing, Luminar AI will allow you to focus on specific areas of your photographs and edit, without physically masking items yourself. I said it was kinda like magic! But, let me explain. It’s not that there is no need for masking and the other fiddly bits, it’s just that you don’t have to do it yourself.
More photo editing magic
Anyway, other ‘magical’ features that will have you impressed include, how Luminar AI deals with replacing sky backgrounds. And then, allows you to further enhance the overall look and feel of your image based on the characteristics of the sky you have chosen.
More time to explore
“ The most noticeable thing about the new Luminar AI, compared to conventional photo editors, is the lack of steps required to perform an action… ”
Whilst this is notably true, this not to say that you’ll necessarily spend less time editing your photos. In fact, you’ll just have more time for exploring and being creative. What more can you ask for?
At the time of writing Luminar AI is unavailable to the public. So watch this space for new information, subscribe or discover more unsual content at softwarefolder.design
In the past, one of the many roadblocks for many independent musicians attempting to professionally put out their completed music for the first time, was the expenditure involved with the CD duplication of their music tracks, as well as producing the CD artwork and packaging.
And with that came the compromise between going the full length and hiring a designer, or cutting corners?
a well presented music package adds value in a number of both practical and emotional ways that help make your work more memorable.
Of course, if your music is undoubtedly of high quality and desirable to its audience, it may well speak for itself. However, in most cases alongside competition, it goes without saying that, a well presented music package adds value in a number of both practical and emotional ways that help make your work more memorable.
However, in today’s digital world, distributing your music doesn’t necessarily mean producing physical CDs, but to produce a visual component that can translate in both realms in order to tell your story through the many different forms of content. [ Read on ]
1. Starting the process with the CD cover artwork
Now, if you are on route to following conventional practice, you may need to hire a graphic designer to produce the artwork for you.
However, today there are so many of us that are pretty adept at carrying out such tasks ourselves. If this is you, all you’ll need to get started is a CD sleeve template…
Yep! It’s all systems go now with the vector artwork.
With just a little more time on my hands than usual the following is a series of vector artwork illustrations created using my trial version of Affinity Photo. You can learn more about the process starting here.
After recently downloading and playing around with Affinity Designer, a vector drawing package by the generous people at Serif, I guess I just got hooked, making Affinity Designer a definite purchase and recommendation for graphic artists and illustrators.
The following is just some of the artwork examples I created using either, or both, Affinity Designer and Affinity Photo.
Now, what you’ll find about using both programs is that they play quite nicely together. Allowing you to easily copy and paste you vector drawn work from Affinity Designer, into Affinity Photo.
You can then use Affinity Photo for creating more organic tonal images as shown in the example below:
There is one thing to watch out for though, and that is how hungry for disk space these applications can be. So, getting hold of an external hard drive, at least a few terabytes worth, might be a good idea.
Speaking of external hard-drives, and therefore equipment. Most digital artists and illustrators use pen tablets and other tools that help make the drawing or painting process a more natural experience.
However, if you do not have the luxury of such tools and you at least have a decent desktop, or laptop, you can always use your mouse.
Painting with a Brick
Yes, I know, it is kind of like painting with a brick, and a little redundant, but with some practice and patience you can get there. Think of it as an initiation towards perfecting your skills and knowledge using the software.
A round-up of 5 of my favourite Software apps I currently use for; building website pages, creating social media and promotional assets, (CD) record covers and more.
1.WordPress.com / WordPress.org
Well, it goes without saying, WordPress has long been a favourite solution for building both full-blown websites and accompanying custom single page layouts, including landing pages.
Of course, without all the clever plugins available, WordPress may still offer a lot of milage in what you can do. However, it’s the WordPress plugins that really make WordPress such the powerful platform it is known as.
A typical first time encounter with WordPress often leads to the question; What’s the difference between wordpress.com and wordpress.org?
In brief, WordPress.org is the option often chosen by designers, developers and businesses requiring specific website hosting needs, and web server access. This option has been known as Self-hosted.
Meanwhile, WordPress.com is a Managed-hosting solution. Which mostly means that you do not need to worry about all the technical webs server side of things.
2.WordPress Theme & Web Page Builders
Now, this is what really gets me excited, the Website Page Builders. And now there are even theme builders. Which allow you absolute control over how your website pages look.
Of course, there is always the problem of building a website that works across different formats and devices. So maybe some compromise…?
No, not really. There is a WordPress Website Page Builder that will deal with that issue for you. The easiest and most powerful WordPress Website Page Builder to get started with is perhaps Elementor. Which, now also provides full-site-editing capability.
As for exploring an all new Theme Builder, that is currently attracting a fair amount of interest, you’ll need to join the community with a membership account first.
3. Luminar 4
Well, I do bang on a bit regarding Luminar, but that’s only because I find it to be so handy. And it’s really good and achieving satisfying results fast.
However, as I always say, don’t over do it. There is a tendency for both experienced and inexperienced photo-editors to push their photo editing treatments a little too far.
You can even use Luminar 4 as a plugin (or extension) with Adobe Photoshop or Photos for MacOs. So, if you feel Photos for MacOs is a little “Wack” then boost your photo editing artillery with Luminar 4, you’ll be amazed by the results you can achieve in less time than usual.
For me, Affinity Photo is the definitive Photoshop alternative. It allows me to do most of the things I would use Adobe Photoshop for. Although, I have to say that once you’ve used Photoshop anything else is a step backwards.
Fortunately, the compromises aren’t that great for the majority of tasks, and if you are already familiar with Photoshop, you’ll pick-up Affinity Photo pretty fast.
Okay, so to complete the list, I thought perhaps something that will help you pull together all your beautiful art into one place. So you can prepare, manage and ensure that your creative assets are shared and promoted consistently on Social Media and Adverting platforms. Vital for brands…
Now, Easil may remind you of Canva. However, I find that Easil’s approach and direction straight out the gate show an understanding of what creators really want from a Design-it-Yourself solution.
Design-It-Yourself – Social Media Content Creation Tool
Another useful piece of software you may find interesting, is Easil.
Easil is a new, well intended online content creation software that provides team and individual users access to 1000s of social media templates for creating many of the different social media formats, such as for Facebook ads, Pinterest or Instagram stories.
What’s more, you can upload and selectively share your brand assets, including logo, fonts, colours, images and other graphics and brand elements with your team members.
Photo-Artist will just love what you can do with the Luminar 4 app. Easily create photographic styles, or rather, Looks, from your settings. This is a great way of maintaining consistency across a range of photos.
What I really like though, is how you can achieve a near to “illustration” or stylised painterly appearance. And what’s even more beautiful, is how you can save, package, and share your settings as Looks (presets).