Depth based Tilt-shift

Tilt-shift is an effect that blurs out parts of the image far from the plane of focus, creating a miniaturization effect. You can fake this effect by just blurring out top and bottom of the screen, but this fails if you want to: focus on a tall object that overlaps the blurred parts of the image, when camera is looking top-down (blur based on height), and if left right parts of image should be blurred (when going through a canyon).

This doc explains focal planes: Tilt Shifting and Focal Planes

This shader is a screen shader that reads depth from a quad applied over the camera. You will need to follow instructions from godot docs on how to set up one: Full screen quad

If your camera moves, you will also need to update the focal point of the shader through code, either to follow your moving object or where camera is pointing:

func _process(delta):
    mesh_instance_3d.mesh.material.set_shader_parameter(&"focal_point", global_position)

Note: Doesn’t blur objects with transparency, but this is an engine issue

Models from KayKit-City-Builder-Bits-1.0

Shader code
shader_type spatial;
render_mode unshaded;
uniform sampler2D depth_texture : source_color, hint_depth_texture;
uniform sampler2D screen_texture : hint_screen_texture, filter_linear_mipmap;
varying mat4 CAMERA;
// focal point of camera in world space
// change this in code to follow where camera is looking at, or follow player position
uniform vec3 focal_point = vec3(0.0);
// depth of field / width of focal plane in meters
uniform float DoF = 5.0;
// maximum amount of blur based off of distance from focal plane
uniform float blur_cap: hint_range(0.0,8.0) = 2.0;
// how quickly blur occurs away from focal plane
// bigger number is slower, smaller number is faster
uniform float blur_rate = 2.0;
// multiples y vector of focal plane to make it less or more vertical
// value of 1.0 is no change, 0.0 will make focal plane vertical regardless of camera angle
// focal plane is typically perpendicular to camera view, 
// but a more vertical focal plane may sometimes look better
// if we want background to blur consistently regardless of distance to plane
// ex: tall buildings show up focused in background because they are technically equally close
uniform float vertical_bias = 1.0;

void vertex() {
	POSITION = vec4(VERTEX, 1.0);

float PlanePointDist(vec3 pn, vec3 pp, vec3 p){
	float d = -(pn.x * pp.x + pn.y * pp.y + pn.z * pp.z);
	float a = abs((pn.x * p.x + pn.y * p.y + pn.z * p.z + d));
    float b = sqrt(pn.x * pn.x + pn.y * pn.y + pn.z * pn.z);
	return a/b;

void fragment() {
	float depth = texture(depth_texture, SCREEN_UV).x;
	vec3 ndc = vec3(SCREEN_UV * 2.0 - 1.0, depth);
	vec4 view = INV_PROJECTION_MATRIX * vec4(ndc, 1.0); /= view.w;
	float linear_depth = -view.z;
	vec4 world = CAMERA * INV_PROJECTION_MATRIX * vec4(ndc, 1.0);
	vec3 world_position = / world.w;
	vec3 focal_plane_normal = focal_point - CAMERA_POSITION_WORLD;
	focal_plane_normal.y *= vertical_bias;
	float dist_to_plane = PlanePointDist(focal_plane_normal, focal_point, world_position);
	float blur_amount = clamp((dist_to_plane-DoF)/blur_rate, 0.0, blur_cap);
	vec4 color = textureLod(screen_texture, SCREEN_UV, blur_amount);
camera, depth, screen, tilt-shift
The shader code and all code snippets in this post are under MIT license and can be used freely. Images and videos, and assets depicted in those, do not fall under this license. For more info, see our License terms.

More from kidcolt

Extrude 2D Texture in 3D

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Tilt-Shift Shader (minimal)

Tilt-Shift Shader

Depth-based Edge Detection with Sobel Operator – Screenspace

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