shygantic [deleted] 7:27pm, 2 March 2006
Here's how to use The Gimp to fake a tilt-shift. I like The Gimp.

Step 1 Set gradient mask

Open the image and toggle the switch mask on. There are three ways to do this. Click the dotted box in the bottom left had corner of the open image, got to Select > Toggle Quick Mask, or press Shift+Q. The image will now be pink. Click on the gradient tool. It looks like a square with a green gradient applied to it. Set the Gradient to Bi-linear.

Step 2 Apply mask

Pick your focal point. Decide what areas of the image you would like to be in or out of focus. Click in the center of the area you would like to be in focus and drag a line perpendicular to the direction you want to be masked. Play around with the center, size, and angle of the mask until you get what you are looking for. Toggle the switch mask off.

Step 3 Apply blur

The gimp doesn't have Lens Blur like Photoshop. We have to make do with Gaussian Blur. Go to Filters > Blur > Gaussian Blur. In the Gaussian Blur window click on Preview and maximize the window so that you can see what you are doing. Play with the blur radius until it looks right. A Blur radius between 5.0 and 10.0 seems to work most of the time. When you have the blur right, delete the quick mask be going to Select > All.

Step 4 Adjust curves

Go to Layer > Colors > Curves. Click at about x: 130 y: 210. Move the curve around until you get what you are looking for.
zachstern PRO 10 years ago
shygantic - thanks - I love the gimp as well and I found your tutorial quite useful!
earth2marsh Posted 10 years ago. Edited by earth2marsh (member) 10 years ago
Shygantic, nice simple steps!

May I suggest Focus Blur as an alternative to the Gaussian Blur? It gives good results with 10.00 radius, flat model, and 255 focus. (There was a windows binary version somewhere once, but it seems to have disappeared!)

Also, you might add something like "delete the quick mask" before adjusting curves in step 4.

My first T-S fake:
earth2marsh Posted 10 years ago. Edited by earth2marsh (member) 10 years ago
Update: I've been playing with depth maps and the Focus Blur plugin. This one is improved:

See the description for more info. Also see:
fancy masks (see mute*'s post). Another good example here.
shygantic [deleted] 10 years ago
The only plugins I have ever used are the defaults. I should really check them out.
earth2marsh 10 years ago
If anyone needs the Focus Blur binary, I've mirrored it here temporarily as it seems to have disappeared. Place it in your lib\gimp\2.0\plug-ins folder.
arripay 10 years ago
Thankyou so much for this explanation of tilt shift in gimp and the focus blur plug in and the explanation of how to 'install' the plug in! You have solved 3 problems of mine in 5 minutes!
Yay, it's Rob! 10 years ago
I don't own Photoshop and have always wanted to try tilt-shift.

GothCandy Posted 10 years ago. Edited by GothCandy (member) 10 years ago
L'Opera Garnier (Source)
L'Opera Garnier (Focus)

L'Opera Garnier in Paris, France

Settings include 30px blur, sparkle (apparently unused) and mask. Gradient is comprised of a bi-linear gradient with a radial gradient overlay at around 30% opacity, then adjusted with Levels & Curves tools.
FaniRama 10 years ago
Nice tutorial. I've successfully created my own. It worked quite well. Thanks.
nickleus PRO Posted 9 years ago. Edited by nickleus (member) 9 years ago
Thanks for the tutorial! Gimp rules =) Here's my first tilt-shift miniature fake:
nickleus PRO 9 years ago
Don't feel limited to using the gradient tool. You don't even need to do the quick mask thing either. You can select something with the "Select rectangular regions" or "Select elliptical regions" or "Select hand-drawn regions", then do:
Select > Invert

then go to Filters > Blur > Gaussian blur

for example:

you can see that i've made clear the left and right regions of us, but we in between are blurry. this isn't the best example of a tilt shift fake, but just illustrates that it is possible to select what you want instead of just a horizontal line the entire way across the picture...
nickleus PRO Posted 9 years ago. Edited by nickleus (member) 9 years ago
Here i wrote a tutorial about how to select 2 different areas that are completely unconnected to each other (like the picture in my last post):
DaveSinclair PRO 9 years ago
thanks for the tip! Just tried it for myself ...
Toy Cars
der Dominik Posted 9 years ago. Edited by der Dominik (member) 9 years ago
That's a great instruction. Thank you very much, shygantic. I just tried it with a photo of the Reichstag in Berlin, Germany.

Reichstag as a miniature
jurabilis Posted 9 years ago. Edited by jurabilis (member) 9 years ago
I gave it a try, too:

Thank you for the lens blur plug-in.
TTChopper 9 years ago
Does anyone have any experience installing the fblur plugin on os x? I've tried following the instructions to install it using gimptool, but I appear to get a compile error.

