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Design

How to Create a Winter Snow Globe in Adobe Photoshop

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Difficulty:IntermediateLength:ShortLanguages:
Final product image
What You'll Be Creating

In this tutorial, I will show you how to create a realistic snow globe in Photoshop with a snowfall effect, using your own photos.

This snow globe effect is part of my Animated Snow Globe Photoshop Action for Christmas and my Snow Globe Christmas Mockup with GIF Animation from my portfolio on GraphicRiver.

Animated Snow Globe Photoshop Action
Animated Snow Globe Photoshop Action

Tutorial Assets

The following assets were used during the production of this tutorial:

1. How to Create the Background

Step 1

Create a new 1200 x 1200px document and create a new layer called Blue Background. Fill the layer with color #d9d9d9 using the Paint Bucket Tool.

Fill with Color in Photoshop

Step 2

Go to Filter > Noise > Add Noise and set the Amount to 5%, Distribution to Uniform, and check Monochromatic.

Filter Noise Add Noise in Photoshop

Step 3

Open the Layer Style Window of this layer and add a Gradient Overlay (colors #ffffff and #000000) and a Color Overlay (color #4dc4de). You can of course choose any other color that you like for the Color Overlay.

Add Gradient Overlay Layer Style in Photoshop
Add Color Overlay Layer Style in Photoshop

2. How to Create the Snow Globe Effect

Step 1

Add the Snow Globe Overlay in a new layer; you have to resize the image to fit your canvas if you are using the same canvas size. Call this layer Shade. Duplicate this layer and call it Highlight. Hide the Highlight layer for now. 

Add Snow Globe Overlay

Step 2

Set the Blend Mode of Shade layer to Multiply, Opacity 100%

Create Snow Globe Shade

Click the Create new fill or adjustment layer icon at the bottom of the Layers panel, and choose Curves. Click directly on the Curve line and add one point with Output 130 and Input 69. Add another point with Output 244 and Input 183.

Right click on the Curves adjustment and choose Create Clipping Mask.

Add Curves Adjustment Layer

Step 3

Make the Highlight layer visible. Set the Blend Mode to Screen, Opacity 100%

Add Screen Blend Mode

Click the Create new fill or adjustment layer icon at the bottom of the Layers panel, and choose Curves. Click on the first point and drag to move it; set the Output to 235 and the Input to 0.

Click directly on the Curve line and add one point with Output 55 and Input 71. Add another point with Output 114 and Input 215.

Right click on the Curves adjustment and choose Create Clipping Mask.

Add Curves Adjustment Layer in Photoshop

Step 4

Go back to the Highlight layer and click the Add layer mask icon at the bottom of the Layers panel.

Add Layer Mask in Photoshop

Pick the Brush Tool and choose the Soft Round brush; set the size to around 200 px. Set the Foreground Color to #000000. Click on the layer mask and simply paint over the center of the snow globe. 

Paint Inside Layer Mask in Photoshop

3. How to Add the Castle Image

Step 1

Create a new layer below the Shade layer and call it Castle Image. Copy and Paste the Castle Image in this new layer. You have to resize and move the image to get look that you want.

Add Castle Image

Step 2

Click the Create new fill or adjustment layer icon at the bottom of the Layers panel, and choose Gradient Map. Right click on the Gradient Map adjustment and choose Create Clipping Mask.

Set the Blend Mode of the Gradient Map to Color, Opacity 92%. For the gradient, choose the colors #154654 and #e8fdfd

Add Gradient Map in Photoshop

4. How to Create the Snow Surface

Step 1

You can hide the Castle Image layer for the moment. Pick the Ellipse Tool and create a shape as shown in the image below. Call this layer Snow Base.

Photoshop Ellipse Tool

Add an Inner Shadow layer style to the Snow Base layer. The color for the shadow is #1d2528.

