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Tilt-Shift Photoshop Tutorial

Updated on September 22, 2014

Creating Fake Tilt-Shift Using Photo Editing Software

I have an obsession of creating miniature model-like shots, which is widely known as tilt-shift effect.

At the moment, the easiest way to achieve this kind of shot is using a tilt-shift lens.

Unfortunately, the tilt-shift lenses are quite expensive, and I started to search for an inexpensive way of turning my photograph into a miniature-like shot.

On this page, you'll find a very easy step-by-step tutorial of creating fake tilt-shift effect using Adobe Photoshop. Further down the page, I also lists free online photo editor which allows you to upload your own picture and create your own miniature like photos.

Note: This page contains lots of images, so please wait until all images are loaded correctly. I've reduced the image size to 550pixel so the page will load faster. You can click on the image to see its larger version. All images will be opened in Photobucket and are copyrighted to Deyani.

What is Tilt-Shift Effect?

Tilt-shift effect is basically creating a miniature-like photograph. It can be achieved by using the expensive tilt-shift lenses, in which the photographer manipulates the angle of the camera & the depth of field to make some part of the image focused and blurred.

By blurring some part of the image, it will create an illusion that the more focused object is smaller when comparing with the blurred object.

Tutorial of how to create tilt-shift effect on Photoshop

For the purpose of this tutorial, I used this picture below:

Feel free to download the picture and use it for this tutorial only.

After applying the tilt-shift effect, the image looks like this:


- Open the picture that you want to create the tilt-shift effect

- Press Ctrl-J to duplicate the layer.

Tips: Never work on the original layer, always duplicate the layer to do your Photoshop work

- On this duplicate layer, rename it to "Tilt-Shift Effect"

- Press Q to activate the Quick Mask Mode


- Press G to activate the gradient tool

- Choose the Reflected Gradient and tick on the transparency box


- Draw the gradient vertically, from the point where you want the focus to be, to the part where you want the focus to end.

As an example, for the image below, I want the focus to be at middle of the image, hence, the vertical line starts and ends at the middle of the image.

Tips: This technique requires lots of practice. So if you're not happy with your first attempt, try it again and again until you're happy with your focus selection.


- After applying the gradient, your picture will look something like the picture below. The blurred part of your image will be in red (transparent).


- If you're happy with the focus selection, turn off the Quick Mask Mode simply by pressing Q

- On a standard mode, you'll see part of the image is selected. Note: This part is the focus part.


- Press Ctrl-F or Go to Filter - Blur - Lens Blur to blur some part of the image

- Important: tick on the invert box. It will make the selection area focused and the other area blurred.

- You can change the settings of the shape, radius, rotation, etc here. Activate the preview, so you'll see how the changes effect your image

- After applying the lens blur, my image looks like this:


- Tune-up the image using hue/saturation setting. Play with it until you're happy with your final image.

The final image will look like this:

Create your very own tilt-shift picture online

If you do not have Photoshop or any other photo-editing software, now you can create your very own tilt-shift picture on these two websites below.

It's very easy, just upload your picture on the website, adjust the setting / blur / strength / focus point and when you're done, save it to your computer. You can re-touch as many pictures as you want, for free!

1. Tilt-Shift Maker

My favorite tilt-shift online generator, simple upload your picture in jpeg/jpg format, play with its user-friendly focus size to adjust the image selection, and you're done. Moreover, there is an advanced controls to enhance your image's color, defocus the strength and the gradients as well as adjusting the bokeh shape.

2. Arts & Mobile - Tilt-Shift Generator

Another favorite of mine, this is originally an i device application, but now we can simply open the image and apply the tilt-shift effect on Arts & Mobile website. After you're done, just save your image to your computer. Extremely easy.

Tilf-Shift Lens

Creating a tilt-shift effect on Photoshop is a cheat-way of producing a tilt-shift effect on our picture.

If I win a lottery, I would love to purchase the tilt-shift lens. It will bring my photography journey to a new level.

Thank you for visiting my Tilt-Shift Photo Editing Resources. Hope you'll find it useful.

If you have other way of doing fake tilt-shift effect on Photoshop or other photo-editing software, I'd love to hear from you. I discovered tilt-shift photography three weeks ago, so at the moment, I am still learning about this amazing effect.

And if you have any other comment / feedback, feel free to leave your feedback below.


Submit a Comment
  • profile image


    8 years ago

    awesome tut, thanks alot :)

  • profile image


    8 years ago

    love this effect & very well explained. Nice lens, time for me to go try this I think :) xx

  • profile image

    CherryDavis LM 

    8 years ago

    I love tilt shift! I need to do some of these myself!

  • profile image


    8 years ago

    great...i love tilt shift :)

  • profile image


    8 years ago

    Impressive lens, thumbs up

  • DianaPrice LM profile image

    DianaPrice LM 

    8 years ago

    Great lens! I love the effect!

  • profile image


    9 years ago

    saya juga suka fotografi ni.. nice share sis

  • profile image


    9 years ago

    I'll try!

  • profile image


    9 years ago

    good tutorial for photo editing thanks

  • indigoj profile image

    Indigo Janson 

    9 years ago from UK

    What a wonderful tutorial. This is just the kind of thing I love to play around with. I don't have Photoshop but will have a go with my photo editor and see what I can come up with!

  • mbgphoto profile image

    Mary Beth Granger 

    9 years ago from O'Fallon, Missouri, USA

    Very interesting....I was wondering what tilt-shifting was about. Blessed.

  • profile image

    kguru1979 lm 

    9 years ago

    Great explanation about tilt shifting...!

  • TheLittleCardShop profile image

    Malu Couttolenc 

    9 years ago

    Fantastic tutorial. will try it. The final image looks awesome :)

  • Lee Hansen profile image

    Lee Hansen 

    9 years ago from Vermont

    Great tutorial and a fascinating photo technique that's new to me.

  • hlkljgk profile image


    9 years ago from Western Mass

    great tutorial - thanks

  • ZenandChic profile image


    9 years ago

    This lens is featured on Ten Great Photography Tips

  • Fox Music profile image

    Fox Music 

    9 years ago

    Thank you for this Heads Up Information on Tilt-Shift Phototography

  • profile image


    9 years ago

    I will most certainly try it out. I love miniatures - I mean real ones - and this will give me plenty to play with!

  • pixelposy profile image


    9 years ago

    I love tilt-shift photography. The tiny worlds are amazing, I think you see more in the scene, then if they weren't done tilt-shift. I thought you might enjoy this tilt-shift movie I came across awhile back. It's by Keith Loutit called Little Sydney, I wrote about it at

    He has quite a few other good ones. Thanks for the enjoyable lens and photoshop tutorial, love those equally!

  • ZenandChic profile image


    9 years ago

    Very cool lens! I am blessing it and putting it on my photography tips lens!

  • profile image


    9 years ago lens! ^^

  • profile image


    9 years ago

    nice lens gan....

  • profile image


    9 years ago

    bener nih dah master, tiap lens nya detil dan bagus. you rock !!


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