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How to simulate ’tilt-shift’ style and create miniature models

How to simulate ’tilt-shift’ style and create miniature models. Select an appropriate image preferably one taken …

  • in RAW
  • with a wide view in landscape format
  • from a high position
  • with people and/or colurful objects in it.
  •  If using a RAWimage ….

Prepare your raw image by opening up CAMERA RAW (Optional). Alternatively you can launch your image from LIGHTROOM.

Preparatory Stage (this can be done in your preferred image browser)

  • Making any necessary adjustments to exposure
  • Check the size of your image, resize and/or crop as necessary
  • Make sure your image is level
  •  Add little clarity to increase sharpness
  •  Save image

 Open Image in Photoshop

Make sure you are either in Photography or Essentials Mode (Your

active mode will be indicated at the top right edge of your screen)

Make sure your foreground colour is set to BLACK and your background

colour is set to WHITE.

Duplicate Layer (Layer — Duplicate, or by clicking the Layer Icon

situated at the bottom right hand side of the screen) or Command + J

Activate the new layer by clicking on it (a white border will appear

around the box to show it is activated)

Now create a QUICK MASK by hitting the Q key (this will reveal any

necessary adjustments you make to finalise your image)

Now select the GRADIENT TOOL by hitting G on your keyboard. (This is

necessaray for ensuring that the part of the image you want to be sharp

is sharp, and that the rest of the image appears progressively blurred).

After hitting ‘G” you should see a rectangular representation of the

Gradient Tool appear in the options bar at the top left hand side of your

screen (3rd row down immediately under the downward pointing arrow

at the side of this box. This will open up the GRADIENT TOOL SELECTOR.

Now click the fourth box. (If you hold your mouse over it the words

‘Reflected Gradient’ will appear.)

Selecting areas to be sharp and the area to be blurred

We now have to indicate which part of the image will be sharp and

which parts will be blurred. To this draw a line on your image with your

mouse. Start at the point you wish to be sharp and end in the region

where it is to appear blurred.

To start with it is best to draw a vertical line but experiment to ensure

best results. As you do this your image will be over-layed with a red

mask to demonstrate the effect you have selected. Adjust as necessary

by re-drawing the line.

7         Final Steps

  • Now exit the QUICK MASK MODE by hitting Q on the keyboard. You will now see you image has divided into sections. The sections within the’marching ants’ indicate the areas that will appear blurred.

We now have to apply the BLUR.

  • To do so goto FILTER BLUR LENS BLUR. A new window will appear previewing your changes. Make sure you select Octogan 8. Once you
  • are happy with your changes click OK to accept. (Your screen may momentarily revert to a checker-board image before revealing your changes).
  • Now remove the selected areas (shown by marching ants) by clicking Cntrl + D

In order to make the image appear more like a miniature ‘toy scene’

ramp up the the colour and contrast.

To adjust the colour increase SATURATION by going to ….


are the more your image will pop and appear to be realistic.

To adjust the CONTRAST goto the CURVES PANEL by clicking on

IMAGE ADJUSTMENTS CURVES. Make a very slight ’S’ Curve.

You can now SAVE your image as a PSD file or a JPEG files (or both) as

required. Don’t forget that if you have been working on several layers you will need to group them altogether.

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