Add Falling Snow to Any Image with GIMP

Add Falling Snow to Any Image with GIMP 800 470 Nick Saporito

In this tutorial I’ll be demonstrating how to add falling snow to any image using GIMP. We’ll be generating the snow effect from scratch with the HSV noise filter.

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The following is just a brief overview of the steps taken to achieve this effect. For complete step-by-step instructions please watch the video tutorial at the top of the page.

GIMP Snow Effect

For this tutorial I’ll be using the following example image. Click the image to download a full size copy, otherwise you can use any image you’d like.

Example image

Click for full size image

The first thing we’ll do is add a new layer on top of the image and fill it in with black.

All black layer

Next, navigate to Filters -> Noise -> HSV Noise to generate a static-like pattern on the layer. Match your presets to the following…

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HSV noise

It should look something like this…

Noise pattern

Now we’re going to give this a very subtle blur. Navigate to Filters -> Blue -> Gaussian Blur and give it a 1 pt blur. The pattern should now appear to be slightly out of focus.

Out of focus pattern

This is where the magic happens. Go to Colors -> Levels to open up the levels menu, and manually adjust the level points to match the following presets…

Color levels

Note the position of the arrows on the graph

You will likely have to manually adjust them. The goal is to make your image appear like snow falling on a black backdrop…

Snow texture

All you have to do now is set the layer mode to Screen so that the image can show through where the black areas are…

Screen layer mode

You may have to adjust the opacity of the snow layer based on how subtle you want it to look.

To really bring this effect home we’re now going to repeat the process again on a new layer, only this time we’ll set the Dulling of the HSV noise to 1 and use a Gaussian blur of 3.

New layer

Now go ahead and manually adjust the color levels so that you end up with larger snowflakes…

Larger snowflakes

Finally, set the blend mode to Screen. The point of doing this was to add a layered look to the image where it appears as if there’s a higher density of small snowflakes further away and larger snowflakes closer to the camera.

Finished snowfall effect

And with that we are finished! That is how you can add the appearance of falling snow to any image with GIMP. If you have any questions just leave a comment below. As always, thanks for watching!

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Nick Saporito

Nick Saporito is a Philadelphia-based graphic designer who specializes in branding-specific design. A full portfolio and information regarding services offered can be found at LogosByNick.com.

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