>CFLAGS="-O2 -DG_DISABLE_ASSERT -DFBLUR_PREVIEW=1 -DENABLE_NLS" /Applications/ --install Downloads/fblur-2.3.c

typing the above results in the errors below:
/Applications/ line 327: unexpected EOF while looking for matching ``'
/Applications/ line 346: syntax error: unexpected end of file
what does everyone think of this: My first attempt at a tilt shift photo

am i doing anything wrong?
Roger T Wong PRO 8 years ago
Hi, I'm using FBlur and it's working fine, but there's something about using FFTW to speed up the maths on the FBlur homepage. Has anyone had any success installing FFTW since it seems like you have to know about compiling in C which I don't know how to do! 8 years ago

I'm in LOVE with this effect!
chad.latta PRO 8 years ago
Great post. I just started this technique and its a lot of fun!

Vegas Miniature
thx for posting ;)

my second trial

Fall from Grace

greetz max
big_mouth [deleted] 8 years ago
Salzburg from above
Dirk Hartung 7 years ago
I tried it as well with the Focus Blur:
Minitiature view from Sky Tower, Auckland
DrDamage73 Posted 7 years ago. Edited by DrDamage73 (member) 7 years ago
Hey, great tutorial on how to create tilt shift effects in GIMP.
I tried it myself and here is the first result, enjoy :)

First attempt
DrDamage73 Posted 7 years ago. Edited by DrDamage73 (member) 7 years ago
Second attempt :)

The Thames
When I go to Gaussian Blur, it doesn't do anything. This is my first time with the Gimp, so I'm not surprised, lol.
itscosmo Posted 7 years ago. Edited by itscosmo (member) 7 years ago
Glad I stumbled on this tutorial. Here is my first attempt.

Tilt-Shift Train by itscosmo
Ningaloo. PRO 7 years ago
Am I going nuts?.... I cannot see any gradient tool in GIMP 2.6 which I've recently downloaded. So I can't even complete step 1.

(deaf mute) Posted 7 years ago. Edited by (deaf mute) (member) 7 years ago
If Gimp has a toolbar like Photoshop, then the grad fill tool should be next to the paint bucket icon.
If not, someone else will tell you what it looks like. Or you could just like, use the HELP menu and search for "gradient fill".
Ningaloo. PRO 7 years ago
Thanks, I'll check it out when I get home tonight....... I have seen 3 different guides which say use the gradient tool but it is still a mystery to me.
knuckleric 7 years ago
In GIMP the term "gradient" is referred to as "blend". It's generally between the paint bucket and the pencil, or you can use Tools > Paint Tools > Blend (or the hotkey for it is L ). You'll want to choose "Bi-linear" for shape and put a check in the box next to the gradient (this will make the default "FG to BG" the inverse "BG to FG" that you'll need).
knuckleric 7 years ago
I just realized that it actually makes it easier not to invert the blend tool. Scratch that... Here are my attempts:

Dayton Tilt-Shift Faking


Cox Arboretum Tilt-Shift Fake
curiouschoo 7 years ago
how do i delete the quick mask? i'm using gimp 2.6
curiouschoo 7 years ago

My first tilt-shift. Followed the steps but without deleting the quick mask. Just went straight to Select>All after Gaussian blur. Not sure if I have done it correctly but it seems to have the T-S effect. After adjusting the curves, it also looks overexposed. Any comments?
Swishrelic 7 years ago
Thanks for the guide - after a bit of blood pressure raising fun I got there in the end :)

Does This Work?
Arne ( [deleted] Posted 6 years ago. Edited by Arne ( (member) 6 years ago
nice tutorial! here is my first try

as a last step is played arround with the saturation of some colors for a better plastic model effect.
Arne ( [deleted] 6 years ago
And my second try:
mollyann. 6 years ago
thank you! this was very clear and helpful!
I have learned this using the select tools and the blend tool. I like the blended look but that lacks the ability to choose a specific location. On the other hand, I like being able to select whatever I want using the select tools but that lacks any blending. Is there a way to compromise the two? I can't figure it out. :(
a-kid 6 years ago
Here is my first attempt at fake tilt-shift on GIMP: comments welcome :)

fiona j. Posted 6 years ago. Edited by fiona j. (member) 4 years ago
my first attempt, followed this tutorial (with modifications) and used the focus blur plugin. took a bit of fiddling to work out focus blur, and i'm not sure the subject was ideal for the effect, but a good exercise!

tilt-shift miniature vancouver sunset

depth map (before cropping):
private miguev 5 years ago
Sweet! I just saw this Photoshop-based tutorial and though "hey, let's try with the Gimp"... and went to bed at 4am :D

It didn't occur to me to play with the curves, will try next time, not too bad so far anyway...


grobwire 5 years ago
This is my attempt

tilt shift by grobwire
knehcsg (looking for a Rokkor-X 35 f/1.8) Posted 4 years ago. Edited by knehcsg (looking for a Rokkor-X 35 f/1.8) (member) 4 years ago
the focus blur based on a depth map method described above, makes it possible to have correct depth of field for objects extending to the vertical:

if you want to have a miniature/toy effect that's the way to go.

Near Ueno Station by knehcsg (looking for a Rokkor-X 35 f/1.8)

and depth map:
toyueno_depthmap by knehcsg (looking for a Rokkor-X 35 f/1.8)

it was my first try, the depth map is more detailed than required. there is also some issue with some of the wires not looking correctly blured.
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