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Let it Snow

With the image editing app, everyone has the power to summon snow within any picture! Creating a delightful falling snowflakes is so much fun and very easy to accomplish.

Step 1

Open the image to which you would like to add a snow effect in Pixelmator.

Step 2

In the Layers palette (View > Show Layers), click the Add button (+) to create a new layer. Double-click on the layer’s name to change its name to “Snow.”

Step 3

With the “Snow” layer selected, choose Edit > Fill, set Color to black, and click OK.

Step 4

To simulate the basic snow effect, double-click the Noise thumbnail in the Effects Browser and set Amount to 20-30. Click OK when you are done. Change the “Snow” layer’s Blending to Screen, since the Screen blending mode creates a bleached effect.

Please note that the Noise effects looks most accurate with a 100% Zoom (View > Actual Pixels).

Step 5

Since wind often accompanies falling snow, a bit of motion would make the effect appear to be more true-to-life. To add a motion effect to the snow, double-click the Motion thumbnail in the Effects Browser and change the Radius value to 1 and the Angle to approximately 145. Click OK.

Step 6

To make the shape of the snowflakes more realistic, start with duplicating the “Snow” layer by choosing Layer > Duplicate. With the duplicated layer selected, double-click the Crystallize effect in the Effects Browser, set the Radius to approximately 5, and click OK.

Step 7

In the Layers palette, click the Add button (+) to create a new layer. Double-click on the layer’s name to change its name to “Snowflakes”.

Step 8

In order to make the effect more realistic, make the object(s) in the picture appear as though they are covered with snow by painting some snowflakes on them:

  1. First, click to select the Brush Tool in the Tools palette.
  2. In the Brushes palette (View > Show Brushes), double-click on the star brush preset.
  3. To make this star brush preset look like snowflakes, change the Brush setting values: Diameter = 30, Spacing = 30, Scatter = 0, Flow = 100, Size = 100, Stroke = 82, Angle = 100, Opacity = 100. These values will allow the default star brush preset to resemble the snowflakes.
  4. In the Tool Options bar (View > Show Tool Options), click on the Color box to set the Brush color to white.
  5. Select the recently created “Snowflakes” layer in the Layers palette to paint on it.
  6. Paint on the object(s) in the picture using the Brush Tool (B).

Step 9

In order to make the effect look even more realistic, erase the unwanted snowflakes to accentuate any details in the object(s) that are not usually covered by falling snow (in our case, the dog’s eyes, nose, and ears). In order to do so, first click to select the Eraser Tool in the Tools palette. In the Brushes palette, click to select any large soft brush preset and paint on the “Snowflakes” layer.

Step 10

In order to create a cold, frozen look for an image, first select the image layer to which you are applying the effect (in our case, the dog image). Then choose double-click the Color Balance thumbnail to bring up the color adjustment dialog. Drag the Midtones sliders closer to Cyan and Blue. Use the example in the image below as a reference. The snowy effect is then complete!?