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Creating animated snowfall with Photoshop

From: Pixel Playground with Bert Monroy

Video: Creating animated snowfall with Photoshop

For this first episode of pixel playground, what we're going to do is take what looks like a complex animation and easily created using tools in photo shop. Now right here on the screen we see a street covered in snow. All this nice snow. What we're going to do is have the snow fall. So, first thing we have to do is create that snow. So, I'm going to look at the size of my image here, and we see that the file is set to a width of 900 pixels, and a height of 704.

Creating animated snowfall with Photoshop

For this first episode of pixel playground, what we're going to do is take what looks like a complex animation and easily created using tools in photo shop. Now right here on the screen we see a street covered in snow. All this nice snow. What we're going to do is have the snow fall. So, first thing we have to do is create that snow. So, I'm going to look at the size of my image here, and we see that the file is set to a width of 900 pixels, and a height of 704.

So, I need to create a file that's larger than this to create my snow. So I'm going to go in and start a new file, and I'm going to make it 1,000 by 1,200. So it's just a little wider than the existing, much higher than the existing. Click okay, and there it is. So the first thing I'm going to do is I'm going to go in here and give this some noise. Add noise. And you see I have a very high amount set, and I have monochromatic. Without monochromatic, it introduces all these colors which we don't want. So monochromatic keeps it in the blacks and whites. Click OK.

Now if we zoom in on this we see that we have some noise made of black and white with some sprinkling of grays here and there. So what we are going to do is increase the numbers of grays so that will allow me to modify this to create the snow that I need. So I'm going to give it another filter. I'm going to give it a little blur more. And there you can see that it's introduced a bunch of grays. So now that I have that, what I'm going to do is go in here and apply an adjustment. Levels. And we see the histogram, we see that most of the tones are right here in this mid-tone area.

So what I'm going to do is I'm going to take my darkest tones, the blacks, and push them all the way down until they get to this second little chamber right in here. Right in there. Right at the beginning of that. And you can see what's happened already in the background. It's turned that noise into what looks like a starfield. I'm going to push my whites in so that all my tones are encompassed in that one little chamber there. Click OK, and there we have the basis for our snow. That's it. This could be used as a star field for some space scene you want to create or whatever, but for now it's going to be our snow.

So what I'm going to do, is I'm going to Select All, and I'm going to say Copy. So now we can close this. I'm going to close it, we don't need to save it, and right back here I'm going to say Paste. Go in there and paste it. Now that we have it in here, we're going to go ahead and call it. We're going to call it, Far. Right now, I'm going to duplicate that layer, so I have two of them. And a copy here, I'm going to call, Near. Now they are exactly the same, see.

Turning 1 off, it looks like nothing's changed because they are exactly the same layer. So what I'm going to do is modify this because as this stuff is moving, if they are still the exact same shapes, what's going to happen is that you're going to start to get patterns. Some little snowflakes cross each other a it will form a pattern. So I'm going to go in there and take that near layer and we'll do some modifications to it. Like I'll go in there and say well do a 180 degree rotation. And I'm going to give it a flip horizontal as well.

So now when I turn it off, you see that we have two totally different layers. So now we're going to do a little further modification to it. We're going to take that near layer. That's the one that's closest to us, right? We're going to go in there and I'm going to go to my Transforms > Scale. And I'm going to move it up here so that it's right flush With the bottom of my image right there, going to move it up a little bit. And I'm going to double it's size. I'm going to hold down my shift key to constrain it, I'm going to kind of make it that big. About like that. Make sure it's just flush on the bottom down there. A little higher and hit return so that happens.

Then in my far layer I'm going to make sure that it is flush with the bottom as well. There we are. So now both layers are exactly flush with the bottom. So now let's pull back just a little bit, or come in a little bit. Just move it over to the side here. And what we're going to do now is to make these guys move. So I'm going to set their modes right now to screen. That's going to allow me to see what's underneath it. You see it got thicker because now we're seeing the snow underneath? And we're going to take the far one and say screen.

Now let's get real close for a second. Now there they are. Now, we're going to create movement. We're going to create movement. So to get that realistic effect, I'm going to take that near layer. The one that's near. And I'm going to give it another filter. I'll give it a little Motion Blur. Straight up and down and, about seven is enough, and you can see what's happened there. You can see that those pixels or those particular snow flakes are now falling. See, and the one that's far, I'm just going to give that a little blur more, just to soften those up, so they don't look so pixelated.

And there we can see that we start to have the sense of the falling snow. So, what's going to happen now, is we're going to animate it. I'm going to bring up another panel, which is the timeline panel. And, right here, we can see that we have our animation. It shows up the two, individual layers. So I'm going to open up the attributes for those two layers, so we can see what's going to happen to them. And right here we see we're at the beginning of our animation. So what I'm going to do, I'm going to lock the position for each of those two layers. So it locks them flush at the bottom with a little space at the top at the beginning of the animation. So now I'm going to move this little guy way over to the end of the animation. And there for the near layer.

