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Layers and Textures in Skylum Luminar vs. Adobe Photoshop

Cracked, dry dirt texture

by Daybreak Gilfillan on Sep 22, 2019

Would you like so as to add some texture and depth to your photographs? This text will inform you every little thing you’ll want to find out about layers and textures in Skylum Luminar versus Adobe Photoshop. It’ll also give in-depth tutorials on the best way to use these packages to create beautiful image results.

Layers and textures may help you set the ending touches in your pictures, and could be a priceless a part of your photograph modifying workflow. You’ll discover find out how to use photograph modifying software to create these effects, in addition to:

  • What layers and textures are
  • The primary differences between using layers and textures in Skylum Luminar versus Adobe Photoshop
  • Learn how to determine which image modifying software program is true in your undertaking
  • Execs and cons of layers and textures in Luminar
  • Execs and cons of layers and textures in Photoshop
  • How you can add layers and textures in both Luminar and Photoshop
  • How to choose between Luminar and Photoshop for creating layers and textures

What Are Layers and Textures?


In case you are a novice photograph editor, utilizing layers in your modifying software program could seem fairly daunting. You could even marvel why you must use them, anyway!

Layers are one of the important modifying instruments you should use. They provide a approach to make modifications to your image without destroying the original picture.

For those who make modifying modifications to your unique image, you possibly can’t all the time undo them when you make a mistake. With layers, you’ll be able to discard the layer you’re engaged on when you don’t like the look of it, and there’s no harm finished.

There are several types of layers, similar to textual content layers and new layers. But for the majority of photograph modifying, you’ll principally be using Adjustment Layers.

It could assist to think about Adjustment Layers as layers that sit on prime of your unique photograph and assist you to tweak it to your satisfaction.

Think of a sandwich: Your unique picture is the slice of bread on the underside. Good, however it needs a lot more to make it a tasty sandwich. A layer of lettuce, maybe another certainly one of hen and a ultimate one in every of mayo? Now you will have a delicious meal.

Adjustment layers permit you to add and alter image elements as you like. Need to add a preset, change saturation/exposure/contrast, and so on.? Do it on a layer.


Textures are layers created from a picture of a textural subject. Consider rough plaster, rocks, walls, and weathered wood. The screenshot under is an instance of a texture:

Cracked, dry dirt texture

Texture overlay layers permit you to add textures to all or part of your picture. Attempt adding a texture to your picture if your modifying isn’t otherwise understanding. Typically, a texture can reserve it and turn it into something else altogether.

You’ll be able to download plenty of free textures from the Web, or exit and photograph your personal. For those who select to shoot your personal, make sure that to shoot RAW information as an alternative of jpegs, because the image resolution might be much greater for photograph modifying later.

In case you are downloading textures, try to discover some of high decision to work with. 300dpi pictures work a lot better than 72dpi photographs.

Also examine the copyright of the pictures you download. Be sure to have permission to make use of them in your photographs before you add them to your pictures.

Most important Variations Between Layers and Textures in Skylum Luminar Versus Adobe Photoshop

Each Luminar and Photoshop modifying software help you use layers, however every editor treats them in a different way in some methods.

Photoshop layers could be Adjustment Layers, Text Layers, New Layers, Duplicate Layers, Group Layers . This modifying software has an enormous amount of Layer choices, as you’ll be able to see under:

Photoshop Layers options pop-up menuPhotoshop Layers options pop-up menu

Then again, the Luminar Layers Panel gives fewer choices and is a stripped-down, far easier model of Photoshop’s Layers.

You only have three layer decisions in Luminar: Add New Adjustment Layer, Add New Picture Layer, or Create Stamped Layer.

Layers menu in LuminarLayers menu in Luminar

Mixing Modes work exactly the same in Photoshop and Luminar. But, in Photoshop, you’ll be able to select an Adjustment Layer that lets you change Curves, Exposure, Gradient, Distinction/Brightness, and so forth:

Blending modes options in PhotoshopBlending modes options in Photoshop

Luminar treats those modifying tools as Filters, not separate Adjustment Layers. In both modifying packages, you possibly can add as many Filters/Adjustments as you want.

