Sunday, January 19, 2014

Tilt Shift Miniature Effect in Photoshop - How To

trees in winter
I love the tilt shift effects that you are seeing lately where you take an actual scene and make it look like a model. The opening credits for Sherlock have some beautiful ones. The look reminds me of old View Master reels. I keep trying different methods and this is my favorite so far. I started with the excellent tutorial on We Graphics and made some changes.

I thought about doing a full tutorial but this so easy it only takes a few minutes.

   Place you photo in Photoshop.
   Command J to duplicate the layer
   Filter > Blur > Lens Blur. I can't give you the settings to use since it varies with the photo, all three examples were different. Play with the sliders until you are happy with the blur.
   Add a Layer Mask. It's the icon on the bottom of the Layers Palette that resembles a camera (a rectangle with a circle inside it).
   Use a soft brush with black to paint out the areas you want to be crisp. I painted the center trees, the Segway riders, Paul Bunyon and Babe. If you make a mistake, paint over it with white.
   You might need to bump up the contrast. If you do, Duplicate the Layer, by pressing Command J and apply an Overlay Blending Mode. Paul has an Overlay blending mode, the others do not.

segway riders on the stone arch bridge in Minneapolis, MN

Paul Bunyan and Babe the Blue Ox Roadside Attraction Bemidji

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