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Maximizing Flexibility in Luminar for Future Edits

Image by Richard Harrington

As you work on your photos in Luminar, you might not realize how much flexibility you have when you save your files. Personally, I find it very useful to be able to save my edited photo with all of its layers and effects in a “live” state.  This is done using a “native” file.

Save As Dialog on the Mac


Save As Dialog on the PC

Going Native

Whether you work with a PC or a Mac, you can choose to save your work as a native Luminar project file (its file extension is .lmnr).  What this means is that several essential Luminar features can be easily modified in the future.

  • Raw Develop. The actual raw file or source image is tucked inside your Luminar project.  When you reopen the project file, you can start editing where you left off and easily make changes to your file with access to all the resolution and image data of the native camera file.

  • Filters. Any filters you applied are still in a completely editable state.  Every slider is in the position you left it, but you can remove, add, or adjust filters with great flexibility.

  • Layers. All layers are intact; you can adjust their blending modes and opacity settings, as well as tweak the stacking order.

  • Masks. Any masks applied to layers can be edited or removed.

  • Texture Overlays. Any textures loaded into the Texture Overlay effect are embedded.  You can also adjust the blending and effects for the texture

  • LUTs. If you add in a custom lookup table to are LUT Mapping effect, its embedded inside. No need to worry about where the original is stored or a need to track things down.

How to Save a Native File

As you design using layers, filters, and masks, it’s a good idea to capture that work from time-to-time. To make this easy, Luminar offers a native file format. Saving as a native file means capturing the edits for future revision.


Saving on a Mac

Saving a native file on a Mac is a little different than a PC.  With a photo open in Luminar and edits applied, you can create a native Luminar file.

1. To save your work in progress, press Cmd+S on your keyboard or choose File > Save....   A new dialog opens.

2. Choose a new location to store the saved file on your hard drive, an attached disk, or using a Cloud storage provider.

3. Check the Save original resources to Document if you want to store the original raw file, plus any stored elements like LUTs or textures inside the document. This makes a larger file, but its a very good idea.

4. If only working on a Mac, you can choose to Save history to Document. This stores all your undos and steps with the file.  This option is currently incompatible with Windows (but will come later this year).

5. Check the option for Windows compatible if you want a file that can be opened on a windows machine.  This ensures that the Save original resources to Document is checked and the Save history to Document option is unheeded.

6. Give the file a descriptive name.

7. Click the Save button to write to disk.

Your work is saved in its current state so that you can later continue from the same point.  The file is saved in the proprietary Luminar file format and cannot be opened with another application. For other software to use images created using Luminar, you’ll need to Export the file.


    Saving on a PC

    Saving a native file on a PC is also different than a Mac.  With a photo open in Luminar and edits applied, you can save as a native Luminar file.

      1. To save your work in progress, press Ctrl+S on your keyboard or choose File> Save....   A new dialog opens.

        2. Choose a new location to store the saved file on your hard drive, an attached disk, or using a Cloud storage provider.

          3. There is no option to deselect for saving the original resources.  This is the default on Windows and can’t be skipped.

            4. Currently, on Windows, there is no option to Save the editing history to a document.  However, all filters, masks, and layers are live and fully editable.

              5. Give the file a descriptive name.

                6. Click the Save button to write to disk.

                Your work is saved in its current state so that you can later continue from the same point.   The file is saved in the proprietary Luminar file format and cannot be opened with another application. For other software to use images created using Luminar, you’ll need to Export the file.


                Be sure to make native Luminar files a key part of your workflow.

                Richard Harrington, Pro Photographer
                www.richardharrington.com

                Richard Harrington regularly explores the fusion of photography and video. He is also the founder of RHED Pixel, a visual communications company based in Washington, D.C. and a well-known author. Rich has published over 150 courses on Lynda.com. Rich has authored several books including From Still to Motion, Understanding Photoshop, and Creating DSLR Video.

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