Based mostly on these variations, you possibly can determine whether Luminar or Photoshop is true on your specific challenge.

If you could do a variety of difficult layer work, Photoshop will suit your needs better. In it, you possibly can create clipping masks as well as add textures and make adjustment layers.

In case you are just beginning out with photograph modifying, Luminar may be a great place to being. Luminar will permit you o add texture without the confusion of additional layers and choices like Photoshop.

Execs and Cons of Layers and Textures in Skylum Luminar

We’ll now take a look at the great and dangerous features of using Luminar modifying software for layers and textures.


1. RAW file modifying

Luminar has the edge on Photoshop with its RAW image modifying talents. Luminar enables you to upload and edit your RAW information from start to end.

In contrast to Luminar, Photoshop doesn’t open RAW information itself. As an alternative, it’s a must to open them in the Adobe Digital camera RAW image editor first, modify them, then download them into Photoshop as TIFF information to work on.

Most professional photographers shoot RAW information as a result of it captures probably the most image knowledge. RAW information also give one of the best decision when edited, they usually allow you to modify the highlights, shadows, and extra.

A JPEG image format merely isn’t capable of allowing you this much management.

When you shoot your personal textures in RAW, then you possibly can edit them instantly in Luminar earlier than including them to your other pictures.

2. Straightforward to Use

Skylum prides itself on Luminar’s user-friendly interface. An entire beginner to photograph modifying could have no drawback uploading photographs, then modifying and exporting them. With Skylum Luminar, you gained’t need to spend ages looking for tutorials on picture modifying.

three. Has a Particular Texture Overlay Filter

Luminar makes it very straightforward so as to add texture to your picture and blend them together, simply by using the Texture Overlay Filter and Mixing Modes.

4. Straightforward to Add Textures

Utilizing the Texture Overlay Filter makes it very straightforward to add a texture image out of your pc to Luminar in just a few clicks.


1. Could be too Simplistic

The Texture Overlay Filter is great, however it doesn’t provide the high quality control over the feel the best way that Photoshop does. Luminar also has far fewer layer modifying tools than Photoshop. For extra control over you edits, Photoshop is the higher software.

Methods to Add and Edit Layers and Textures in Luminar

Including Layers

Adding layers to Luminar is pretty simple. Go to the Layers Panel, click on the + icon, and choose the kind of layer you need to add. For most modifying purposes, it would be best to select the Add New Adjustment Layer choice.

When you’ve achieved that, you’ll be able to add no matter edits you’d like.

Adding Textures

Step 1: Go to Add Filters on the right-hand aspect of the display, and click on.

Step 2: The Filters Catalog will appear. The Texture Overlay Filter is within the Artistic Filters category:

Filters Catalog in LuminarFilters Catalog in Luminar

Step three: Click on on it, and it’ll open up in the Workspace:

Texture Overlay menu in LuminarTexture Overlay menu in Luminar

This is the picture I’m going so as to add texture to:

As it’s a shot of a seaside pub, I’m going so as to add an ocean texture to the image.

Step four: Decide your texture by clicking on the Load Texture box:

Step 5: Select a texture out of your arduous drive and it will load up over your base image:

Texture image of ocean waves overlaying the pub imageTexture image of ocean waves overlaying the pub image

Notice that the ocean image is above the seaside pub picture.

Step 6: Regulate the Quantity and Zoom sliders to how you need them if needed.

Step 7: Go to Texture Overlay and click on the drop-down arrow. Select Mix from the menu, and all of the Mixing Modes will open up:

Texture Overlay blending options in LuminarTexture Overlay blending options in Luminar

Step eight: Decide your mixing mode. That is the fun part! As you mouse over each Mixing Mode, your picture will change dynamically to point out you what it’s going to appear to be when it’s applied:

I ended up choosing Distinction blend mode because I favored the dramatic end result that changed it from a photograph right into a sort of art image:

As a result of it was so dark, I added an Publicity filter. That lightened it up for the finished end result:

Lightened version of the above imageLightened version of the above image

In fact, you don’t should go up to now or be as dramatic together with your texture overlay. Typically I just can’t assist myself!

