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Apple Shares Behind the Scenes Look at How the Portrait Lighting Feature Was Created

Apple this evening uploaded a new "Portrait Lighting" video to its YouTube channel, which is designed to give a behind the scenes look at how the Portrait Lighting effects on the iPhone X were created.

Take a look behind the iPhone X and discover the process we went through to create Portrait Lighting. Combining timeless lighting principles with advanced machine learning, we created an iPhone that takes studio-quality portraits without the studio.
In the video, Apple explains that it worked with global image makers and some of the world's best photographers to combine timeless lighting principles with machine learning techniques.

The result was the Portrait Lighting feature available in Portrait Mode on the iPhone X and the iPhone 8 Plus. On iPhone X, Portrait Lighting is available for both the front and rear facing cameras thanks to the TrueDepth camera system, while on iPhone 8 Plus, it's available for shots captured with the rear camera.

Apple's Portrait Lighting feature is designed to use sophisticated algorithms to calculate how your facial features interact with light, creating unique lighting effects.

There are several Portrait mode lighting presets, including Natural Light, Studio Light (lights up your face), Contour Light (adds dramatic shadows), Stage Light (spotlights your face against a dark background), and Stage Light Mono (Stage Light, but in black and white).

Apple has also highlighted Portrait Lighting in several past video ads showing off iPhone X features.

Related Roundup: iPhone X
Buyer's Guide: iPhone X (Neutral)


Top Rated Comments

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13 weeks ago
So many words to describe such a mediocre effect.
Rating: 24 Votes
13 weeks ago
After watching the video, I still have one question left: how the portrait lighting feature was created?
Rating: 20 Votes
13 weeks ago
Here's my quick tl;dr review of Portrait Lighting:

Needs work.
Rating: 17 Votes
13 weeks ago
can someone sue for false advertising? it’s not anything like that
Rating: 13 Votes
13 weeks ago
Nice video Apple, looks amazing. Just make it work for the consumers like the advertisement, i mean, video.
Rating: 12 Votes
13 weeks ago
“studio-quality portraits” ? :)
Rating: 12 Votes
13 weeks ago
The bulk of the kit set up on the left is what we call "the big show." Set up enough stuff and it'll look impressive—now the client knows they're getting their money's worth! This is really a one-light photo—and if you're doing it right, you don't even need the seamless.
Rating: 9 Votes
13 weeks ago

This is great as another over priced industry is gone.


I was just discussing this today. It used to be anyone with a DLSR would call themselves a photographer. Now since everyone with a new smart phone can take their own pictures (better than most “photographers”) the only surviving photographers will be the ones that are actually great. Darwinism of the photography industry.
Rating: 8 Votes
13 weeks ago
This reminds me of when Apple brags about iOS 11 adoption rates.

Does no one at Apple see the quality problems?
Rating: 6 Votes
13 weeks ago
Im a professional portrait photographer, I can say that the portrait mode front and back is fairly good and also can say apple is getting somewhere with this Portrait Lighting effect.
Rating: 6 Votes

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