How to Add Snow in Photoshop

If you want to add snow in Photoshop, you can add many dramatic changes to your photos. Several of the more admired methods involve photo manipulation or creative filter application. Follow the steps to achieve a realistic snow effect.

Step 1: Add a New Blank Layer

Click on the New Layer icon at the bottom of the Layers palette to add a new blank layer on top of the photo. You will notice when you look in the Layers palette, you can see that the photo is sitting on the Background layer--at present, that is the only layer we have. Click on the New layer icon at the bottom of the Layers palette. It's the icon second from the right, next to the trash Bin. We can see now that we have a new blank layer "Layer 1".

Step : Fill the New Layer with Black

At the moment that we have our new layer, fill it with black. Usually, to do anything to a specific layer, we primary have to choose a layer in the Layers palette, but in this case, Photoshop has automatically selected the new layer, so it's simple to go on. We can identify that "Layer 1" is selected because it's highlighted in blue. To fill the layer with black, use Fill command. Click Edit Menu at the top of the screen and choose Fill. You will see the content section at the top of the dialog box. You will see different colors; choose black from the list to fill the layer, then click OK to exit out of the dialog box.

Since "Layer 1" is sitting above the photo on the background layer, filling "Layer 1" with black, the entire document window is now filled with black.

Step 3: Add Noise

We will add some noise to this layer to create some falling snowflakes. Generally, the word "Noise" is associated with music; in Photoshop, noise is actually a whole bunch of little dots. Photoshop has a filter built specifically for adding noise to an image. Click the Filter menu at the top of the screen, choose Noise, and then choose Add Noise.

To adjust the amount of noise, use the amount slider in the middle of the dialog box. In this effect, there is no exact amount. It just requires a lot of noise. Select the Gaussian option at the bottom of the dialog box, then select the Monochromatic option--this will give little black and white dots for the noise instead of the default red, green and blue dots. Click OK when you're done, and you'll see your document window fill with noise.

Step 4: Apply Blurring to the Noise

Apply some blurring to the noise. This will help to clump some of the little dots together. Go up to the Filter menu, choose Blur, and then choose Blur More.

Step 5: Reduce the Amount of Noise with the Levels Command

At this moment, the document is filled with plenty of noise. Get rid some of it so our noise looks more like snowflakes. Use Photoshop's Levels command. Click Image menu at the top of the screen, choose Adjustments, and then choose Levels. Brighten the noise--drag the white slider to the left to brighten the noise.

Remove much of the noise, click on the black slider and drag it to the right. Once you drag the black slider, the large areas of the noise will be getting more and more dark, and eventually will disappear into pure black. When it looks less like noise and more like snow, then click OK to exit out of the Levels dialog box.

Step 6: Change the Blend Mode of "Layer 1" to Screen

Select the Screen blend mode from the list. Change the blend mode of "Layer 1" to Screen. Any areas on the layer that are pure black will completely disappear. The photo is now visible behind the snowflakes.

Step 7: Apply the "Motion Blur" Filter

Click Filter menu, choose Blur, and then choose Motion Blur. Add motion to the snowflakes by adjusting the Angle and Distance options in the Motion Blur dialog box. Click OK when you're done.


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