How to Create Tilt-Shift / Miniature Worlds From Video

A few weeks ago I used the technique called the “rail cam” to take video of a moving train.  When I posted the video online a fellow enthusiast suggested it would make a great tilt-shift video.

I agreed and, with just a short amount of time in Davinci Resolve, I had a nice tilt-shift video which you can see here.

I posted this online and was immediately hit with a bunch of requests on how to do this.  So I thought I would do a quick tutorial.

I don’t like to reinvent the wheel so I looked to see if someone had already done something similar and, as luck would have it, Rob & Jonas’ Filmmaking Tips have a great video that covers everything in great detail.  Watch this video and, if your editing preference is Final Cut Pro then this is all you will need.


But, I know that more and more people are starting to Davinci for their full editing experience and so I thought I would add a couple of points on how to get the same effect in that program.

In a nutshell, I did the following.

1.  Create a power window with an ellipse shape that covers the area that I want to stay in focus.   Then invert the power window so that it works on everything outside the shape

power window

2. Use keyframes to adjust the size of the power window to keep the train in focus as it moved through the shot


Casey Faris has a great tutorial on how to do that which you can see here:

3. Select the blur effect and bump up the radius to whatever gives the best effect.  In my case, .78 seemed to do the trickblur

4.  Bump up the speed give a little more ‘jerkiness’ to the final result.  In my case, I pushed it to 150%.  For some reason things that move at a slightly abnormal speed add to the effect of it being a model.



5. Bump up the color saturation and enhance the shadows.  Similar to the speed, things that look slightly “overdone” also seem to add to the effect.



And that’s it!  Run it through to make sure it covers what you need and you are good to go.

If you do make one of these I would love to see the results so please either post here as a comment or send to my Facebook Page at



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