Easy Tilt Shift Effects with Photoshop CS6

We recently published a tutorial that demonstrated the new Iris Blur in Photoshop CS6. Another improvement in CS6 is the ability to quickly and easily create tilt shift effects. In this post I’ll demonstrate how you can give an ordinary photo a tilt shift effect in no time.

You can see some awesome examples of tilt shift photography here.

I’ll be working with this photo:

Easy Tilt Shift Effects with Photoshop CS6

Any time you are working with tilt shift or the other blur effects, be sure to save a copy of your photo in case you don’t like the results. To get started, go to Filter > Blur > Tilt Shift.

Easy Tilt Shift Effects with Photoshop CS6

That will bring up the controls that will allow you to manipulate the tilt shift blur.

Easy Tilt Shift Effects with Photoshop CS6

At the center you will see the adjustment ring. This area of the photo will remain sharp, and the ring allows you to change how much blur is applied (more on that in a moment). You’ll also see two lines above and below the adjustment ring. The first line is sold and the second line is dotted. The area beyond the dotted lines (the top and bottom of the photo) will be blurred based on the amount of blur you set with the adjustment ring. The blur will start at the solid lines and it will blur gradually until it gets to those dotted lines. So the area between the two solid lines is what will be sharp.

Easy Tilt Shift Effects with Photoshop CS6

You can move any of the lines to determine what parts of the photo should be blurred and what should be sharp. For this photo I am going to move the upper solid line a little lower, more towards the center of the photo. I’ll also move the lower solid line a little towards the bottom of the photo. Next, I’ll move each of the dotted lines further out towards the edge of the photo.

Easy Tilt Shift Effects with Photoshop CS6

Next, I’ll increase the blur by clicking and dragging the white part of the adjustment ring.

Easy Tilt Shift Effects with Photoshop CS6

Then click “ok” at the top and the blur will be applied. The result will look like this:

Easy Tilt Shift Effects with Photoshop CS6

The specifics of how you want to make adjustments to the blur will vary from one photo to the next, so experiment a little bit and you can get a better feel for how to Tilt Shift Blur works.


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8 Responses

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  • Debbs Hosting, September 13, 2012

    I’ve already come across lots of tutorials on the new CS6 features. Been wanting to try it but I guess my PC specs aren’t enough. One of the system requirements says that my OS should be 64-bit but I only have 32-bit. Do you think it’s still work if I install CS6? :)

    • Steven Snell, September 13, 2012

      I have no idea if it will work on 32-bit, you would have to contact Adobe.

  • Wedding Photographer Chicago, August 13, 2012

    Thank you for this tutorial. I was looking for long time for this effect.

  • Simon Goellner, August 9, 2012

    Good to see Adobe working on the important things for once. All that time I’ll save now one those hundreds of helicopter-taken photographs I have sitting on my hard drive!! It was such hard work to create a gradient mask on a gaussian-blurred layer!! PHEW, Thanks Adobe, this was way more important than fixing the problems with Air!! :D

  • rickymartin, August 9, 2012

    what an awesome effect.

  • I love this effect even if in my works in the past I never used… very good CS6..thanks for sharing

  • smashinghub, August 9, 2012

    i like CS6, its have many awesome features, i like Tilt Shift Effects as well, thanks

  • Gregory Urbano, August 9, 2012

    Nice looking results, being an elements user I wonder if tilt shift is something they will ad to that product soon.