I think I'm onto something I like. It not only perverts the scale of a giant miniature stop motion set but also leads to a workable solution for how I can handle the design the edges of the set landscape.
I was experimenting with tilt shift visual effects with Halfland still shots a while ago. Tilt shift is essentially a technique of selective image blurring, directing the viewer's eye towards a middle band of focus that fools the eye into thinking the place depicted is in miniature. There have been several videographers lately using the technique on live action footage to brilliant effect.
It intrigues me that I am building a miniature world, albeit a large miniature world, filled with as minute detail as I possibly can, and then I turn around and use film technique to increase the illusion of scale, making the world I make seem even smaller. This effect on the long shots, like the one above, will make the cottage seem very tiny, too tiny to be as detailed as the macro/close up detail shots will reveal it to be.
It is a perversion of perception, amplified, and I love the idea.
An additional twist will be the obscuring of realism at the large set's edges. I realized the other day that I could simply increase the impressionistic effect of the landscape the further out the view gets from the cottage. In other words, I can approximate the misty hazy look of a blurry vision at the set's edges so that the distant grassy hills, sky, and additional stands of trees are merely suggested. The only detailed area of the set will be its center; Tree, cottage, porch, and middle stream section. The rest will resemble an impressionistic painting, merely suggesting the view continues on endlessly.
This idea enables me to not only the freedom to finish the massive set more crudely and quickly, but also the way I can integrate the 2D cardboard trees at the edges that are meant to parallel/mirror the paper puppets with which my beautiful live actress will be acting out the story in the last sequence.