In this simple tutorial, you will learn how to draw a snowman and create an animation of falling snow.
You can watch the animation in good quality here.
Materials for the lesson:
Step 1. To work we need a texture: Create a new document. Usually, I use a large size, because it’s easier to focus on small details. As you can see in the image below, the background is filled with blue # 89defd. Fill the background layer with this color.
Step 2. Create a new layer. Choose Ellipse tool (Ellipse) (U) and draw a large circle. Create a new layer and draw another circle, but this time a bit smaller. Circles should not be perfect shape. Fill them with white. We have a smaller figure over a large one.
Step 3. Create a new layer under the layers with circles. Take Brush Tool (Brush) (B) with hard edges and draw a large circle, as in the image below. It will be a shadow. Colour #CCCC. Now go to the layer with the body of the snowman, hold down the CTRL and click on the layer to load its selection, then go to the layer with the shadow and CTRL + J. The layer with the gray circle that we used is no longer needed, so you can remove it. Next, go Filter – Blur – Gaussian Blur (Filter – Blur – Gaussian Blur) and set the value to 3-4%. As a result, we created a shadow for the head.
Step 4. Go to the layer with the body and load its selection. Activate Gradient tool (Gradient) (G) and fill the layer with a gradient from the center to the edge of the circle. Set the Opacity to about 20%. Do the same for the head.
Step 5. In this step we will create a texture for a snowman. Activate Brush tool (Brush) (B) with hard edges, press F5 to bring up the brush settings window:
Shape dynamics (Dynamics of the form) – all values at 0%,
Scattering (Dispersion) – 372%, 1%, 0%,
Other Dynamics (Other dynamics) – 100%, 0%.
Now we draw a texture with a small brush, work intensively around the edges and quite a bit in the center. Set the layer blending mode to Multiply (Multiplication) and Opacity by about 35-40%.
Step 6. Activate Brush tool (Brush) (B) with hard edges without the settings we made in the previous step, and draw two black eyes. Go to Layer – Layer Style (Layer – Layer Style) and apply the following parameters:
Step 7. Via Pen tool (Feather) (P) draw the shape in the form of a carrot and fill it with orange color. Colour # e37b19. Add light with Dodge tool (Brightener) (O) on the right side of the nose and shadows using Burn tool (Dimmer) (O) on the left.
Step 8. In this step we will draw a shadow from the snowman’s nose. Take a round brush (B) black with hard edges and draw a circle as in the image below, then press CTRL + J. Create a layer mask for this layer (the button Add layer mask (Add layer mask) is at the bottom of the layers panel. If the shadow is too dark, reduce the level Opacity (Opacity).
Step 9. Now create a mouth. Activate Ellipse tool (Ellipse) (U) and draw a circle on a new layer. Click on the selection with the right mouse button and select Stroke (Stroke). In the window that appears, select the required parameters and click OK. After that, remove the upper part of the circle using a layer mask.
Step 10. Via Pen tool (Pen) (P) draw a shape, as in the screenshot below. This will be the top for the cap. Fill the shape with white. Use the brush to make the left part darker.
Step 11. Now we need to create a header on the new layer using Pen tool (Feather) (P). Fill the shape in red # a90505. Place this layer under the lapel.
We have the previously loaded texture above the layer with the header. Set the blending mode to Luminosity (Glow) and Opacity (Opacity) by about 20-25%.
Step 12. Add a depth effect with Burn tool (Dimmer) (O) for the shadows and DodgeTool (Brightener) (O) for light.
Step 13. Now draw the buttons. We use the same technique as for the eyes. Activate Brush Tool (Brush) (B) with hard edges and draw several small circles. Making a correction with Layer – Layer Style (Layer – Layer Style), as in the image below.
Step 14. Activate Ellipse tool (Ellipse) (U) and draw a small circle under the cap layer. Fill it with white and create a shadow. Now take brush (B) with the parameters from Step 5 and draw the white fur.
Step 15. In this part we will create a scarf. Create a basic form using Pen tool (Feather) (P), as in the image below. Fill it with red8b0404.
Use the pen to create stripes and fill them with green # 0b6a16. We use Burn tool (Dimmer) (O) and Dodge tool (Clarifier) (O) for chiaroscuro.
Create a new layer under the scarf and brush (B) add shadows.
Step 16. Brush add snow.
Step 17. This is a long step, because now we will create corrective layers so that the snowman does not look like an icon on the desktop.
Add Layer – New Adjustment Layer – Curves (Image – Correction – Curves)
Move on Filter – Filter Gallery – Watercolor (Filter – Filter Gallery – Watercolor) and set the parameters as in the image below. Opacity (Opacity) approximately 30%.
Layer – New Adjustment Layer – Photo Filter (Layer – New Adjustment Layer – Photo Filter) and select Warming Filter 50% (50% Heating Filter).
Correction layer Color balance (Color balance) – +20, -1, -29.
Correction layer Gradient map (Gradient map).
Filter – Blur – Gaussian Blur (Filter – Blur – Gaussian Blur) 3 px, Opacity (Opacity) 30%.
Next, go Filter – Filter Gallery – Accented Edges (Filter – Filter Gallery – Focus on edges). We use this filter only for a scarf.
Correction layer Clor balance (Color balance) – +38, +31, -41. Use background correction to create a warm atmosphere.
Also use Curves (Curves).
Step 18. Create a new document that should be larger than a document with a snowman. Fill the background with white spots using a soft brushes , adjusting its size. I also added snowflakes. It is very important that the document with snow be more, as it will be necessary for the animation of snowfall.
I used the blue background just to demonstrate, but you must use a transparent background.
Step 19. Drag the snow created in Step 18 onto a document with a snowman. Arrange it as shown below. The snow should not be fully visible. Name the layer “snow frame 1”.
Duplicate (CTRL + J) this layer, call the copy “snow frame 2” and hide it. Then go to the original, hold down the key SHIFT, move the snow down and to the left, as shown below.
Again, make visible the layer “snow frame 2” and get what you see below in the screenshot. In order for the animation to look natural and not be interrupted, but repeated exactly in a circle, the last frame must be the same as the first.
Press CTRL + A to select the entire image, then go to the “snow frame 2” layer and press CTRL + J to duplicate only its visible part.
Select the layer “snow frame 2 copy” and “snow frame 1”, then press CTRL + E.
Step 20. We have snow, as shown below.
Step 21 Move on Window – Animation (Window – Animation). A new panel should appear at the bottom of the screen.
Step 22 On the animation panel click on the button to create a new layer. Then move the layer “snow frame 2 copy”, as shown below.
Step 23 Now, when you activate the second frame on the animation panel, the “snow frame 2 copy” layer will be visible, and when the first frame is activated, the position of the snow will be different.
Step 24 On the animation panel, click on the button Tween (Intermediate frames), enter the parameters as in the screenshot below and click OK. We now have 27 frames.
Step 25. Save the animation File – Save for Web Devices (File – Save for web and devices). We are convinced that in the appeared window the parameters correspond to those on the screenshot below and click Save (Save).
This is what the final result should look like.
You can watch the animation in good quality here.