You’ll be able to scale back the quantity of texture utilized by shifting the Filters Amount slider. And you may add some other image changes that you simply want earlier than saving and exporting your photograph.

In case you only need to add the feel to certain elements of your image, go the Brush icon on the Texture Overlay heading, and click on it:

Texture Overlay Brush selected in LuminarTexture Overlay Brush selected in Luminar

You possibly can then select to Paint or Erase with the brush. Paint will help you paint your texturing into the image, whereas Erase will allow you to remove it from the image.

Overlayed image with portion of texture over the pub erased using Luminar's Brush Tool.Overlayed image with portion of texture over the pub erased using Luminar's Brush Tool.

Change the comb settings along the top menu bar to be more precise in your modifying.

Execs and Cons of Layers and Textures in Adobe Photoshop

Now, we’ll take a deeper take a look at utilizing Photoshop’s modifying instruments to create layers and textures.


1. An enormous range of image modifying tools

Photoshop is about excess of the layers, however layers are necessary to how Photoshop features. It accommodates a wide range of tools specifically to be used with layers, just like the Clipping Masks, Sensible Objects, and Artboard from Layers.

2. Great for graphic design

It’s because of these modifying tools, and lots of different features, that Photoshop is well-liked with graphic designers as well as photographers.

Photoshop could be very versatile as an modifying software. It may well create animations, add textual content layers to an image, and even edit video. Subsequently, one in every of Photoshop’s largest strengths is its versatility.

3. Professional choice tools

Choice and masking instruments are helpful should you plan on including texture solely to certain areas of your picture.

Photoshop has several choice choices, from the Magic Wand, Pen Software and Magnetic Lasso Device, via to Select Topic. It additionally has a strong edge refining device in Select and Masks.

These instruments will solely make including texture to your picture simpler.

4. Adobe Artistic Cloud

Adobe’s Artistic Cloud presents updates for all its apps, tutorials, Adobe Stock, access to Behance (Adobe’s portfolio creator) and entry to the Artistic Cloud storage.

Adobe Creative Cloud download screenAdobe Creative Cloud download screen

In case you join monthly subscriptions with Adobe, you get 20 GB of storage along with it. 20GB actually isn’t a lot, however you’ll be able to upgrade to 1TB for an additional month-to-month charge.

5. Create your personal textures in Photoshop

Can’t discover a net texture that’s fairly right? You’ll be able to create your personal custom ones in Photoshop to use together with your pictures.

There are lots of tutorials on the web that may train you methods to make your personal textures.


1. Steep learning curve

Photoshop may be arduous for freshmen to study as a result of it accommodates such an enormous amount of modifying instruments. Should you’re on the lookout for a easy and quick means so as to add textures, then Luminar is best on this respect.

How you can Add and Edit Layers and Textures in Photoshop

Adding Layers

Step 1: Open an image in Photoshop, and open up the Layers panel. To add an Adjustment Layer, go to the bottom of the Layers panel, and click on on the circle icon:

Adjustment Layers icon in PhotoshopAdjustment Layers icon in Photoshop

Step 2: A menu with the Adjustment Layers will come up:

Adjustment Layers menu in PhotoshopAdjustment Layers menu in Photoshop

Step 3: Choose the Adjustment Layer you need to add, and it’ll seem on the Layers panel on prime of your base picture. The device will then open up in a separate window so you can also make adjustments:

Curves adjustment layer menu in PhotoshopCurves adjustment layer menu in Photoshop

If you wish to add a New Layer or Duplicate Layer, go to the menu button on the highest proper nook of the Layers panel and select the kind of layer you want within the dropdown:

Adding Textures 

Whereas there’s no devoted Texture Overlay layer like there’s in Luminar, including your textures to Photoshop continues to be a reasonably simple activity.

