Fundamentals: Pathway to a Virtual View Camera

It feels like I am regressing, all this effort and all I can do now is rotate some images something any photo viewer can do. I am going to stay the course, it is a means to an end. I just can imagine things I want to do with my images that I currently can't. I keep imaging an interface program that works like a virtual view camera. Being able to adjust an image in severe ways that would be prohibitive with a film field camera. I just imagine being able to use a razor thin plane of focus, and being able to have complete control over it.  A way to simulate a process that is possible in analogue, but would be extremely error prone. Some of my early training droned into me for better or worse use a medium for it's strengths, do things with a given medium that can't be done in others. 

Just as digital has given night photography a huge boost in popularity, due to the fact it can easily accomplish things difficult with film by giving immediate feedback. I just assumed sooner or later someone capable would come along and write a program that would give us the capability to digitally tilt and shift the focus in a scene. There is no content aware way I have found without hand painting a depth map to do this in photoshop. Currently the image is blurred due to it's 2-D coordinates in the file, in no way does it reference the objects distance from the camera as in camera tilt-shift does. This means one of three things: 1- Someone capable of creating such a program thought of it, and decided it was a dumb idea. 2- It may be whether or not it is a good idea is irrelevant as it is not practical with todays computers and programming libraries and/or the interface technology is a poor substitute for the real thing. 3- I am the first person to come up with this idea that is actually trying to make it work, and thinks it might be worth pursuing. I may not be able to seen this to the end by myself, but there are enough resources out there that I should be able to create something. Just a photoshop plug-in when all is said and done would be great, anything as proof of concept is my goal here.