Create a Model Size City: Tilt Shift Miniature Photoshop Tutorial

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 (Wikipedia) and it is particularity suited to cityscapes.

TUAW have broken form their normal Mac based news to put up a fantastic tutorial talking you through the few simple steps to create your own model city view from almost any imagery.

If you have five minutes to spare head over to the TUAW tutorial

It is also worth looking at the additional Fake Model Photography tutorial by Christopher Phin. The concept is the same but the technique is actually slightly refined and much easier to pick up.

We will be featuring some examples over the coming weeks using GigaPan image capture techniques (more on that soon), if you have a model cityscape let us know..

You can see the title image of Sydney by Becky E in its full glory via Flickr.

Author Bio

Andy is Professor of Digital Urban Systems at the Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis at University College London.


  1. Ciaran - October 14, 2008

    Can I be first to point out the amusing typo in the title and suggest you put the f back in shift?

  2. Wan Link Sniper - October 14, 2008

    Hi guys,

    I love this blog. I only wanted to point out there’s something funny with the title of this post, though…

  3. Andy - October 14, 2008

    🙂 Thanks for the comments – typo corrected.

    Although not as amusing now 🙂


  4. Alex Robinson - October 14, 2008

    Good to see that the original “intent” of the post’s title lives on in the URL

  5. Becky - October 14, 2008

    Thanks for using my Sydney pic as the example. 🙂

  6. Andy - October 14, 2008

    Yep the original typo lives on via the URL and always will 🙂

    Mental note to have a coffee before i do the first post of the day…

    Becky – I’ve put a direct link to your image in the post, its a great example.

  7. David Tulloch - October 14, 2008

    I put a few of my favorites on my Places and Spaces blog. It really is amazing to see how the brain wants to believe these are models, even after it sees evidence to the contrary.

  8. Parantar - October 16, 2008

    thanks for this great tutorial

Leave a Reply