The Tilt-shift Effect: Make It Mini!

Among the coolest of the new features in Zoner Photo Studio 15 is the Tilt-shift Effect. If you haven’t yet had the opportunity to try it out on your own pictures, or you don’t feel like you have the hang of using it yet, take a look with us at how to work with this tool step by step.

If you know how to work with the Gradient Filter (F) from previous versions of Zoner Photo Studio, you’ll find Tilt-shift especially easy to use. But even if you don’t, it will be a piece of cake. Start by activating the Tilt-shift tool (Shift + F).

[box]What’s In a Name?
This new function is named after tilt-shift lenses, which adjust sharpness and straighten inward-leaning vertical lines directly during the act of taking a picture. Zoner Photo Studio has supported the individual steps of this process since the earliest versions; the only difference now is ease of use. (To straighten inward-leaning lines, use our Collinearity tool.)[/box]

A photo before using the Tilt-shift effect.

A photo before using the Tilt-shift effect.

The Tilt-shift effect command is located in the Effects menu. You can also work with tilt-shift via the Tilt-shift tool.

The Tilt-shift toolbar button.

The Tilt-shift toolbar button.

To use the Tilt-shift tool, activate it and then click on the picture, or click somewhere in the picture and drag out a line to set the effect’s axis.

The Tilt-shift tool, placed on a photograph.

The Tilt-shift tool, placed on a photograph.

Naturally you can go back and change the tilt later on. To do this, use one of the guidepoints located at the ends of the Tilt-shift effect’s axis.

Besides placing dashed lines atop the photo, Tilt-shift also has a second immediately visible effect: the Editor’s Side Panel opens up if it was not open before, and a Tilt-shift tab is displayed in it. Use this tab to adjust the tilt-shift settings.

The default settings for the Tilt-shift effect.

The default settings for the Tilt-shift effect.

The settings include the blurring strength, the gradient strength (two settings affecting gradient strength actually; more on that below), and options for adding artificial reflections, brightening, and saturation.

The Blur slider sets the effect’s overall strength. In our illustration, we have it set at a value of 23.

Setting stronger blurring.

Setting stronger blurring.

Use focus width, meanwhile, to change the distance between the nearer pair of dashed lines and the tilt-shift axis. Anything between the axis and these lines will retain its original sharpness. Areas beyond the lines are blurrier the farther beyond they are. In our illustration we’ve raised the focus width somewhat, so we can keep a little more of the original picture in focus.

Broadening the sharp part of the picture.

Broadening the sharp part of the picture.

There are two different gradient widths, and as mentioned above, they can be set separately. In our example, we have pulled the second width down significantly so that the transition looks smoother. The decision on whether and how to change these widths is an artistic decision that depends on you and on the photo.

Changing a gradient width.

Changing a gradient width.

The decision on whether or not to add reflections is equally artistic. Artificial reflections in tilt-shift pictures can be useful for how they emphasize the picture’s overall blurring, and for imitating lens blurring. But you should use them with care.

Before adding reflections.

Before adding reflections.

After addings reflections. We used a reflection threshold of 50 and an intensity of 20.

After addings reflections. We used a reflection threshold of 50 and an intensity of 20.

The Brightening and Saturation settings don’t need much explanation. They both do exactly the thing they were named after. In our example we have raised both values slightly above their default values.

Adding saturation and brightening the picture.

Adding saturation and brightening the picture.

When the edits were almost done, we made a slight change to the effect’s tilting and position.

Repositioning the tilt-shift axis.

Repositioning the tilt-shift axis.

[box]How Do I Use Tilt-shift in Batch?
You can also apply the tilt-shift effect to more than one picture at once. For this, use the program’s Manager module. In it, select the pictures to which you want to apply tilt-shift, and then use the Edit menu’s Effects item, and then Tilt-shift Effect.
[/box]


The result and the original picture. Use the mouse cursor to switch among pictures.

Last updated 28. May 2013

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Author: Zoner

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