Join Nigel French for an in-depth discussion in this video Creating a tilt-shift effect, part of Photoshop for Designers: Filters (2015).
Traditionally, tilt shifting has been used to photograph buildings to avoid the distortion of perspective or key-stoning effect. But recently, and especially in the digital realm, tilt shifting has become synonymous with a sort of toy town, or miniturizing effect such as we see here. We now have a filter that will do this for us. It's part of the Blur Gallery. Bear in mind that, in order to apply this filter and other filters from the Blur Gallery as a Smart Filter, as I am doing here.
You do need to have the very latest. Or, at least, at the time of recording. The latest version of Photoshop, which is CS6, but the version number chronologically 13.1. So let's take a look, I've got two versions here, one with the tilt shift applied horizontally, but then because this is such a vertical picture, I also have one with the tilt shift applied vertically. Let's switch to the beginning file and as always, I will convert to a small object.
And the from the Filter menu, go to Blur and to Tilt Shift. Basically what this is doing is it's blurring from the top and it's blurring from the bottom. What we need to do is get this center point and determine our point of focus. So, I'm just going to drag this down to about there. Since that point of focus is so far down in the image, for this particular image I'm also going to press Cmd minus to zoom out. So I can see this line here, which I'll get to in just a moment.
So I now have the blurring from the top. If I grab the solid lines, this determines my field of focus. So if I want more stuff focused, I can move that back. And if I want less I can move it down. The dotted line determines the gradation of the blur into sharpness. So if I want more stuff blurred, which in this case I think I do, I'm going to drag that dotted line down. And for the bottom blurring I'm going to drag it up. And then we can also determine the amount of blur either with the slider, or numerically over here, or we can use the dial right here to dial in the amount of blur, and I'm going to go for 20 which is probably a little bit too much but just to make the point.
I'll click OK. And there we see our tilt shift effect. And indeed, 20 is quite a bit too much. Probably want to dial that down to about somewhere in the region of 12, I think, on reflection. And that's the beauty of the smart filter. I can just revisit that any time I want to adjust the amount of that blurring. I'm now going to duplicate that, and revisit the filter gallery. Because this time, I actually want it to be vertical.
If you want to rotate your tilt shifting, then you need to hover over these circles. And your cursor will change to a rotate cursor. Since I want to do it pretty much through 90 degrees I'm also going to hold down my Shift key to allow me to do that. And there we have the blurring occurring on the left and on the right, and I can dial in just how much transition I have from blur to sharpness. I can bring my field of focus. Towards the center, or out towards the edges, as necessary.
And one other thing I can do that I didn't mention in the first example is I have this symmetric distortion. So I'm going to leave this one now. And return to the original horizontally applied tilt shift. Because symmetric distortion will make the distortion equal on the top and on the bottom. Without symmetric distortion, it's only the bottom that's going to be distorted. Frankly it doesn't make a whole lot of difference. But if I turn that on, and then increase the distortion.
And now turn it off, you will notice a slight change in the top area of blurring. And I'm not really sure which one I prefer. They're just sort of different. I think I'm going to leave it off actually. So, there we see the simple application of two tilt shift effects. One horizontal and the other vertical.
- Understanding the importance of Smart Filters
- Sharpening with filters
- Creative use of filter blend modes
- Painting in the effect of a filter using filter masks
- Combining filters
Skill Level Intermediate
2. Sharpening: What Every Designer Needs to Know
3. Blurring for Effect
4. Artistic Filters
5. Brush Strokes Filters
6. Working with the Distort Filters
7. Effective Use of the Pixelate Filters
8. Using the Render Filters
9. Creative Use of the Sketch Filters
10. Working with the Stylize Filters
11. Using the Texture Filters
12. Creative Use of the "Big" Filters
13. Applying Camera Raw as a Filter
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