How to Fake a Tilt-Shift Miniature Photograph in GIMP

Tilt-Shift Photograpy is a great technique to experiment with and if you don’t want to spend your money on a new lens then it is possible to replicate the effect, and in this tutorial I’ll show you how to achieve this effect!

Fake Tilt-Shift Miniature in GIMPFake Tilt-Shift Miniature in GIMP

1. Choosing the Photo!

  • The first and hardest step is selecting the right photograph to use with this technique, the optimum photo is one that was shot high up above the subject and a substantial distance away, otherwise the effect of it being miniature cannot be emphasised well.
  • I’ve chosen this one from Amboise, France – photographed high up above the streets from the Chateau:
Choosing the right Photograph!Choosing the right Photograph!

2. Duplicate + Focus Blur

  • Duplicate the ‘Background‘ layer:
  • Blur the copied layer ‘Background Copy‘ go, Filters –> Blur –> Focus Blur:
  • Change the ‘Diffusion Model and Radius’ setting to ~10.00, as shown:
  • Note: It may require a small amount of tweaking to get a desired blur.
Duplicate Background + Focus BlurDuplicate Background + Focus Blur

3. Add Layer Mask + Rectangle Select

  • Add a New Layer Mask, *Right Click* > Add Layer Mask, (on ‘Background Copy’):
  • Select White (simple hit enter):
  • Using the Rectangle Select Tool select the area of focus, with settings: Feather 100%:
Add Layer Mask + Rectangle Select ToolAdd Layer Mask + Rectangle Select Tool

  • Fill selection with the Paint Bucket: Black, or go Colors –> Invert:
Paint Bucket Tool: BlackPaint Bucket Tool: Black

4. Refining the Blurring (Optional)

  • You might like to further refine the edges of the blurring, by grabbing the Paint Brush: White, Circle Fuzzy
  • On the Layer Mask touch up the areas that are of non-interest:
Refining the Blurring Refining the Blurring

6. Saturate for a ‘Plastic’ look of a Model

  • Firstly, apply the Layer Mask, *Right Click* > Apply Layer Mask, and *Right Click* > Merge Visible Layers:
  • Go, Colors –> Hue/Saturation: Increase saturation until happy with the look!
Saturate for a 'Plastic' Look!Saturate for a ‘Plastic’ Look!

That’s It! Here is the Before/After:

Before/After Tilt-Shift Miniature EffectBefore/After Tilt-Shift Miniature Effect

You might like to try the selective focus in a vertical orientation:

Vertical Selective FocusVertical Selective Focus

If you get stuck anywhere just comment below!


One Response to How to Fake a Tilt-Shift Miniature Photograph in GIMP

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