How to Create SNOW in Photoshop – Make REALISTIC Snow In Photoshop
In this tutorial, I’m going to show you how to create realistic snow in Photoshop.
Hey, everybody. Welcome back to another very exciting tutorial here at the designidea4u.com.
In this video, I’m going to show you how to create realistic snow in Photoshop.
This is going to be a two-part tutorial. I’m first going to show you how to add snow to a portrait using a stock image. Then I’m going to show you how to create snow by using just a few simple filters in Photoshop. Okay, let’s get started with the tutorial. You can also visit Best New Technology To Enhance Texture in Photoshop
In this post, I’m going to show you two ways of adding snow to an image.
In the first method, we’re going to use an actual photo of snow that we’re going to apply to this image.
In the Second Method, I’m going to show you how to create snow from scratch.
First Method: how to add snow to a portrait using any image
I’m going to open up my Creative Cloud library, and there’s actually a photo of falling snow that I’ve downloaded. You can download it from Google if you want. Click Here To Download. So I’m going to click and drag that into my portrait, and you can find overlays of snow at Adobe Stock or many other different websites.
I want to hold Shift and Alt, click and drag on the corner handle, and make that larger so that it fills the image. Then I can go into the blending modes and select “Screen.” The Screen hides dark pixels and reveals bright pixels.
In this case, we’re going to hide the black background, and now we have an overlay of snow right on top of our image, and I can click and drag and then place it accordingly. You can do the same thing with any overlay of snow as long as, of course, the background is black.
That was the first technique. We used an overlay to apply the snow to our photo. What I’m going to do now is show you how to create snow from scratch. This technique will use filters in Photoshop to replicate the effect of snow falling. The filters that we’re going to use are in older versions of Photoshop as well, so if you’re following in CS6 or older, you should still be able to follow along without any problems.
However, at the end of the tutorial, I’m going to show one feature that it’s only for Adobe Photoshop CC, but that is just an option in case that you want to use one of the new tools to help us create the snow falling effect. Okay, so now let’s work on the second technique.
Second Method: how to make realistic snow in photoshop
I’m going to click and drag and delete this layer, and now I’m going to show you how to create snow from scratch. The first thing that I’m going to do is create a new blank layer, and I’m just going to call it “Snow“. Then I’m going to fill this layer with white. White is currently our foreground color.
To fill with the foreground color, press Alt, and Backspace. That’s Option-Delete on the Mac. Then I’m going to go into Filter – Noise – Add Noise. You can just crank that up all the way, to 400%, and press OK. Then you can go into Filter – Blur – Gaussian Blur, and you can add about three pixels of blur, and press OK.
Then you can go into “Image – Adjustments – Threshold” and you can use this slider to adjust how these specs look. You will want to have roughly the same amount of specks that I have here, and then press OK. This is going to be the snow that’s falling down, and we pretty much have what we want. The only problem is that we want the opposite.
We want the inverse. We want the background to be black and the foreground to be white. We can press Control-I, Command-I on the Mac, to invert the colors, in this case just black and white, so now the background is black, and the foreground is white. I’m going to press Control-J, (Command-J on the Mac), to duplicate this layer, and I’m just going to rename it and call it ” Snow CC,” because the method that I’m showing you to create the snow works for older versions of Photoshop, but there is one thing I want to show you that works only with Photoshop CC.I’m going to leave that later, till the end.
If you’re on an older version of Photoshop, you can follow along, and then, at the very end, I’ll show one thing that you can do with the newer versions of Photoshop. We’re going to work with this “Snow” layer.I’m going to go into “Filter – Blur – Motion Blur,” and this is the blur that’s going to make it seems as if the snow’s moving or falling. You can select the angle that you like.
In this case, an angle of about maybe negative 50 will work, and I can increase the distance. Don’t go too far, just because your streaks will look too long, and they’ll look more like rain snow. Make sure that you still get that snowflake type of shape, but you also see the motion blur. Something like this, maybe 11 pixels in this case, and press OK.
Now we can do what we did earlier, which is changing the blending mode to Screen, which will, once again, hide black pixels and reveal bright pixels. This is looking okay, but we have a lot more work to do.
What I’m going to do now is press Control-J (Command-J on the Mac), and on this “Snow copy layer” what I’m going to do is, I’m going to enlarge that. That’s why I’m zooming out. I’m zooming out by holding Alt and scrolling down on the mouse wheel, that is Option on the Mac, as I scroll down the mouse wheel.
Then I’m going to press Control-T, (Command-T),to transform, and I’m going to hold Shift and Alt and make that layer a lot larger. Then I’m going to hit Enter, Return on the Mac, and zoom back in.
