Tiny London by Mario Muth

Incredible Tilt Shift effect in After Effects – “Tiny London” by Mario Muth

by planetMitch4 Comments

Yesterday, we saw a tweet from our friend Victoria Taylor-Gore who mentioned this video and after watching it myself, I had to not only feature it, but find out more about how it was done – since it obviously wasn't done in-camera with a tilt-shift lens. So, I contacted Mario Muth and asked him if he'd reveal his secret to doing this outstandingly vivid tilt-shift effect – and he's exclusively shared it with us here at planet5D and with you, our faithful readers!

Tiny London

[tentblogger-vimeo 33196760]

Mario's description from Vimeo

London in a miniature look.

This video was shoot during a period of 2 month from public vantage point, private offices I was allowed access and places I should't have been on.

The locations shown include Tower of London, Liverpool Street Station, Big Ben, Heron Tower, Barbican, London Wall, Earls Court Station, Bishopsgate, Millenium Bridge, Embankment, Kings Cross, Paternoster Square, Changing the Guard, Royal Exchange, Picadilly and Tate Modern.

All sequences were captured as RAW images and manipulated in After Effects to achieve the miniature / tilt shift look. In total i shot 25850 images and 4980 made into the final edit.

Music: London by Vanessa Carlton

Camera: Canon EOS 5D mark II with either 14mm 2.8 L II or 24mm 1.4 L

Tiny London by Mario Muth

Tiny London by Mario Muth

So, how did Mario do this?

Mario sent us this bit of instruction:

  • each clip is shot using raw images. I use the small or the medium raw in case I need to crop in
  • the picture profile was set to sharp and saturated
  • the actual capture is done by holding down the shutter using a remote for 5 minutes (using burst mode)
  • in terms of positioning, obviously anything that is looking into a scene works and def a sturdy tripod
  • for post, I read everything into Adobe After Effects and in camera raw push up the saturation, the sharpness, clarity and in most cases fill light. In addition I tend to push the blues, reds and greens further. Finally, I add a little bit of lowlight saturation
  • the clips are done at 12fps as the Canon EOS 5D Mark II only manages to capture 3fps in raw in burst mode
  • in terms of size i go for 30% bigger so I can add a ken burns style
  • finally masking the sharp areas and lens blur the rest. For the masks, I include all the items that should be sharp in the perspective.
  • the actual movie was done in fcp 7 as I am most familiar with that. Adding a few ken burns effects and doing alignment with the music
  • finally a vignette from magic bullet to underline the miniature look

Easy Peasy right?

doesn't that just sound pretty easy? I thank Mario for taking the time to send us that exclusive bit of instruction. Now, let's see what you can do with it!

(cover photo credit: snap from the video)


  1. “I use the small or the medium raw in case I need to crop in.”

    Shouldn’t that be “large raw”?

    1. Yes – sorry I did not make this very clear. SRAW 1 and 2 have plenty of pixels above the 1920×1080 required for HD. I used the medium raw when i new i could not get the object properly and needed to crop a little later, otherwise all in the small raw. I really new shoot in large raw as the burst rate really drops and i could not get a smooth motion.

Leave a Comment