How To Make a Tilt Shift Movie in CyberLink PowerDirector [Video]

Tilt Shift Video in PowerDirector - The Best Video Editing Software
Tilt shift videos also known as miniature effect videos can be done either with a tilt shift lens of with your editing software - PowerDirector.

But since a tilt shift lens is pretty expensive and has very little practical value if you don't use it very much - and how many tilt shift videos do you make? really? - we're gonna use the software and get the tilt shift effect in post production.

CyberLink PowerDirector uses a mask just as Magix but I'd say the process is simpler in PowerDirector.

So after you drag your footage in the timeline you go to the Effect Room symbol (flower/propeller) on the right side, click on it and choose the Blur effect from all the available options. Then click the Effect tab at the bottom then click on the Mask option.

Masks define effects in certain areas of a scene. So a mask lets you apply an effect only in certain spot within the shot. This gives you a lot of creative power because you can apply different effects, each with its own mask, onto the same video clip.

Now that the Blur Mask is overlay-ed onto your video, you can drag it somewhere in the middle or between the lower third and the middle third of the shot. What you get a video with a blurred strip but that's not exactly a tilt shift, is it? So in order to get the real tilt shift, you check the Inverse Effect Area box. Then you get a video with the upper and lower parts blurred while the center strip is in focus.

But that's not enough coz there is a sharp and obvious transition from focus to blur so we need to take care of it. In order to get the out of focus gradient between the two, we slide the two markers until we get the desired look (Degree and Gradient Depth). This will smooth out the edges of our blur effect.

After that we go to the Fix/Enhance tab and apply color Saturation after checking the Color Adjustment box.

Why do we need color saturation in a tilt shift clip?

Well, the idea behind a tilt shift video is to make everything look tiny, like a toy town. And toys are brightly colored so when you saturate the colors in the footage you get a toy-ish look.

There's more to the tilt shift effect, however:
  • Try to shoot from a high point and have no sky in the shot (when you look down on a toy town you don't actually see the sky.
  • Speed up the footage or take still shots at every 2-3 seconds (time lapse -  have each still picture as a frame in the 25 or 30 fps time line). This will make your subjects move like robotic toys. 
  • Add a playful music on the video - something that will make your viewer think about a toy-theme scene. 
So there it is. This is how you make a tilt shift video with PowerDirector.

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