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Photoshop Snow Effect: Add Falling Snow in Photoshop

How to Add Falling Snow to a Photo in Photoshop?

Taking pictures in the winter season can be a challenge. The weather does not cooperate, and you fail to take photos in snowfall. Falling snow makes your winter photography much more interesting. With the help of Photoshop, you can add snow to your photos and create a falling snow effect.

In today’s tutorial, we will create snow in Photoshop. We will learn how to add snow to a photo in Photoshop. With the help of few preset filters, we can create Photoshop Snow Effect.

Let’s see, How to create Falling Snow Effect with Photoshop

Photoshop Snow Effect

Step 1

Select a suitable image for this Photoshop Tutorial, which looks wintery and snowy. The image should have a dark background so that the falling snowflakes are easily visible. Open that image in Photoshop as a new document.

Open image in Photoshop

Step 2

After opening the image, go to the Layers Panel and create a new layer. Click on Create a New Layer icon at the bottom of the Layers Panel. You can give a name to this new layer. Let’s name it Falling Snow.

Create a New Layer
Name the New Layer

Step 3

Now go to Edit in the Menu Bar and select Fill.

Edit > Fill

Select Fill

In the Fill dialogue box, set Contents to Black and Normal Blending Mode with 100% Opacity. When you will click OK, the Falling Snow Layer will get filled with Black color.

Select Fill
Falling Snow Layer is filled with black

Step 4

Now we will apply Noise Filter to the layer. The Noise Filter will be followed by Gaussian Blur for creating snow in Photoshop.

Go to Filter in the Menu Bar. Place the cursor on Noise and select Add Noise.

Select Add Noise

Set the amount of Noise percentage and then select Gaussian Distribution. Also, put a checkmark on Monochromatic.

Apply Noise Filter

Step 5

In this step, we will apply the Gaussian Blur. Go to the Menu Bar and select Filter. Then place the cursor on Blur and select Gaussian Blur.

Select Gaussian Blur

Set the Radius of Gaussian Blur and then click OK. You can put a checkmark on Preview to see the result before applying it. The value of radius will determine the size of your falling snow effect. The lower the value of the radius, the smaller the snow in Photoshop will be.

Set the Radius of Gaussian Blur

Step 6

Now we will use the Threshold adjustment to create the snow in Photoshop. Go to Image in the Menu Bar. Place the cursor on Adjustment and select Threshold.

Select Threshold

You will see a small arrow in the Threshold dialogue box. Move that arrow to set the Threshold Level. The pixels which are lighter than the Threshold Level will be converted white, and the darker pixels will be converted black. These white pixels will be the snow in Photoshop.

Set the Threshold Level

Step 7

To make it look like a real snowfall, we will apply Motion Blur to the layer. Go to Filter in the Menu Bar. Place the cursor on Blur and select Motion Blur.

After selecting Motion Blur, set the Angle and Distance in the dialogue box. Click OK to apply the Motion Blur.

Select Motion Blur
Apply Motion Blur

Step 8

Now we will change the Blending Mode of the Falling Snow Layer. In the Layers Panel, select the blending mode as Screen.

Select Screen Blending Mode
Falling Snow Effect in Photoshop

So, this is how you can create Photoshop Snow Effect. If you wish, you can end this tutorial here. But, the snow in the image is falling evenly. This makes it unreal because the real snowfall images do not look like this. We need to add some more snow to the image.

Step 9

To add more falling snow to your photo with Photoshop, create a new layer in the Layers Panel and Fill it with Black as done in Step 2 and Step 3.

Create New Layer and Fill with Black

Step 10

Now apply Noise Filter, Gaussian Blur, Threshold Adjustment, and Motion Blur to the Layer. Then change the blending mode to Screen.

In other words, repeat the process from Step 4 to Step 8. But, the values of the filters and adjustment applied will be different for this layer.

Amount of Noise Filter- 250%

Radius of Gaussian Blur- 8.6 pixels

Threshold Level- 118

Motion Blur Angle- 380

Blending Mode- Screen

Photoshop Snow Effect

Step 11

As you can see, there is some snow effect at the boundaries of the image, which is making the Photoshop Effect look unreal. We will use the Layer Mask to correct the Photoshop Snow Effect. Create a Layer Mask in the top layer and then select the Brush Tool from the Tool Panel. Select black as the foreground color.

Create the Layer Mask and select the Brush Tool

Select Soft Round Brush from the Options Bar. Now paint the boundaries of the image and other areas where you want to reduce the snowfall.

Photoshop Snow Effect

So, this is how you can add snow in Photoshop. You have learned to create Photoshop Snow Effect in this tutorial.

Practice this Falling Snow Effect in Photoshop Tutorial and share your views in the comment section. Also, share this free online Photoshop Tutorial with others.


  • Vivi Designing

    Vivi Designing is a platform for people who are in love with design and are eager to learn for creativity and inspiration. We provide free design resources, articles, tutorials, techniques, and the latest trends in Adobe Illustration and Adobe Photoshop.

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