Fake a tilt-shift miniature in Photoshop

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Tilt-shift fake

This technique has many been called many names. Fake model train, miniature city, “The legoland look” but I’m quite sure that the most common is faking tilt-shift. You can get lenses that can do tilt-shift, but for a hobby photographer like me, this isn’t really an option as they are expensive. I’m also sure that I wouldn’t be using it often so I can’t justify the cost of one. Now let’s get to it.

The original image, I know it's bad

Here is what I did:
I opened my photo i Photoshop and duplicated the layer (ctrl-j).
Press Q to change into quickmask mode, get out your gradient tool and change the mode to reflected gradient. Press D and then X to get white and black in you palet with white in front.
Drag a line from where you want the image to be sharpest and out a bit.
Click out of quickmask mode and go to Select – Inverse. Now go to filter – blur – lens blur.
Here you really have to play with the number to make it work. I went with radius of 75 and brightness on 50.
After this it’s just playing with adding sharpness and other effect to the image to make it work for you.

I have found that this works best with images shot from above, but play with it. Tell me how it went 🙂




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