Removing Backgrounds: Photoshop vs Luminar Neo

Cristi Kerekes
4 Feb 202411:54

TLDRIn this video, the user compares the background removal capabilities of two popular photo editing softwares, Photoshop and Luminar Neo. The comparison is conducted in two stages: a one-click stage where the software automatically selects the subject, and a refine stage where the user manually improves the selection. After testing on three different images, it's found that Photoshop performs better with more precise and defined edges, especially in the second stage where manual tools are used for refinement. However, Luminar Neo also shows promise, particularly with simpler subjects, and is noted for its effectiveness in other AI-powered tasks such as sky replacements. The video concludes that while Photoshop is more developed in selection tools, Luminar Neo is a strong contender, especially for users looking for AI-based photo editing solutions.


  • 🤖 **AI Background Removal Comparison**: A detailed comparison between Photoshop and Luminar Neo on their AI capabilities to remove backgrounds from images.
  • 🔍 **Initial AI Performance**: Photoshop's cloud-based 'Select Subject' feature outperformed Luminar Neo in the first test, providing more precise initial results.
  • 🎨 **Refinement Tools**: In refining selections, Photoshop offered clearer edges and more precise tools, earning it another point over Luminar Neo.
  • 🏔️ **Contrast in Imagery**: Luminar Neo performed better with a high-contrast image of a ski jumper, demonstrating its strength with simpler subjects.
  • 🛩️ **Complex Imagery Challenge**: Photoshop struggled with complex imagery like an airplane, but its cloud-based AI selection method eventually triumphed.
  • ✈️ **Photoshop's Edge**: Despite being a more mature software, Photoshop's combination of AI and manual controls provided better control over selection edges.
  • 📈 **Luminar Neo's Potential**: Luminar Neo showed promise with AI for simple objects but needs more precise selection tools and manual control options.
  • 🔧 **Manual Controls Desire**: There's a desire for more manual control over selection edges in Luminar Neo to improve its performance.
  • 🌟 **Photoshop's Market Experience**: Photoshop's long-standing presence in the market has allowed it to refine its tools for more accurate and controllable selections.
  • 🎉 **Viewer Engagement**: The video encourages viewer interaction by asking for the name of a Star Wars robot featured in the test image.
  • 👨‍💻 **Professional Tips**: The video promises a future tutorial on a professional trick for cutting out trees in Photoshop, addressing a common selection challenge.

Q & A

  • What is the main topic of the transcript?

    -The main topic of the transcript is a comparison between two software applications, Photoshop and Luminar Neo, in terms of their ability to remove backgrounds from images using AI technology.

  • How are the tests in the transcript divided?

    -The tests are divided into two stages: the one-click stage, where the software is allowed to work without any additional input from the user, and the refine stage, where the user utilizes the tools within the programs to improve the results.

  • What is the first image used in the transcript to test the software?

    -The first image used is a photo of a Star Wars robot, and the audience is encouraged to comment with the robot's name for fun.

  • How does Luminar Neo perform in the one-click stage for the Star Wars robot image?

    -Luminar Neo performs well in the one-click stage, detecting the main subject and making a good initial selection, but it misses some parts, particularly on the edges.

  • What are the two options available in Photoshop for the 'Select Subject' feature?

    -The two options in Photoshop for the 'Select Subject' feature are 'Device', which creates faster results by analyzing images locally on the user's machine, and 'Cloud', which is processed in the cloud and is supposed to be trained better.

  • Which software won the first stage of the challenge for the Star Wars robot image?

    -Photoshop won the first stage of the challenge for the Star Wars robot image, as it was more precise and had better defined edges.

  • What tool in Photoshop is used to refine the selection and make the edges smoother?

    -The 'Select and Mask' panel in Photoshop is used to refine the selection, with tools like 'Smoothness', 'Contrast', and 'Shift Edge' available to improve the edges.

  • How does Luminar Neo's refinement process compare to Photoshop's in the second stage of the challenge?

    -Luminar Neo's refinement process is more straightforward but lacks the precision and control that Photoshop offers. Photoshop allows for more detailed work and better control over the edges of the selection.

  • Which software won the second photo challenge with the ski jumper image?

    -Luminar Neo won the second photo challenge with the ski jumper image, as it provided a cleaner result and better handled the subject's fingers and the complex background area.

  • What is the final score between Photoshop and Luminar Neo after the airplane image challenge?

    -The final score after the airplane image challenge is Photoshop with 4 points and Luminar Neo with 2 points.

  • What is the conclusion about the two software applications in terms of selection tools and AI capabilities?

    -Photoshop is better developed in terms of selection tools, offering more control over edges and a robust combination of AI and manual controls. Luminar Neo, while a newer AI-powered software, performs well with simple objects but would benefit from more precise selection tools and manual controls.



🤖 AI Cutout Challenge: Photoshop vs Luminar Neo

This paragraph introduces a cutout challenge between two softwares, Photoshop and Luminar Neo, to determine which performs better in automatically cutting out subjects from images. The speaker has prepared images for the test and plans to rate the software based on their performance in two stages: a one-click stage with no manual intervention and a refine stage where manual tools are used to improve the selection. The first image tested is a Star Wars robot, and the process of using both softwares to cut it out from the background is described, noting the areas where each software excels and where they falter.


