How to Add Realistic Smoke and Snow to Images

Over the past 7 years since I first bought my camera, I have been lucky enough to meet a fair amount of the people that I looked up to in the industry. Some of them I have become very good friends with. Enter Renee Robyn, ex blue-haired rock chick. The face of an angel, the mouth of a sailor. Being that I'm from Yorkshire, and we also tend to like a good curse word now and again, we are now locked in an everlasting struggle to out banter each other. Not only that, she is an amazing photographer and digital artist. She has created work for rock stars, industry giants like Pro Edu and created work for VFX companies in Hollywood. Which is why any kind of tutorial from her is usually like gold dust. Which is lucky for you because here is one from the prolific Doritos eater herself.

In this video, Renee walks us through the steps it takes to add realistic smoke and snow to any image. Unlike a lot of people, Renee shoots all her stock. So to use this technique you will need smoke and snow shot against a black background to work. The term we like to use for this type of stock is an overlay. 

Watch as Renee shows you how to bring the overlay texture into your image in Photoshop, and then walk you through various blend modes to get the right effect. As always she suggests some experimentation too, as would I. Finally, Renee talks us through manipulating the texture with a layer mask to modify the overlay.

Its always hard to find, good efficient and speedy tutorials on YouTube. Renee is very concise and straight to the technical aspects. So sit back, enjoy, and learn. Let me know if you try this technique out, I would love to see your results.

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Logan Cressler's picture

I normally do not like these "check out this video" style of articles. But this one I do appreciate your effort put in to the lead up, and your personal experience with the creator. Cudos.

Clinton Lofthouse's picture

There is usually not a lot to say when creating these articles. The point is to share knowledge but some text is needed. You will learn far more from these types of articles than reading things like ' Why I sold my Nikon and bought a Sony'.