Step 1: Open your base and texture photographs in Photoshop. 

I’m utilizing this photograph as my base image:

Portrait of blonde woman against pale pink backgroundPortrait of blonde woman against pale pink background

And that is going to be my texture layer:

Rough wall texture imageRough wall texture image

Step 2: Copy and paste your texture layer on prime of your base layer. If you find yourself on the texture layer, click Choose >> All in the prime menu bar. 

Then click Ctrl + C to repeat your picture. Choose the bottom picture and click on Ctrl + V to paste the feel on prime of the base picture.

Step 3: Go to Edit >> Rework or Free Rework to maneuver, scale or rotate your texture image. Once you’re carried out, don’t overlook to press Enter.

You’ll now have two layers:

Image and texture loaded into Photoshop as separate layers in Layers panelImage and texture loaded into Photoshop as separate layers in Layers panel

Step four: Choose the Blending Mode that suits your image. You’ll find the Blending Modes by clicking the drop-down underneath the word Normal within the Layers panel.

Blending modes options in PhotoshopBlending modes options in Photoshop

You possibly can click by means of every one to see what it does. Or, you’ll be able to choose the Move device from the very prime of the toolbar over on the left-hand aspect.

Photoshop's Move Tool (keyboard shortcut v)Photoshop's Move Tool (keyboard shortcut v)

Then maintain down Ctrl and Alt, and press the + or – keys to cycle by means of all the Blending Modes. 

Step 5: Modify the opacity of the texture layer by decreasing the Opacity slider on the Layers panel.

Original portrait image with texture overlayOriginal portrait image with texture overlay

Step 6: Add any additional layers if you wish to make adjustments. Or, add one other texture layer for a stronger effect.

Exposure adjustment layer added to texture layer in PhotoshopExposure adjustment layer added to texture layer in PhotoshopRevised image plus texture overlayRevised image plus texture overlay

Use the identical texture as before or add a unique one. I added a second texture layer of the ocean right here, and then tweaked the publicity:

Overlayed image with additional texture overlay of ocean wavesOverlayed image with additional texture overlay of ocean waves

That’s it, completed!

If you need, you should use masks and brush instruments so that your texture solely seems on certain elements of the image.

Choosing Between Layers and Textures in Skylum Luminar Versus Adobe Photoshop

So, how do you select between the two image editors? There are a number of elements you need to take into accounts before you determine.

What Varieties of Tasks Does Photoshop Handle Greatest?

Photoshop can handle any undertaking from the only photograph modifying up to probably the most difficult graphic design.

Anything that includes a number of picture enhancement and fine-tuning is right for Photoshop, because it has many various image layer options. 

Photoshop additionally permits you to create your personal texture photographs, so you’ll be able to really personalize your work. Including and modifying textual content layers can also be one other helpful Photoshop function.

Photoshop has very professional select and refine edge instruments, which make choosing elements of a picture to add texture to very straightforward. Utilizing these tools will give knowledgeable end result.

Sadly, Photoshop isn’t nice for many who aren’t already conversant in the consumer interface. When you’re a beginner at image enhancement and photograph modifying, prepare to spend a lot of time studying or watching tutorials on the right way to use Photoshop.

What Kinds of Tasks Does Luminar Deal with Greatest?

Luminar is greatest for creating easy layers and adding textures with its Texture Overlay filter. That is nice for those new to photograph modifying, but it’s perhaps too easy for seasoned editors creating difficult texture overlays.

Luminar lacks adjustment layers and as an alternative has changes in the Filter section. You possibly can add a brand new adjustment layer in Luminar, however it doesn’t mean the same because it does in Photoshop. Customers of both image editors might discover this complicated at first.

For those who shoot your personal texture pictures, Luminar has the advantage of permitting you to edit your uncooked information instantly. This allows you to make an publicity fix within the highlights and shadows or your pictures, as well as the mid-tones.

