Tilt-shift miniature faking

Tilt-shift miniature faking

Tilt-shift miniature faking is a process in which a photograph of a life-size location or object is manipulated so that it looks like a photograph of a miniature scale model. By distorting the focus of the photo, the artist simulates the shallow depth of field normally encountered with macro lenses making the scene seem much smaller than it actually is. Many miniature faked photographs are taken from a high angle to further simulate the effect of looking down on a miniature. Objects oriented horizontally, such as the train in the first example, make better subjects for tilt-shift miniature faking than vertically oriented objects such as in the second example, in which one can see how the bottom of the trees are in focus but the top of the trees are out of focus, despite being the same distance from the lens.


The effect can be achieved optically by using a tilt-shift lens. It can also be achieved using an image editor by blurring the top and bottom of the photograph so that only the subject is in focus. The freedom of having an editable gradient map in the digital world allows for a greater degree of control over which areas in the foreground and background are going to be blurred. Other techniques to enhance the effect involve increasing the contrast of the picture, simulating the darker, harder shadows of a miniature under a light and increasing the saturation of the picture, because fake houses and people are often painted with brighter, more basic paints.

It is perhaps improper to refer to this technique as "tilt-shifting". These more detailed digital "fakes" do not simulate the effect of tilt-shifting per se, rather it merely simulates the effect of photographing a miniature, and to a much more realistic effect than a tilt-shifted photograph.Fact|date=October 2008


*Miniature faked scenes of the Las Vegas skyline were featured prominently in the "" episode "Living Doll" in which the The Miniature Killer is revealed.
*Photographs taken with the technique have been used in a set of bumps on Cartoon Network's Adult Swim nighttime lineup.

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