Burning Question: How Do I Create Snow?

Burning Question: How Do I Create Snow?

Question: It’s Christmas and we don’t have any snow. How do I create snow in my favorite VFX software?


There are lots of great ways of creating believable snowflakes, snow covered objects, or more stylized snow for motion graphics. Here are a few ideas for you.

Plug-ins and Stock Media for Snow

Boris Continuum Snow – Snow is an auto-animated snow generator which can composite snow over a sky color or an image layer. The filter offers extensive options for customizing the effect and allows you to create drifts or make flakes pile up along the edges of an alpha channel.

Digieffects Phenomena Snowstorm – A plug-in designed so that the snow drifts in a particular direction, but also includes a great deal of chaotic motion. Layer the effect to create a blizzard.

GenArts Monsters Snow – An enhanced effect for realistic snowflakes, with improved sprite quality, sub-pixel positioning, and motion-blurred.

CC Snow in After Effects – a snow plug-in that ships with AE.

Red Giant Harry Frank’s Holiday Presets for Particular – Get seasonal elements like snow, stars, ice, light and ornaments into your projects fast.

Dosch HDRI: Snow – Check out these HDRI (High Dynamic Range Image) environments.

Rampant Studio Snow – 106 2K, 4K & 5K Royalty-Free Quicktime Movies of REAL Snow and Flurry Effects. Shot on the Red Epic Camera System.


Tutorials and Free Presets

CINEMA 4D Tutorial: Snow Cover Effect with “Let it snow” Preset Tutorial

Tillman Staffen entered this in the C4DAPT2 CHALLENGE and it uses TP Collision and TP Destructor Thinking Particles preset. Download the preset here.

Learn more about Thinking Particles.

Via CGTerminal

After Effects Tutorial: Creating Beautifully Realistic Snow

Premium Beat presents a tutorial using Trapcode Particular in After Effects.

After Effects Tutorial: Make it Snow

BKM Pictures shows you how to add some faux snow to your footage while still “maintaining realism and depth”.

After Effects Tutorial: Let It Snow In After Effects Without 3rd Party Plugins

Church Media Design shows how they create snow in AE.

Apple Motion Tutorial: Motion Magic in Under 5 Minutes: How to Add Snow to a Scene

Mark Spencer explains how to add a snowstorm using a particle emitter from Motion’s library.

Boris Freebie: Let It Snow Templates

Check out these 4 great templates and 6 custom images for Boris Continuum Complete 9 for After Effects.

Nuke and Maya Tutorial: Create an Atmospheric Snow Shot

Inspirations: Disney’s Frozen – A Material Point Method For Snow Simulation

Disney shows the complexities of their snow creation and the realism is mind-boggling.

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Posted by Michele Yamazaki