Photography Tutorial

Add Falling Snow Effects To An Image With Pixlr Pro

Let’s start off by opening an image from your computer. In the top menu bar, go to (FILE > OPEN). Locate the image of choice and click OPEN. Alternatively, you may also drag and drop an image into Pixlr Pro.

Images with darker backgrounds would be more ideal to make the snow more visible. For this tutorial, we are using image 97870039.

Create a new layer by clicking the ‘New Layer’ icon in the Layers window.

With black set as the main color, go the top menu and select  (EDIT > FILL). Choose ‘Foreground’ and click OK to fill the new layer with black.

Here comes the fun part. With Layer 1 selected, and in the top menu bar, go to (FILTER > NOISE > ADD NOISE)

In the Add Noise dialog box, key in 60% for the amount. Be sure to check ‘Monochromatic’. This limits the color of the noise to only black and white. Click OK.

With Layer 1 selected, pick the ‘Screen’ blend mode from the Layer Blending Options drop-down menu. Once applied, the snow layer will become an overlay, and the man’s photo will show through.

Next, go to (FILTER > BLUR > MOTION BLUR). For settings, we gave ours an angle of -70 degrees, at a distance of 10 pixels. These are up to your preference, and results may vary depending on the size of your image. Feel free to experiment until you get something you like.

Now, the snowfall may be more dynamic, but will also seem quite heavy. That’s alright, let’s move to the next step.

While still having Layer 1 selected, click the ‘New Adjustment Layer’ icon at the bottom of the Layers panel, and select ‘Levels’.

This will create a new layer for Level adjustments above Layer 1. This is a good non-destructive method of applying adjustments without directly affecting the original image.

However, if the adjustment layer is at the top of the layer arrangement, any changes made to it will affect all other layers below. Right clicking the adjustment layer and selecting ‘Clipping Mask’ will apply it directly to the intended layer only (A downwards pointing arrow will appear next to the thumbnail).

Let’s take a look at the Levels Adjustment Histogram. The 3 sliders below it represents (from left to right) shadows, midtones and highlights, respectively. Move the Shadows and Highlights sliders towards the middle as shown until This adjusts the amount of noise to produce a more natural snowfall effect.

If you’re satisfied with the outcome and do not foresee any further changes to the Levels, press CTRL+E to merge it with the layer directly below. Once merged, the image will look like this.

And again, select ‘Screen’ from the Layer Blending Options Drop-down menu.

And that’s how in just a few simple steps, you’ve created convincing snowfall for your image!

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