Notice now that we have more depth on this image. We have snowflakes that are near her and closer to us, so we’re creating that illusion of depth by creating different layers of snow. I can rename this “Snow” layer to “Snow near,” because it’s near us, and then this regular snow, it’s closer to her, so it’s more in focus. Then there’s probably going to be snow behind her, that it’s going to be closer to those trees and those areas behind her. But before we create that, what I’m going to do is, I’m going to select the “Snow near,” layer and press Control-T, Command-T, to transform.
Notice that we can’t see the corner handles because they’re way, way out here, so here’s a trick for you. When you press Control-T, Command-T, to transform and you can’t see the corner handles, you can press Control-0, Command-0 on the Mac, and it zooms out so that you can see the actual handles. Now I can just rotate this, so it has just a slightly different angle than the snow that’s near her because not all the snow is going to be going at the same angle.
The angle’s going to change. I’m going to zoom back in, and I’m going to select the original snow layer that we created, and actually, I’m going to disable the “Snow near” layer, just so it’s easier to see. Then I’m going to press Control-J, Command-J on the Mac, and I’m going to click and drag this one down, and I’ll call it “Snow far,” and I’m going to press Control-T, Command-T, to transform, hold Shift, and scale it down about that big. I’m going to hide this layer as well.
Then I’m going to hold Alt, Option on the Mac, with the Move tool selected and click and drag, and it duplicates that layer. I’m going to duplicate that layer three times. There’s a seam going through here that we’re going to fix in a moment. I’m going to select that layer, “Snow far copy” number 3, hold Shift and select the “Snow far” layer that’s at the bottom. Then press Control-E, Command-E on the Mac, to merge those layers into one layer.
Then I can worry about the seam, and I’m simply going to fix this seam by using the Spot Healing Brush tool. You could also use the Clone Stamp tool, or simply paint with black. It’s up to you. I think that the Spot Healing Brush Tool is the easiest method since I can just come in and just paint away those seams. You don’t have to be precise at all. It’s hardly going to be noticeable once we change the blending mode back to Screen. What I’m going to do now is zoom in, just so that we could see these snowflakes a little bit better.
I’m going to go into “Filter – Blur – Gaussian Blur,” and we’re going to blur them to try to match the depth of field. If this were a real photo, those snowflakes that were behind her wouldn’t be as sharp as the ones that are closer to her, so I’m just trying to make those blurry. Then I’m going to press OK, and I’m going to fit the image to the screen. Then I’m going to disable this layer, and I’m going to make a selection around her.I’m going to use the Quick Selection tool for that, so I’m just going to quickly click and drag and make a selection around her.
I’m going to hold Alt, Option on the Mac, and click and drag on areas that I want to deselect, like right in between her arms. Once again, you don’t have to be very precise about this. Once you have a selection that you’re happy with, you can go into the “Snow far” layer, which is this one, and I’ll just rename it, just so it reads Snow far. Snow far, and hold Alt, Option on the Mac, and click on the Layer Mask icon.
That is going to create a layer mask that subtracts from what you have selected. That means that on this snow layer, the snow that is furthest away from us is not going to appear in front. That makes things look more realistic. Now, if I enable the other layers that we’ve been working with, we start getting a much more realistic image.
At this point, you can decide to duplicate the original snow layer by pressing Control-J, Command-J on the Mac, and I’m going to zoom out a bit. Pressing Control-T, Command-T, to transform, and I’m going to scale it up just a little bit and rotate it just to add more snow.I’m going to click and select the “Snow near”layer. Then I’m going to hold Shift and click on the “Snow far” layer and press Control-G to put all those layers into a group. That is how you would create snow from scratch.
Now, we’re going to finish up the tutorial by talking about one feature that’s available in newer versions of Photoshop so you can take advantage of that. I’m going to select the “Snow CC” layer, andI’m going to double-click on the Hand tool to fit it to the screen. Then, I’m going to go into “Filter – Blur Gallery, and select Path Blur,” and this is going to allow us to create a blur based on a path.
Now, you can click and drag on these points, and you can see how we created that same motion blur effect, but the advantage of using this is that we can create new points on that path and click and drag, and notice, now, how we have a curve on that blur. I can click and drag this one down like so, and it creates that effect there. I’m just going to adjust these points to make it seem more like snow falling. It’s not going straight down. It actually has a curve, and that’s going to help it look more realistic. The speed is too high, so I’m going to bring that down to maybe right about here, and then press “OK.”
Notice now how the snow is not going straight down. It’s going in different angles, and that’s exactly what we want to make it look more realistic. Then I can change the blending mode to Screen, and what I’m going to do now is disable the original “Snow” layer, and I’m going to drag that one in there. You could use either/or, or both, whatever you think looks best.
That’s it for this tutorial. Let me know in the comments down below what you thought about this technique.
Thank you so much for visiting, and I will talk to you again soon.