Create a toytown world with tilt-shift
Replicate the toy camera effect and add a miniature look to your high-up scenes
For this project, we’re going to be creating a tilt-shift effect in just a few Photoshop steps. The key to success lies in starting with the right image that means that the final edit has the maximum effect. This is because tilt-shift lenses are generally used for architecture, or for images that show an expansive view from a high vantage point. When you’re flicking through potential starter images, try to imagine how that photo might look in miniature style. For this tutorial, our main image shows the rooftops of Florence, was taken from a high viewpoint across the city. Perfect!
Once you’ve got your frame selected, you might want to pre-edit it first in Camera Raw to make any changes before you add the additional tilt-shift effect. For our image, we gave it a Graduated Filter over the sky to make it look less washed out, and boosted the contrast and saturation overall.
Once these tweaks have been made, open the image in Photoshop and apply that characteristic lens blur. It may take a few tries to get the out-of-focus area exactly where you want it, so move it around the gradient until you’re happy with the effect you’ve achieved.