January 04, 2016

Add Falling Snow To A Photo Using GIMP

In today's tutorial, you will learn how to add falling snow to a photo in GIMP using Filters.

We can play around with GIMP's many filters to add our own artistic effects.

We'll be using the RGB Noise Filter, the Pixelize Filter, and the Motion Blur filter to recreate the snow effect and using Levels to adjust the amount of snow. 

Let's get started!
Add Falling Snow To A Photo Using GIMP
Final result.


Video: Add Falling Snow To A Photo Using GIMP.

Watch the video for detailed instructions and use the written steps for quick reference. If you enjoyed this video, I highly encourage you to subscribe to my Youtube channel - PhotoEffect.

1. Open Image in GIMP.
Use File>Open... command in the top menu or else just press Ctrl+O to open your image.

The “Open Image” dialog will appear, allowing you to navigate to the file and click on its name.

Navigate through your folders in the Places panel and the Name panel until your images' name appears in the Name panel.

Click the image you want to open.

When an image file is selected, we can view the preview of the image file at the right-hand side of the box, although it's not easy to find an image based on a thumbnail.

Click the Open button.
The Open Image dialog.
The Open Image dialog.

For this GIMP tutorial, I'll use this image, colle-di-fuori-168766, that downloaded from Pixabay.
colle-di-fuori-168766.
colle-di-fuori-168766.

2. Create a New Layer.
Press the D button to reset the background color to default (black).

Use Layer> New Layer or press Shift+Ctrl+N to create a new layer.

The New Layer window open.

Type a name in the Layer Name text box (you can name it 'Snow Effect') and choose Foreground color in the Fill with drop-down menu.

Click OK. A new, empty layer, added to the layer stack of the image, just above the active layer.

Change the snow layer's blend mode to Screen.
Press the D button to reset the foreground color to default (black).
Press the D button to reset the foreground color to default (black).

The New Layer dialog box.
The New Layer dialog box.

A new, empty layer, added to the layer stack of the image, just above the active layer.
A new, empty layer, added to the layer stack of the image, just above the active layer.

Change the snow layer's blend mode to Screen.
Change the snow layer's blend mode to Screen.

3. Apply the RGB Noise Filter to The Snow Effect Layer.
Select the Snow Effect layer on the Layers dialog.

Use Filters>Noise>RGB Noise to apply the RGB Noise filter.

The RGB Noise dialog box appears.

Here you can set the value of Red, Green, Blue, and Alpha to a value of 1.

Uncheck Correlated Noise and Independent RGB. Click the OK button.
Select the Snow Effect layer on the Layers dialog.
Select the Snow Effect layer on the Layers dialog.


The RGB Noise dialog box.
The RGB Noise dialog box.


The RGB Noise filter applied.
The RGB Noise filter applied.

4. Apply the Pixelize Filter to The Snow Effect Layer.
Make sure the Snow Effect layer is selected on the Layers dialog.

To give the snow crystals effect, we apply the Pixelize filter by choosing Filters> Blur> Pixelize.

The Pixelize dialog box appears.

Here you can set a value of 8 to pixel height and width and then click the OK button.
Make sure the Snow Effect layer is selected.
Make sure the Snow Effect layer is selected.


The Pixelize dialog box.
The Pixelize dialog box.


The Pixelize Filter applied.
The Pixelize Filter applied.

5. Apply the Motion Blur filter.
Make sure the Snow Effect layer is selected on the Layers dialog.

Now we'll apply the Motion Blur filter by going to Filters> Blur> Motion Blur...

The Motion Blur dialog box appears.

Here you can set Linear for Blur Type.

Under the Blur Parameter, I'll set 10 for Length and 52 for Angle. Click OK.
The Motion Blur dialog box.
The Motion Blur dialog box.


The Motion Blur Filter applied.
The Motion Blur Filter applied.

6. Adjust the Levels.
The last step is to adjust the amount of snow by using Levels.

Use Color>Levels.

The Levels dialog box appears.

Here you can set the Input Levels slider to get your desired snow effect.

Click OK when you're done.
The Levels dialog box. Set the Input Levels slider to get your desired snow effect.
The Levels dialog box. Set the Input Levels slider to get your desired snow effect.


Levels applied.
Levels applied.

7. Save Document.
Use File>Save command in the top menu or else just press Ctrl+S to save your project file.

The Save Image dialog box appears.

Navigate to the folder where you want to store your project file.

Type a name in the Name text box and leave the default GIMP (*.XCF) format.

XCF is GIMP's native format and is useful because it stores everything about your image and will allow you to later edit your image in GIMP, in case you notice a problem.

Click Save to store the project file.

Once you have finished, you will probably also want to export the image in a more widely used format, such as JPEG, PNG, TIFF, etc.

Here is the result:
Add falling snow to a photo using GIMP.
Add falling snow to a photo using GIMP.

More on GIMP Tutorials:
This is a PhotoEffect tutorial, and I have just shown you how to Add Falling Snow To A Photo Using GIMP. If you have any questions or comments regarding this tutorial, just add them to the section below. Thank you.

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