Mary Campbell

Joined January 2008

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Tutorial - Creating Snow

Tutorial – Creating the Snow by Mary Campbell

Tools used: Photoshop CS2 (filter – Noise, multiple layers, paint bucket, and eraser)

You know I didn’t think I’d see egrets in NJ but there one was in the river by where I’m staying the other day. So I suppose one might be caught up in a snow storm, as we had our 1st bit of snow today. The egret picture could stand on it’s own as a traditional wildlife photo, but the snow in this picture I painstakingly created in Photoshop using 5 layers and the noise filter,

1. 1st I created a blank canvas in a new picture, I sized it the same as my egret picture. I filled one layer with just white paint (or white pixels as everything is a pixel).

2. Then added noise to get the separation effect, only problem is the noise is too regular. So I erased many pixels. (Oh I forgot this bit when you add noise it comes out in different color spectums, so and easy way of randomingly erasing some is to select a colored pixel and hit delete! then erase any left that look irregular. when you get the desired result go back and select all and paint them white again. Another tip put a colored layer in the background so you can see the snow when creating it. Then delete it latter. This was my 1st layer small pixel size flakes.

3. Then to make it look more real I varied the size and depth, fading some layers using opacity % so it would look like real snow looks.

4. Also if you create some small some larger flakes, it gives it depth. I did this simply by changing the resolution from 300dpi – 100dpi. The 100dpi flakes are larger than the 300dpi. This also changes the image size so I had to paste multiple layers of it together to get back to the picture size.

5. Then I rotated one layer upside down just to get the randomness of the wind. (All this for a little snow!)

6. I saved all 5 layers in a separate PDF file incase I want snow again. Now I have ready made snow for any occasion and all I need to do is drop the layers on the host picture (in this case the Egret picture) but it could as easily of been a tree or a frog or whatever… So that’s how you make snow and you can even do this in Hawaii, or South Carolina when the winter spirit hits you! (For all you Scandinavians, or Canadians you don’t need this tutorial – Just open the door and start shooting!)

It wasn’t that easy but I wanted to reflect the winter elements here today and I think I did it as it made it into the top 10 of the Waterfowl’s Winter Waterfowl Challenge.!

Now that the snow is created save it and you might want to use it again. I did it here in this picture. It had snowed that day, so the snow is real but I couldn’t capture the effect I wanted, so I reused the snow I had created for the Egret picture to get the effect of the actual snow storm.

So you see, the snow I created is reusable. Most objects I create I keep as a separate layer that I can drop on other pictures. Before long you’ll have a library of your own image enhancements that you can use as your creativity directs to enhance photos or make that photo fit a particular purpose. Or you can use them in Digital Art creatitions later. (These are your objects no one else will have them unless you decide to sell them.) ..

So go and create!

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