Miniaturizing in Photoshop Elements
Open the photo that you want to miniaturize in Photoshop Elements. You might want to try my sample kitchen photo for starters.
Click for full image.The first order of business is to select a horizontal band in the photo that represents the section of sharpest focus. This is where the camera would be focusing if you were shooting a miniature version of the scene in macro mode. To do that, select the Rectangular Marquee tool (fifth cubby from the top in the toolbar) and drag it across the screen just below the middle.
Now we want to select everything in the photo except that section, so choose Select, Inverse from the menu. We can't apply a smooth gradient to the photo, but we can keep the selection from being quite so abrupt. Choose Select, Feather, and set the feathering to about 25 pixels. Click OK.
The amount of feathering you choose will vary depending upon the size of the photo. For larger photos, you'll want to experiment with larger values.
Click for full image.We're almost done. Now choose Filter, Blur, Gaussian Blur, and set the level to 4.0. (Again, you'll want to use more blur on larger photos.) Click OK, then turn off the selection (choose Select, Deselect). Click the image on the left to see what I ended up with.
Click for full image.That's not bad--it definitely has a doll house vibe. I especially like the way the blurry stairs look tiny and fake, as if they were made of balsa wood. Best of all, it's reasonably similar to the version I made in Photoshop CS3, using a real gradient mask (see the image on the right).
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