In this tutorial, we’ll learn how to create a snow effect in a picture. The steps mentioned below are easy to follow and can be used on any image.
- Adobe Photoshop CS6, CS5 or CC
- Cabin image
Open the cabin image.
Create a new layer and name it “Snow”. Press D to set default colors and then press Ctrl+Backspace to fill the layer with white color.
Open the Layer Style window for the new layer by double-clicking on it and make the changes shown below.
Select Layer > Layer Mask > Reveal All to create a layer mask for the Snow layer. Now, use a soft round brush to paint the mountains and other areas that appear washed out with black.
Now, let’s add some snowflakes. First, create a new layer and name it “snowflakes”. Now, press D to set default colors and press Alt+Backspace to fill the layer with black.
We’ll now add some noise by going to Filter > Noise > Add Noise.
Add some blur by going to Filter > Blur > Gaussian Blur.
Change the layer blending mode of the current layer to Screen.
Create a Curves Adjustment Layer by selecting Layer > New Adjustment Layer > Curves and use the settings shown below. We’ll also clip the snowflakes layer to the Curves Adjustment Layer by Alt-clicking between them.
We now have some snowflakes, but we already know that not all snowflakes in a picture are of the same size, so let’s add some bigger snowflakes. Repeat steps 5 and 6, but with a stronger Gaussian Blur (probably around 2.5 or 3).
We’ll now hide some of the bigger snowflakes. Create a layer mask for the second snowflake layer (the one which has bigger snowflakes). Using a soft round brush, paint black here and there to hide some of the snowflakes.
Let’s add some falling snowflakes. First, create some static snowflakes by repeating steps 5 and 6 again.
Now, we’ll add some motion to our new snowflakes layer by selecting it and going to Filter > Blur > Motion Blur.
For more realism, we’ll add some snow on the roof of the cabin. Using a chalk brush, paint some snow on the roof with the color #e9e8e8. Then, slightly paint over the snow you have already added with the color #ffffff.
Finally, we’ll add a bit of blue color since it’s a winter photo. Create a Color Balance Adjustment Layer by selecting Layer > New Adjustment Layer > Color Balance and add a little blue and cyan color.
And that’s it!