Skylum has released a Luminar 2018 update that brings its new AI Sky Enhancer filter to the image editing software. The new tool works "almost instantly" to improve the sky in photos, only requiring the user to adjust a slider, according to the company. AI Sky Enhancer replaces the masks and filters that would otherwise be used to enhance skies.

The new tool was created by Skylum's AI Lab and is powered by a deep neural network that was trained using hundreds of thousands of images. Luminar uses the enhancer to detect and adjust only the skies in images, including ones that are cloudy, partly sunny, bright blue, and more.

Skylum offers a long look at how AI Sky Enhancer works in a new blog post, where it explains that the tool relies on semantic segmentation, in part, to separate an image into layers based on detected objects. By doing this, AI Sky Enhancer is able to adjust the sky independent of other image elements while keeping issues like noise and halos to a minimum.

The software automatically applies a mask to the sky in these images, working to selectively adjust elements like brightness and contrast as the user moves the tool's slider. "Every parameter is applied selectively, as if you were doing it yourself using masking and layers," the company explains in its post.

The AI Sky Enhancer update is free for Luminar 2018 and arrives ahead of Luminar 3 with Libraries, which will be available starting December 18. Skylum will offer all of its new Luminar features for free to current Luminar 2018 owners until "late 2019," it explains on its website. The application is available to purchase through Skylum for $59/€59/£53.