I select just the near layer, and with my Move tool, I'm going to move it down. And I make sure that Autoselect is turned off. because if I don't have that turned off then it's going to select both layers and move them. I just want to move each individual layer, in an area where I don't really see them. So I got my near layer, so I'm going to click and drag it. And I'm going to drag it so that the top is now flush with the top. And you see that it created a new keyframe at the end of the animation. So now I take my file layer, and I will move it so it is flush with the top.

Right there. Now we can come and get a little closer here. In fact, let's go to 100% size, and we'll put it right here again. And let's close these up. Let's close this window way down so we can kind of see what's going to happen. Right here, we bring this back to the beginning. Clicking the Rewind. And click Play. And there we see that we have snow falling. And it's that simple. It's just a question of knowing what tools to use to create the effect that you want.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for Pixel Playground with Bert Monroy
Pixel Playground with Bert Monroy

65 video lessons · 28574 viewers

Bert Monroy
Author

 
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  1. 9m 9s
    1. Creating realistic stains on bathroom tile
      9m 9s
  2. 9h 21m
    1. Creating animated snowfall with Photoshop
      6m 39s
    2. Filling an empty glass with liquid
      2m 51s
    3. Using an alpha channel to create a 3D object
      6m 53s
    4. Creating a 3D coin
      7m 13s
    5. Creating a custom brush
      7m 28s
    6. Using displacement maps to create shadows
      7m 27s
    7. Enhancing a landscape by adding a lake
      6m 37s
    8. Creating a dog tag
      7m 52s
    9. Recreating magazine clippings
      7m 31s
    10. Creating realistic scales for a dragon tattoo
      6m 27s
    11. Creating spikes for a dragon tattoo
      10m 35s
    12. Creating the belly for a dragon tattoo
      10m 55s
    13. Creating a flower tattoo
      7m 9s
    14. Using a Fibonacci spiral to create a tattoo
      4m 19s
    15. Body shaping with Puppet Warp
      4m 1s
    16. Type effects in Photoshop: Pillow
      6m 46s
    17. Type effects in Photoshop: Clouds
      6m 2s
    18. Animating a 3D starfield
      7m 6s
    19. Creating an antique pub sign using Photoshop
      13m 1s
    20. Creating a custom brush to draw hair
      7m 57s
    21. Charms and medallions in Photoshop: First steps
      12m 5s
    22. Charms and medallions in Photoshop: Adding details
      10m 49s
    23. Charms and medallions in Photoshop: Adding a third dimension
      10m 10s
    24. Oakland Theater: Creating stone walls
      14m 11s
    25. Oakland Theater: Creating neon
      12m 4s
    26. Oakland Theater: Creating lightbulbs
      15m 33s
    27. Changing photo contents with Auto-Align Layers
      6m 36s
    28. Creating a metal grill
      9m 35s
    29. Red truck: Creating a headlight
      7m 17s
    30. Red truck: Creating chrome headlight trim
      7m 37s
    31. Red truck: Creating realistic metal perforations
      7m 5s
    32. Red truck: Creating wear on metal
      6m 18s
    33. Magazine cover: Using perspective to draw a room
      7m 52s
    34. Magazine cover: Creating a lamp
      13m 57s
    35. Magazine cover: Creating a wood floor
      13m 29s
    36. Damen Station: Adding multiple train cars
      5m 26s
    37. Damen Station: Creating bolts
      5m 56s
    38. Damen Station: Creating realistic rust
      6m 56s
    39. Oyster Bar: Creating puddles
      6m 15s
    40. Oyster Bar: Creating asphalt and concrete textures
      5m 3s
    41. Oyster Bar: Creating a manhole cover
      10m 53s
    42. Oyster Bar: Creating a canvas texture
      7m 53s
    43. Creating realistic reflections and shadows
      11m 0s
    44. Creating water droplets on a surface
      7m 42s
    45. Wrapping a pattern around a 3D wine goblet
      7m 47s
    46. Creating net fabric for a veil
      15m 39s
    47. Animating a spotlight against a brick wall
      7m 1s
    48. Damen Station: Using Blend in Illustrator to create intricate details
      4m 34s
    49. Theater curtain: Making a braid and tassels
      9m 53s
    50. Theater curtain: Creating the curtain
      11m 40s
    51. Theater curtain: Animating a rising curtain
      7m 23s
    52. Creating a chalkboard
      12m 48s
    53. Creating a manila envelope
      12m 50s
    54. Turning a regular donut into a jelly donut
      9m 41s
    55. Making a book: Perspective
      9m 53s
    56. Making a book: Adding pages
      9m 27s
    57. Using paths and layer styles to create logo text
      9m 36s
    58. Increasing precipitation: How to make a rainy-day photo look rainier
      9m 34s
    59. Retouching techniques: Improving a picnic scene
      9m 28s
    60. Retouching techniques: Moving an object in a scene
      9m 29s
    61. Retouching techniques: Improving a real estate photo
      8m 53s
    62. Adding a billboard to a photo
      7m 52s
    63. Making a desk nameplate
      12m 6s
    64. Illustrating a campfire from scratch
      9m 35s

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