Tilt-Shift Effect in Photoshop CS6

Skill level

The new Blur Gallery in Photoshop CS6 contains some pretty neat blurs, but the one everyone is talking about, is Tilt-Shift! Let’s take a look at what it can do!

For those who are unfamiliar with tilt-shifting, it’s an illusion that turns a standard, full scale photo into a miniature version by blurring above and below the subject, to create the perception that the camera is only inches away from the scene.

Previously, this effect would require some pretty snazzy masking, but now in Photoshop CS6, the new Blur Gallery, which can be found under the Filter menu, now contains a Tilt-Shift option.

When this new filter loads, you’re going to see a few elements on your screen which will help create the perfect Tilt-Shift effect. First off, smack in the middle is the Blur Ring, which allows you to not only move the focal point over top of the subject that we want to focus on, but it also allows you to quickly increase or decrease the amount of blur in the Blur Zone by clicking+dragging your mouse around the ring.

Right above and below our Blur Ring, are the rotate handles, which, well, allow you to rotate the focus zone, incase your subjects are on an angle.

Now the lines that the rotate handles sit on, are the focus lines, which you’re able to pull in or out, to increase or decrease the amount of the photo that remains 100% visible.

Next, outside the Focus Zone, you have the Transition and Blur zone, which again, can be controlled by pulling the line in or out.

And finally, on the right, you have the option of adding slight distortion to your blur. By default, the distortion will only be applied to the bottom blur, but if you turn on Symmetric Distortion, both the top and the bottom will be effected.

Pressing OK will show you the final, miniaturized result!

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