🖌️ Refining the Cutout: Tools and Techniques

The second paragraph details the process of refining the cutout selection using the tools available in both Photoshop and Luminar Neo. The speaker discusses the use of refinement brushes in Luminar Neo and the challenges faced when dealing with similar colors. In Photoshop, the use of the polygonal lasso tool and other manual adjustments are highlighted to improve the selection. The paragraph concludes with a comparison of the refined results from both softwares for the second image, a ski jumper, and the speaker awards points based on the clarity of edges and the precision of the tools used.


✈️ Comparing Advanced Selections: Airplane Image Test

The third paragraph presents the challenge of cutting out an airplane from its background using both softwares. The speaker expresses disappointment with the initial results from Luminar Neo and describes the process of refining the selection. In contrast, Photoshop's cloud-based selection method is praised for its improved results. The paragraph concludes with a comparison of the refined results from both softwares and the speaker's opinion that Photoshop, despite being on the market for a longer time, offers better developed selection tools and more control over the edges. The speaker also acknowledges Luminar Neo's strengths in other AI tasks and hints at a future video on a special trick for cutting out trees in Photoshop.




Artificial Intelligence (AI) refers to the simulation of human intelligence in machines that are programmed to think like humans and mimic their actions. In the context of the video, AI is used to automate the process of cutting out subjects from their backgrounds in photos, which is a significant theme of the video as it compares the effectiveness of AI in Photoshop and Luminar Neo.


Adobe Photoshop is a widely used software for image editing and manipulation. It is mentioned in the video as one of the two software options being compared for their AI-based background removal capabilities. Photoshop is known for its advanced tools and long-standing presence in the market, which gives it an edge in precision and control over the selection process as discussed in the video.

💡Luminar Neo

Luminar Neo is a newer photo editing software that utilizes AI to assist with various photo editing tasks. In the video, it is compared to Photoshop in terms of its ability to remove backgrounds from images using AI. The software is noted for its AI capabilities and is seen as a contender against the more established Photoshop, particularly for its simplicity in handling certain types of images.

💡Background Removal

Background removal is the process of separating the subject of a photo from its background. It is the central challenge of the video, where the effectiveness of AI in both Photoshop and Luminar Neo is evaluated. The video demonstrates the different approaches each software takes to achieve this, with a focus on the accuracy and ease of use.

💡Object Selection

Object selection is a photo editing technique where a specific part of an image is isolated from the rest. In the video, object selection is a key aspect of the background removal process. Both Photoshop and Luminar Neo use AI to attempt automatic object selection, with varying levels of success as demonstrated in the comparison.


Refinement in the context of the video refers to the manual adjustment of the AI's initial selection to improve the accuracy of the background removal. The video discusses the tools available in both Photoshop and Luminar Neo for refining selections, highlighting the differences in usability and effectiveness between the two programs.

💡Cloud Processing

Cloud processing is a method where data or tasks are processed on remote servers via the internet, rather than on the local machine. Photoshop's 'cloud' option for subject selection is mentioned as a more advanced and potentially better-trained AI method compared to the 'device' option, which processes images locally.

💡Polygonal Lasso Tool

The Polygonal Lasso Tool in Photoshop is a selection tool used for making straight-edged selections. It is highlighted in the video as a precise tool for refining edges during the background removal process, particularly useful for complex shapes or areas that the AI might not accurately select.

💡Smoothness and Contrast

Smoothness and contrast adjustments are techniques used to improve the quality of an image's edges. In the video, these adjustments are used in Photoshop to refine the selection edges, making them smoother and more defined, which is crucial for a professional-looking result after background removal.

💡Edge Refinement

Edge refinement is the process of manually adjusting the edges of a selection to improve the final output's quality. The video compares the edge refinement tools and techniques available in both Photoshop and Luminar Neo, noting that Photoshop offers more precise control over these adjustments.

💡AI Editing

AI editing involves using artificial intelligence to assist in the editing process, often to automate complex tasks. The video explores how AI editing can be combined with manual controls in Photoshop to achieve high-quality results, suggesting that while AI can be powerful, a combination with human input can be more effective.


AI-powered background removal is simple but not perfect in both Photoshop and Luminar Neo.

Photoshop and Luminar Neo are compared in a cutout challenge using various images.

The challenge is divided into a one-click stage and a refine stage for each software.

Luminar Neo's background removal feature is smart but misses some parts of the subject.

Photoshop's object selection tool offers two options: device and cloud, with the latter providing better results.

In the first stage, Photoshop is more precise with better defined edges.

Luminar Neo's refinements brush allows for real-time adjustments but struggles with similar colors.

Photoshop provides more precise tools for refining selections compared to Luminar Neo.

The second image test shows Luminar Neo performing better in the one-click stage.

Photoshop's cloud option significantly outperforms its device option for the ski jumper image.

Luminar Neo is quicker in the refinement stage for the ski jumper, earning it a point.

Photoshop's advanced manual controls give it an edge in refining selections.

In the airplane image test, Photoshop's cloud AI performs better in the one-click stage.

Luminar Neo struggles with complex selections in the airplane image.

Photoshop's manual tools provide more control and confidence in refining selections.

Photoshop is determined to be better for selection tools, combining AI and manual controls effectively.

Luminar Neo is praised for its AI capabilities in simpler objects and other tasks like sky replacements.

The video offers a trick for cutting out trees in Photoshop, promising to make it an easy task.