Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow! Lookie here, we’re bringing Winter Wonderland to you… right at your screen!
Get ready for an exciting and oh-so-fun tutorial adventure! Here, our Image Editor reveals how a super realistic snow effect is designed from scratch. If that’s not enough, you’ll also learn how to create a pop out effect too, all with just one powerful software – Photoshop. We shall begin in 3… 2… 1….
Images used were:-
We’ll start off by searching for any image of a snow scenery. Then, open it in Photoshop.
Create a new layer in the Layers window by clicking on the icon, as shown.
Press D to set the foreground and background color to a default setting. Then, press and hold Alt/Option + Delete to fill it with black.
Apply the Noise effect by going to Filter > Noise > Add Noise.
Set the Noise amount to 100% and select the Gaussian option under Distribution. Once you’re done, check the Monochromatic box below.
After that, go to Filter > Blur > Gaussian Blur.
Set the Gaussian Blur radius to 1.5 pixels.
Press and hold Ctrl/Command + L to adjust the Luminance level as this will decrease the amount of Noise. You can also apply this setting according to your personal preference so that the end result will turn out the way you want it to.
Go to Filter > Blur > Motion Blur to create a certain movement for the snow.
We will then apply the following settings – Angle: -42%, Distance: 4 pixels.
Change the layer name to “snow” for an easier arrangement in the steps to come.
Press and hold Ctrl/Command + J or hold and drag the “snow” layer to the icon at the bottom, as shown, to duplicate another layer. We’re duplicating this layer so that it can enhance the whole snow effect, giving it a sharper look.
Select the “snow copy”, press and hold Ctrl/Command + J to duplicate another layer and rename it to “snow 2”.
To adjust the direction of the snow in the “snow 2” layer, go to Edit > Free Transform or press and hold Ctrl/Command + T.
Rotate the image by dragging and turning it at the corner points.
Select the “snow 2” layer, press and hold Ctrl/Command + J or drag the layer to the icon at the bottom to duplicate another layer. Then, rename it to “snow 3”.
Move your cursor to the top right corner and scale it according to your desired size. The purpose of this step is to increase the size of the snow as it’s able to create a depth, due to the different sizes of snow.
Press and hold Ctrl/Command + J again to duplicate another “snow 3” layer. Rename this layer to “snow 4”.
Rotate the image again in order to make the direction of the snow even more realistic.
Duplicate 2 more layers by pressing and holding Ctrl/Command + J as it will make the“snow 4” layer stand out more. Now, the snow effect layers are complete. Remember to keep these snow layers and save this file as another copy for future use. Make sure it’s in PSD format.
Once you’ve saved the snow layers in PSD format, go back to the previous file. Click on the icon at the top right of the Layers windows and click Flatten Image to combine all the layers as one.
Here’s the result. Now, you can create a realistic looking snow effect without cropping it from another image!
If you think the end result looks a little too simple, we can always apply an additional pop out effect to make it look more interesting. To do so, find any image you like, preferably one that shows an opened book. Drag the snow scenery image and place it on the book image.
Press and hold Ctrl/Command + T or Go to Edit > Free Transform.
Click on the Wrap Modes icon, located at the toolbar above.
Click on all four corners to adjust the transform selection according to the book image.
Move all four anchor points slightly upwards to make it look like it’s popping out.
The pop out effect of the snow scenery image should look something like this.
Click on the layer mask icon below to create a mask for this snow scenery layer.
Draw a path along the edges of the book by using the Pen tool (press P). Save this path by clicking the icon at the top right corner, in the Path window.
Press and hold Ctrl/Command + click on the path icon in the Path window. Mask the unwanted areas, as shown.
Next, pull the anchor points downwards to make it look like it’s following the edges of the pages.
Reload the previous path selection and remove the unwanted parts.
Paste the original snow scenery image again and move it under “Layer 1”.
The image will be like this, as shown.
Change “Layer 2” and apply a 70% Opacity.
The image will be slightly transparent, making it easier to proceed with the next step.
Press and hold Ctrl/Command + T and click on the Wrap Modes. We’ll move the four corner points to follow the shade of the pages.
Click on the eye icon of “Layer 1” to temporarily make it invisible in the Layer window. You may select the upper portion because we’re going to create a depth between the snow hut and the mountain view, located at the background.
Leave the wanted areas by masking it. Then, touch up the edge of the pages by using the Clone Stamp Tool (press S).
Click the eye icon of “Layer 1” again to make it visible. You will notice some unwanted parts, circled in red.
Use the Clone Stamp Tool (S) to remove the unwanted parts so that the pop out effect will look more outstanding.
Remember how we asked you to keep the snow layer in PSD format? Well, now you’ll find it useful. Open the file, press and hold Shift + Click to select all snow layers.
Drag all the snow layers onto the book image and make sure it’s on top of “Layer 1”.
Drag the snow layers again to the Group icon, as shown, and combine the layers in one group.
Click on the Mask icon placed in the “Group 1” layer.
At this point, the path selection will be loading.
Click on the Mask icon again to let the snow effect appear on the pages of the book.
Duplicate another “Background” layer by pressing and holding Ctrl/Command + J. Then, place it under the “Group 1” layer.
Use Clone Stamp Tool (S) to remove the lines in between the pages.
Change this layer to Multiply mode and set the Opacity to 80%.
The result will look something like this. Although the overall image may appear slightly dark, not to worry because we’ll solve it in the next step.
In this step, we’ll use the path selection again. Just press and hold Ctrl/Command + click on the path icon to make the selection.
Click on the Mask icon so that the effect will appear on the focus pages only.
Press and hold Ctrl/Command + M to change the curves setting of the image. Create two points, as shown, and move both points slightly upwards to brighten up the entire image.
As you can see, there are some obvious yellowish color located at the red striped area. To reduce the yellowish color, go to Image > Adjustments > Selective Color. Then, select the Yellow color option and apply the following settings – Yellow:-40 and Black: -100.
Now that we’re done with the previous step, the pop out effect is almost complete!
Lastly, you can add in more scenery images on other pages of the book to further enhance it.
The snow and pop out effect is finally done! Feel free to montage additional images to give the final result an extra boost.
Isn’t this tutorial just absolutely mind blowing?? Now that you’ve got the chance to sharpen your Photoshop skills, go ahead and share (or show it off) to your design lovin’ buddies! We hope you enjoyed this tutorial as much as we enjoyed sharing it with you.
See you again next time!