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Snow Texture / Background in Photoshop

Posted on 19th December 2018
For this tutorial you may need some images to add to your artwork like a branch or ornaments, etc.

1 - In Photoshop, create a “New Document”. Make it 2000 by 2000 Pixels @300 dpi and use White as your “Background” color.



2 - Create a “New Gradient Adjustment Layer” by clicking on the small Black & White icon at the bottom of the “Layers Panel”. Use a “Linear Gradient” with a 90° Angle, choose two shades of Blue (we used #a4d5f1 and #66c1f5) and place the “Midpoint” at about 65%. Turn Off its visibility for now by clicking on the small eye icon to the left of its thumbnail.







3 - Unlock your “Background” Layer by double-clicking on top of its Thumbnail. Go to Filter > Render > Clouds (you can apply the filter twice if you want. Drag this Layer to the Top and Turn back On the visibility of the “Gradient” Layer.









4 - Change the “Blending Mode” of the top layer to “Overlay” and the “Opacity” to 30%. Double-click on its Thumbnail and apply the following “Layer Styles”:



Texture: (Cells 128 by 128 pixels, Grayscale mode)



5 - Create a “New Layer” by clicking on the small button at the bottom of the “Layers Panel”. Make sure it is placed on top of everything and then, select the “Paint Bucket” (G) and fill it with White.







6 - Go to Filter > Noise > Add Noise, use an “Amount” of 120 %, use a “Gaussian Distribution” and check the “Monochromatic” box. Then, go to Filter > Blur > Blur More and finally, bring out the “Levels Panel” (Command/Control + L) and move the “Blacks” Lever to the right until you reach a value of about 220. The background should be black with a few specks of white.











7 - Go the “Channels Panel” and create a “New Channel” by clicking on the small button at the bottom. It should be named by default “Alpha 1”. Select the “Brush Tool” (B) use a medium and soft brush (150 px and 0 % “Hardness”, make sure you are using White as “Foreground” color and draw a horizontal side to side line on the area that you want your “Focal Point” to be.









8 - Go to Filter > Blur > Lens Blur… use the “Alpha 1” layer as “Source” an “Octagon” (8) shape a “radius” of 11 and  a “Noise Amount” of 2.







9 - Duplicate your Layer (Command/Control + J), change the “Blending Mode” of the duplicate to “Screen”, select them both (Shift key) right-click on top of their Thumbnails and choose “Merge Layers”. Go to Filter > Blur > Blur More.









10 - Hide the two bottom layers (Gradient and Clouds) by clicking the small eye icon to the left of their thumbnails. In the “Channels Panel” click on top of the “RGB” Layer Thumbnail while holding the “Command/Control” key to make a selection. Go back to the “Layers Panel”, create a “New Layer” on top of everything. Hide the other and fill your selection with White or Background color (Command/Control + Delete).







11 - Select the “Layer 0” (Clouds) and change the “Blending Mode to “Soft Light” and the “Opacity” to 15 %. Duplicate your Layer and drag it under the other one.







12 - Go to Image > Adjustments > Inverse (Command/Control + I) and move your Layer a few clicks down and right (or in the direction you prefer) to create a shadow of sorts. Change its “Blending Mode” to “Multiply” and the “Opacity” to 20 %.







13 - Double-click on its Thumbnail and apply the following “Layer Styles”:

Color Overlay: (#2870b8)



14 - Go to Filter > Blur > Motion Blur… use an “Angle” of 0° and a 15 Pixels “Distance”.





15 - Create a “New Layer” on top of everything. Select the “Brush Tool” (B), open the “Brushes Panel” on the Top Menu, click on small Gear icon on the Top-Right to open the dropdown menu, choose “Square Brushes” and click on the “Append” button to load them. Select one (we chose “Hard Square 14 Pixels”).











16 - In the “Brush Presets” Panel use the following  values:

Brush Tip Shape:



Shape Dynamics:



Scattering:



Then, using White draw some “Snow Flakes” in the area surrounding your “Focal Point”



17 - Lower the “Opacity” of the layer to 85 %. Double-click on its Thumbnail and apply the following “Layer Styles”:



Outer Glow: (#ffffff)





18 - Create a “New Layer” on top of everything and fill it with White. Go to Filter > Noise > Add Noise, use an “Amount” of 400 %, use a “Gaussian Distribution” and check the “Monochromatic” box. Then, go to Filter > Blur > Motion Blur… use an “Angle” of 0° and a 6 Pixels “Distance”.











19 - Go to Filter > Distort > Emboss… use an “Angle” of 125°, a “Height” of 2 Pixels and a 500 % “Amount”. Repeat the filter 5 times and blow the Layer up using “Free Transform” (Command/Control + T) use a “Width” and “Height” of 1000 % and click the Check Mark on the Top Menu (or hit “Enter”).











20 - Go to Filter > Blur > Gaussian Blur and use a 30 Pixels “Radius”. “Select All” (Command/Control + A), go to the “Cut Tool” (Command/Control + C), choose “Selection” on the Top Menu and click the Check Mark (or hit “Enter”). Change its “Blending Mode” to “Soft Light” and the “Opacity” to 70 %.













21 - Click on the small button at the bottom of your “Smart Object” and “Add Layer Mask”. Select the “Gradient Tool” (G) and a Black to Transparent Linear Gradient. Click just outside the top of your Canvas, drag down and release your cursor just under the middle (remember to select the “Mask”). You may repeat this until you get the results you want.







22 - Open the images you wan to add to your “Background” (they need to have a Transparent background) and drag them into your “Document”. Resize them if needed.







23 - To add a “Shadow” to your complements, double-click on their Thumbnails and apply the following “Layer Styles”:

Drop Shadow:



24 - Check it out!


by @lornacane

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