Create a Tilt-Shift Effect

Create a Tilt-Shift Effect

By Discovery Center Team

Tilt-shifting, or sometimes referred to as miniature faking, can create some eye popping visuals that seem to defy reality. The tilt-shift effect is most often used in architectural photos and portraits for its ability to create a stark and ultra-sharp contrast between the object of focus, and the background. Photographers create a tilt-shift effect with specialized lenses and specific camera movements. You don’t need a large amount of expensive gear to achieve a similar effect though. Watch the video tutorial to learn how to recreate the tilt-shift effect in a matter of minutes. Try it out on photos of city life and buildings, or experiment with your own ideas!

In this tutorial you will learn:

  • How to use Selective Focus
  • How to isolate your focus and choose its gradient.

Welcome to this tutorial on how to create a tilt-shift effect in Corel PaintShop Pro.


Today we’re going to show you how easy it is to simulate a “miniature” scene from a photo using theSelective Focus tool. In this example, I have a shot of a small coastal town and I’m going to be converting it into a miniature village.

First, open your image in the PaintShop Pro Edit workspace.


Next, click on Effects > Photo Effects and then Selective Focus. 


Now even though the Selective Focus window shows a Before and After preview at the top, it is also a good idea to make sure that “Preview on Image” has been checked.  By doing this, any settings changed in the window are also visible on the image behind.


This will give you a clearer picture of what the result will be after the tilt-shift effect has been applied.

The first thing you will notice in the Before preview is a number of lines and nodes. This may look overwhelming at first but don’t worry, it’s actually quite simple.


In this example we’ll be demonstrating how to use the Planar Selection Tool which appears as 5 lines. This tool is selected by default when you open the Selective Focus effect in PaintShop Pro.


The center line, or Center of Focus, is a where the image will be in perfect focus.

The next set of lines, or Focus area, work as a boundary; as you pull them away from the center line, the area of focus will get larger.

Lastly, the outside lines, or Blending area, provide a second set of boundaries. The spaces between these lines are here to gradually blend the focused area of your image into the blurry part, creating a nice smooth transition.


In this example, we will want the line to be following the direction of the houses.  To do this, you can simply move the mouse cursor over the center, click on the circular arrow, and rotate the lines.

To move the entire selected focus, hold down the left mouse button when you see the four way arrow, and drag the lines over to where you want them.

Now that we have the lines in the correct place, we can do some further touch ups with the options below.

These are pretty straight forward – The Blur amount option controls how blurry the unfocused part of the photo is. Feather edge determines how gradual that blend from focused to unfocused will be, andSaturation allows you to boost the vibrancy of your image and make those colors really vivid.


When you have the settings just right, click the OK button and that’s all there is to it.

Now you can transform virtually any town into a miniature village with no assembly required.

If you have enjoyed this tutorial, be sure to check out the other tutorials that are available in the Discovery Center. If you have any ideas for tutorials or projects that you would like to see in the future, please leave us some Feedback.

Thanks for watching! We hope you found this tutorial helpful and we would love to hear your feedback in the Comments section below. And don’t forget to visit our social media pages and show us what you’ve learned by sharing your photos, videos and creative projects with us.

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Comments (3)

  • Rodrigo Reply

    Thanks for this tutorial! Clear and simple.

    September 24, 2017 at 2:05 pm
  • Pete Reply

    Where is the Create a Tilt Shift tutorial?

    May 14, 2016 at 10:21 am
    • adampotter Reply

      Hello Pete,

      This is it! In this tutorial, we use the Selective Focus tool to simulate a rotation of the lens (that’s our tilt), and adjust the nodes, blur, and feathering settings to give the sense of a distinct focal layer (That’s the shift).

      Tilt is often done by shooting the photo from a top-down angle, but in the case of a photo that has already been taken, tools like Selective Focus let you apply these effects to any photo, even ones that were not taken with the effect specifically in mind.

      Hope this helps!

      Corel Discovery Center Team

      May 16, 2016 at 11:13 am

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