How to Create SNOW in Photoshop – Make REALISTIC Snow – Photoshop Tutorial
How to Create SNOW in Photoshop – Make REALISTIC Snow – Photoshop Tutorial

In this video, 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 My name is Jesús Ramirez, and you can find
me on Instagram @JRfromPTC. 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. We’re going to work with this image here. This is a portrait from Adobe Stock. If you want to follow along, you can use any
image that you like, or you’re welcome to download the free, watermarked version of
this image. I have a link to it down in the description. In this video, 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, and in the second method, I’m
going to show you how to create snow from scratch. I’m going to open up my Creative Cloud library,
and there’s actually a photo of falling snow that I’ve downloaded, 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.” 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. 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, to
duplicate this layer, and I’m just going to rename it and call it “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 seem 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 than 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
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 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
for 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, and
I’m going to double-click on the Hand tool to fit it to 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. If you decide to create something using this
tutorial, don’t forget to share it on Instagram with the hashtag #ptcvids. Also, if this is your first time at The Photoshop
Training Channel, don’t forget to click on that Subscribe button. Thank you so much for watching, and I will
talk to you again soon.

62 thoughts on “How to Create SNOW in Photoshop – Make REALISTIC Snow – Photoshop Tutorial”

  1. Ron Zufelt says:

    Thanks that was great.

  2. Devika Bajaj says:

    I love it ✔️

  3. Tamara Hensley says:

    Thank you! You were easy to follow and understand.

  4. photoshopCAFE says:

    good one, nice to see you face!

  5. Kim Huff says:

    Are you using 2018? I've been using the control-O for awhile but I updated and it wasn't working. How long has that been in there? I'm not sure about the computer I was using.

  6. Pritish kumar Sahoo says:

    Super bro

  7. Mounir Ps says:

    Amazing tutorial, I liked that snow effects, thank you a lot for everything.

  8. Grimsoul Blackheart says:

    Nice tutorial.
    On the last part if you don't have Photoshop CC you can get a similar effect by using the shear filter. Filter-Distort-Shear

  9. Ranjan Perumal says:

    easy to follow

  10. erratic_calm says:

    Nice technique. Turned out really well.

  11. taufik kadir says:

    Thank you very much, it was great

  12. Råhül MË says:


  13. Tomasz Stramel says:

    I can imagine that path blur being used to create nice startrails on nightsky photos! 😉

  14. AB186 says:

    nice tutorial!

  15. mark bright says:


  16. Richard Mauro Ricchiuti says:

    Beautiful, thank you!

  17. Roberto Braicovick says:

    Sempre tra i migliori. Grazie!

  18. jpl5007 says:

    Excellent, thank you

  19. Bruce Jastrow says:

    Great tutorial, but isn't their brushes that do snow as well?

  20. Charles Daly Photography says:

    Brilliant, as usual!

  21. Jasper Soucoup says:

    When you add the Noise to the image, don't forget to make use the Monochromatic box to checked. I missed that the first time.

  22. Victor Chin says:

    THANKS! I had great fun copying you. I realized that using the color of the background snow and controlling the opacity makes the snow more realistic.

  23. Magic Photography says:


  24. R Garlin says:

    Great set of steps – the first 'snow job' pulled on me that I appreciated😂
    Thanks as ever JR!

  25. JennyM1998 says:

    Anyone else think the intro gets even more adorable when we can see his face? 😀

    So glad my favourite photoshop channel finally got a snow-tutorial, I have been looking for a decent one for ages!

  26. s b says:

    photoshop cc 2018 seem to have alt+backspace shortcut problem on windows pc, it does not fill with foreground color unless i have to tap backspace twice for it to work, and there is a warning dialogue beep sound.

  27. khan afridi says:

    very good

  28. robert conchy says:

    Great again!

  29. João Menezes says:

    Excellent tutorial.
    Thank you very much!

  30. JJ Beard says:

    Very cool! Thanks for sharing, particularly the curve idea, as it really effects how snow really does get blown about.

  31. CJDeutsch says:

    You do a GREAT job in the tutorials!  Appreciate your efforts.

  32. Frank Stone says:

    Enjoying your tutorials. All your presentations are very well designed and easy to follow. Great job………

  33. Jose Diaz H says:

    Gracias Jesús R.

  34. hassan were says:

    that's a good technique

  35. J. Luis Serrato says:

    Excellent and creative tutorial Jesús, thanks!

  36. Lyndon Rich says:

    Thanks  for the tutorial.  I really enjoyed it but can't remember all of the tricks.  Any chance of getting a written version? Lyndon

  37. Mario Mifsud says:

    I wish that I have your ability and expertise,for me it's difficult to remember every step as I'm a bit slow learner. I have to watch over and over again. Keep your good job towards those who want to learn. Thanks

  38. 언제나웃음 says:

    wow… simple and very usefull Tutorial

  39. Егор Шугаев says:

    OMG! the blur path is stunning!!!

  40. George Economides says:


  41. Inzmam Khan says:


  42. D' BZNEZ says:

    Great one thanks

  43. John Morgan says:


  44. gartongirl says:

    Great Job! Very informative!!

  45. David Miller says:

    That saw great. I dind't even realize overlays existed. I have a new tool in my knowledge arsenal. Thanks for helping me be better at what I do.

  46. Joyce Rivera says:

    Another great tutorial! Thank you for doing these.

  47. René Zizzo says:

    Hi Jesus, really really great and amazingly realistic your technique. Thanks a lot.

  48. Travel & Food Lovers says:

    Sir U are Great Keep it up your Hard work

  49. nikolaos douralis says:

    very good !

  50. Nafis foysal says:

    pretty good

  51. Mariusz Lasota says:

    Wow, this is so efficient using noise. I would normally use custom paint brushes which takes a lot more effort. Thank you!

  52. Zafar Ali says:

    Thanks a lot and hoping you will continue teaching

  53. BlueNebula Randy says:


  54. David Emerson says:

    thank you, used this method to create dust particles instead

  55. Rajesh says:

    Excellent…rare tutorial of making snow.. you are the boss.easy and effective.please give me your brain

  56. Rajesh says:

    Please make a full tutorial on camera raw filter

  57. Photoshop Training Channel says:

    Watch another one of my BEST tutorials.

    *How to Remove ANYTHING from a Photo in Photoshop

  58. Irene Roxanne says:

    Thank you!

  59. Elizabeth Mayberry says:

    This was so easy! I was able to add snow to a picture in 10 minutes! Thank you so much for the help!!

  60. Karla Votaw says:

    Newbie here.. followed your tutorial. Great results! BUT am I able to save this layer and use it on future photos?

  61. Aaron Gera says:

    Hi, d some tutorials About Illustrator and indesign

  62. Chiho Mok says:

    wow! Thank you for sharing 🙂 helps me a lot!

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