You also don’t get the option to create your personal textures or add text in Luminar. You possibly can add different Filters and Luminar Appears (presets) to your texture pictures although.

Luminar is straightforward for picture enhancement novices to return to grips with. It’s designed for anybody to make use of while not having hours of tutorials.

Must-Have Options for Creating Layers and Textures?

On the naked minimal, an modifying software program should have blending modes and layers to create blended texture photographs.

Each Photoshop and Luminar have them, however as mentioned above, every one has totally different strengths and weaknesses.

Value Distinction Between Luminar and Photoshop?

Luminar Prices

The Luminar photograph editor is accessible for a one-off worth of around $70, however you’ll be able to typically get it for $60 with reductions.

For this worth, you get free software updates and bug fixes, and it’s also possible to entry the Skylum Market. This platform presents free and paid preset packs, LUTs, and more.

Luminar comes with a powerful vary of filters and presets built-in, in addition to an image library, photograph organizer, and uncooked processor.

That’s not dangerous or the worth. For novices trying to study new artistic photograph modifying expertise in a user-friendly interface, Luminar is a superb selection for the cash. 

Luminar can also be out there as a plugin for Photoshop. This plugin, referred to as Luminar Flex, might go well with graphic designers, retouchers, and professional photographers. With Flex, you get all of Luminar’s tools and image enhancement with out having to go away Photoshop. 

Flex provides you the perfect of both worlds if you should use Photoshop but in addition like using Luminar for elements of your image workflow (like me).

In case you’re registered as a Luminar 3 consumer, then you will get Flex free of charge. Should you simply need to buy Flex, you will get it for around $59.

Photoshop Prices

A couple of years ago, Adobe introduced out a change in the best way it priced its picture modifying software program. Adobe modified from a hefty one-off worth for each new version of Photoshop and as an alternative launched monthly subscriptions by way of its Artistic Cloud. 

This was a deeply unpopular transfer with graphic designers, professional and hobbyist photographers, who felt they might end up paying more monthly for having Adobe products than they might if that they had purchased it outright.

That’s definitely true for those who get Photoshop or one other single app on its own, at $20.99 a month. Nevertheless, you will get the Adobe Artistic Cloud Images Plan for $9.99 a month.

This consists of Photoshop, Lightroom Basic, Lightroom CC, Adobe Spark, Behance, and 20GB of storage.

The Artistic Cloud Plan is a superb selection for photographers. Photoshop and Lightroom collectively supply a very complete picture modifying software program bundle.

Adobe Creative Cloud plans and pricing graphic from Adobe.comAdobe Creative Cloud plans and pricing graphic from Adobe.com

For $19.99 a month, you get the identical images plan, with 1TB of file cloud storage. Pictures take up numerous room in your onerous drive, and having a cloud storage plan is a good way to again up your valuable photographs.

Nevertheless, you could nicely be capable of discover cloud storage at a cheaper worth than Adobe’s Artistic Cloud in case you store around.

For many photographers, having Adobe cloud storage for his or her photographs as well as the Images Plan just makes life an entire lot easier (I need to admit, it does for me). 


Including textures via layers and blending modes can add depth and temper to your pictures. You might be as delicate or dramatic in your photograph modifying as you would like, and having the appropriate modifying software could make an enormous distinction in your workflow and finished product.

Hopefully, this text has given you some useful insight into how this form of modifying works. Now you already know the variations between layers and textures in Skylum Luminar and Adobe Photoshop.

I also hope the tutorials and worth comparisons have been helpful in serving to you determine which image editor to make use of. 

In the long run, it is going to come right down to your private preferences, in addition to the type of picture modifying you do. There’s also nothing mistaken with having both picture editors. I have both and use them for various elements of my modifying!

No matter you determine, take pleasure in being artistic with textures and mixing modes. Keep in mind, there’s no such thing as the ‘right’ solution to edit a photograph!

Using layers and textures in Skylum Luminar versus Adobe Photoshop will create nice photographs regardless!

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