How To – Tilt Shift


In this project we wanted to ricreate the Tilt Shift effect in a couple of simple movie clips filmed in timelapse using Adobe After Effects and Adobe Premiere.

Tilt-shift photography (or “miniature faking”) is a photographic genre that seems to have been gaining popularity in the last few years. Essentially, it’s taking a photograph of a real-world scene and making it look like a miniature scene, such as you’d find in a model railroader’s setup. This effect is also applied to video shots and the effect is the same of photography. Although, the “miniature effect” is not the only effect you can obtain using Tilt Shift.

The tools we used are:

– Canon 600d

– 18-50 mm lens

– Camera tripod

– Adobe After Effects

The scenes we used to reproduce the miniature faking were taken in Turin; some positioning the camera at:

-Parco Dora


-Two balconies in San Salvario and one in Cenisia.

While filming it’s important to find a panoramic point of view of a city or a space in which there are a lot of movements (like running car or moving crowds) trying to find the best distance between the subject and the camera. The camera has to be fixed to a tripod and has to be rotated about 45 degrees to the floor to have a better perspective point of view: try to find the best isometric perspective. It’s recommended to shot as a timelapse video to have better quality.

To realize the timelapses we used Magic Lantern and its intervallometer. It’s important that no objects cross the camera view in foreground. To avoid flat lighting film it early in the morning or at sunset.


First of all let’s move in Adobe Premiere. Import the timelapse photos into a new sequence. Change the duration of each single image to one frame, pay attention not to make gap between photos. Export the sequence as a video. Let’s open After Effects. Create a new composition. Import the video.  Apply some color correction effect to have more vivid color and look like artificial lightened. The final effect has to be similar to a miniature model of a city.  So use the curves to increase the contrast among the three channel. Now lets’ create a new adjustment layer, use the pen tool to create a mask thinking of which object are in foreground which in background and which are on focus. Set the mode mask to inverted. Apply to this layer a Lens Blur effect and modify its parameters to obtain the right effect. In particular take a look at the feather attribute of the mask. And there you go!

The effect it’s done!


Andrea Cassinari

Stefano D’Antonio

Alessio Punturo

Tommaso Valli


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s