Inner Shadow Layer Style in Photoshop

Step 2

Create a new layer and call it Frozen Snow Texture. Copy and Paste the Frozen Snow Texture stock image in this layer. Right click on the layer and choose Create Clipping Mask. 

Frozen Snow Texture

Go to Edit > Transform > Perspective and modify the perspective by dragging the points. If you want you can also reduce the opacity of this layer.

Edit Transform Perspective Photoshop Tool

Click the Add layer mask icon at the bottom of the Layers panel. Pick the Gradient Tool with Linear Gradient and set the colors for the gradient #000000 and #ffffff. Position the pointer in the image where you want to set the starting point of the gradient, and drag to define the ending point. Hold Shift as you drag. 

Photoshop Gradient Tool

5. How to Add the Red Ribbon

You can now make the Castle Image layer visible again. Create a new layer above the Gradient Map adjustment of the Castle Image layer, and call it Red Ribbon

Download the bow-vector.psd, and inside you can find the red ribbon. You can change the color of the ribbon. Go to File > Save for Web and Devices and save the image as PNG-24 with the Transparency option checked. Add this PNG image on the Red Ribbon layer by going to File > Place

Red Ribbon PNG

6. Add the Image Inside the Snow Globe

Step 1

Click on the Red Ribbon layer. Hold down Shift and click on the Snow Base layer to select all the layers in between. Go to Layer > New > Group from Layers. Call this new group Castle.

Create Group from Layers in Photoshop

Step 2

Go to the Shade layer, Control-click on the layer thumbnail to make a selection. Go to the Castle Group and press the Add Layer Mask button. 

Add Layer Mask to Group in Photoshop

Step 3

Go to the Castle Image layer and add it as a layer mask. Set the Foreground Color to #000000 and use the Brush Tool to paint over the areas that you want to hide. You can use a soft round brush and different opacity levels.

Paint Inside Layer Mask in Photoshop

Step 4

If you want you can reveal more of the castle's original colors. Go to the Gradient Map adjustment of the Castle Layer and use the Brush Tool (color #ffffff) to paint over the areas that you want to reveal.

Gradient Map Adjustment Layer Mask

7. How to Create the Falling Snow Effect

Step 1

Create a new layer called Falling Snow inside the Castle Group. Copy and Paste the Snowing Texture in this new layer. Set the blend mode to Screen, Opacity 100%.

Add Falling Snow Texture

Step 2

If you want more of the snow effect inside the snow globe, you can use the Snow Brushes. Create a new layer and use the Brush Tool with color #ffffff and different opacity levels to add more snowflakes.

Add Snowflake Photoshop Brushes

8. How to Create the Winter Background

Step 1

Create a new layer called Bokeh Lights. Copy and Paste the Winter Bokeh Lights Texture in this layer. Go to Filter > Blur > Gaussian and set the Radius to 15 pixels.

Add Bokeh Texture

Set the blend mode of this layer to Soft Light, Opacity 88%.

Soft Light Blend Mode

Step 2

Click the Create new fill or adjustment layer icon at the bottom of the Layers panel, and choose Brightness/Contrast. Right click on the adjustment and choose Create Clipping Mask.

BrightnessContrast Adjustment Layer

9. How to Add Snowflakes Brushes

For the final touches, you can create three different layers and add snowflakes around the edges of the canvas using the Snow Brushes. Use color #ffffff for the brush and different opacity levels to create a vignette. 

Congratulations, You're Done!

The is the end of this tutorial. I hope you've enjoyed learning how to create a snow globe in Photoshop in just a few easy steps.

How to Create a Snow Globe in Photoshop

If you are looking for a quicker way to create a snow globe in Photoshop, you can try my premium items. This snow globe effect is part of my Animated Snow Globe Photoshop Action for Christmas and my Snow Globe Christmas Mockup with GIF Animation from my portfolio on GraphicRiver.

Animated Snow Globe Photoshop Action
Animated Snow Globe Photoshop Action
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