Luminar NEO: How to use the Details Tool

luminar neo May 24, 2022
Luminar NEO Details Tool

The Details Tool offers a great way to get additional control over how details and textures are showcased in your images. The key is the ability to selectively control detail and sharpen with much more precision as the tool targets different levels of detail to different sized elements in your photo.

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In this article:



What is the Details Tool

The Details tool helps you create dramatic photos and brings crystal-clear sharpness to your images. You can make your photos look sharp with the proper detail enhancement, with no halos or artefacts.



Introducing the Details Tool sliders


Standard Settings

Small Details

This slider sets the sharpness of fine details. At 0, the tool is not applied. Moving the slider to the right increases the clarity of small details, while moving it to the left washes out fine details.

Medium Details

This slider sets the sharpness of medium-sized details. At 0, the tool is not applied. Moving the slider to the right increases the clarity of medium-sized details, while moving it to the left decreases their sharpness.

Large Details

Use this slider to set the sharpness of the global contours of objects in the image. At 0, the tool is not applied. Moving the slider to the right increases the sharpness of global contours, while moving it to the left decreases their sharpness.


The Sharpen tool helps focus soft edges in a photo to increase the clarity of focus. Use this tool to improve image quality significantly. However, remember that too much sharpening can give your photo a grainy look.

👍 On most screens, sharpening results can be seen at a 100% or higher Zoom level, so zoom in!


Details Masking

Details Protection

To ensure that areas of the image aren't over-processed, use the Details Protection slider.

Details Masking

This dynamic masking tool allows you to reveal details only in appropriate areas and help you define your image's sharpness.


Sharpening Masking

Sharpening Radius

This slider allows you to adjust the distance from contrast edges at which the sharpening effect is applied.

Sharpening Masking

This slider controls the zone in which details are amplified. Moving it to the left increases the size of the zone and makes the image more detailed. Moving it to the right reduces the size of the zone of sharpened zones.

👍 Optimal masking comes from a setting in the range of 30 to 70.

👍 You can use a negative amount of Details to create a blur effect. For precise control, pull the slider to the left for a negative effect that creates a blur.


Getting started with the Details Tool

Use the Small, Medium, and Large Details sliders and the Sharpen slider and get a nice pop in detail. The three Details sliders bring out the rich textures of the subjects. The Sharpen slider makes edges crisp and provides an overall evenness to the details. The advanced controls are there to fine-tune the look if and when you need it.

Details Tool: 

  • Open the image in Luminar NEO by using the Add Photos button (Cmd/Ctrl + O) in the Catalog module.
  • Move to Edit module (E)
  • Then, navigate to the Details tool in the Essentials section of the editing toolbar (right side)
  • Open the tool by clicking on the down-arrow at the end of the tool
  • Zoom in to 100% (Cmd/Ctrl + 1) to better understand the details adjustments.
  • Start by adjusting the overall sharpening with the Sharpen slider
  • Depending on the texture and desired look, use the Small, Medium and Large details sliders to finish the details edit.
  • For local adjustments, use the Masking Tool and Denoise Masking options.


Details Tool video tutorial

Watch the full video tutorial covering all sliders in this tool.




Luminar NEO

Luminar Neo is the latest editing software from Skylum. It was announced back in September 2021, and it's been highly anticipated since.

Luminar Neo is an AI-powered photo editing software. Skylum has said that Neo isn't replacing their previous release—Luminar AI. But Neo sets out to fix some of the issues users faced with Luminar AI.

We were impressed with the AI tools in Luminar AI. But like many others, we encountered performance issues. Luminar Neo uses the same AI tools, but the new high-speed core engine improves speed and performance.

Luminar Neo isn't just more of the same. We're happy to see Skylum has taken Neo in a different direction, adding layer and mask AI tools to the program. This broadens Neo's appeal, taking it in an Adobe Photoshop direction.

Learn more about Luminar NEO here.

Use one of our discount codes: CPNEO10 will give you a 10% discount - CP10 will give you a $10 discount.


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