How to Create a Fake Miniature Model Using Tilt-Shift Lens Effect in Photoshop (Video)

This tutorial will allow you to use ’tilt shift’ effect to make your photos look like miniature models!

You will need to take a photograph where you are looking down on the subject, just as if you were looking down on a model village. You can also grab one off Google images if you have a phobia of heights – but don’t go publishing anything without permission. 

tilt shift photography

Here’s a video tutorial – our transcript can be found below. We’ll teach you lots more tools and techniques like this on our Photoshop course.

  • To start off with you will need a new layer and make a copy of the original image.
  • You will then need to put a blank layer mask on that, from that you need to decide which part of the image you want to turn into a miniature model.
  • Once you have decided, you need to use the gradient tool, and choose the reflective gradient.
  • You will need to make sure you have black as the foreground colour and you have set the gradient to foreground- to-transparent option.
  • Then drag the gradient over the part of the image that you want to turn into a miniature model.
  • Next, make sure you’re working on the picture and not the mask- Go to Filter – Blur – Lens Blur (or Gaussian Blur if you don’t have Lens Blur).
  • Make sure the source is set to Layer Mask.
  • Play with the Radius depending on how you want the image to look.
  • Use the Paint Brush on the Layer Mask to add or remove various parts of focus on the image.
  • Finally you want to, working on the original Background Layer, bring the Saturation up and Sharpen the image slightly.

Image by Leandro returns on Flickr

Similar posts you may like:

  1. Tutorial: How to Make a Lightsaber in Photoshop
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  3. Photoshop Quick Mask Tutorial
  4. Photoshop Shortcuts
  5. Tried and Tested: Top 5 Features in Photoshop CS5


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Aaron Charlie

Aaron Charlie is a Creative Design & IT expert at Silicon Beach Training. Connect with Aaron on Google+

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