'Creating a 'Snowstorm' Effect'
Clive R. Haynes FRPS
|This is a useful technique, however, remember that the effect is 'file size dependent' and the example worked below is for a 8mb to 10mb image. Experimentation will be required for file sizes larger and smaller but the principle will remain the same.|
the Image as a 'Background'
50% Gray via Edit > Fill > Use 50% Gray > OK
Go to Filter
> Noise > Add Noise
screen is now a 'storm' of black & white 'noise'.
the Magic Wand to select the 'white noise' pixels.
The Magic Wand tool options should be set for:
In addition, the Eyedropper Tool; should be set for 'Point Sample'. If the Eyedropper option is set to '3 x 3 average' or '5 x 5 average' the individual white pixels will not be selected, instead the entire image area will be selected.
> Modify Selection
Inverse Selection by Select > Inverse Selection (Ctrl + Shift + I)
Press 'Delete' to remove the unwanted pixels
Inverse Selection again by Select > Inverse Selection (Ctrl + Shift + I) to activate the required pixels
> Fill > Use > White
off the Gray / Noise layer (it's done its job)
Blur can be applied to give an amount of movement.
Apply a Layer Mask to the 'snow' layer to selectively erase areas as required.
new layer and load the 'Snow Medium' selection saved earlier.
Sometimes expanding the selection can be problematical as expanding by as little
as 1 pixel can result in the whole area being 'selected' as the 'snowflakes' join
make smaller 'flakes'
NB. Remember to create a new layer for each density of snowfall
methods for Snowflake size
Use 'Motion Blur' as described earlier
To create some really large snowflakes, try using the 'Rough Round Bristle' brush in the CS brushes list (about four-up from the base of the list it's preset to 100). Use the square bracket keys [ and ] to enlarge the brush size and with white as the foreground colour, apply with a 'dabbing' motion to apply to a separate layer.
with different 'Blend Modes' for the 'Snow Layers'.
It's a good idea to create a 'Layer Set' for the Snow Layers. This will tidy them away and to enable a Layer Mask to be added to the whole set if required.
To create a Layer Set, link the Snow Layers using the 'Link' icon and with the fly-out layer menu (top RH of layer palette), choose 'New Set from Linked'.
Remember, the process described above is very dependent upon file size and a great deal of experimentation is required to refine the technique for an individual image.
I have presented a 'working starting point' - have lots of fun in the snow!
Typical Layer Order