How to Make a Photo Look Snowy in Paint.NET

Lit Candle With Christmas Decoration On Fake Snow Against Glittering Wall

Jasmin Awad/Getty Images

Simulate a Snowy Scene in Paint.NET

Paint.NET is capable of producing all sorts of effects. This tutorial shows you how to add a fake snow effect to your photos. This shares some similarities with my tutorial to add fake rain to a photo so do take a look at that if you're after a wetter effect.

Ideally, you'll have a photo with snow on the ground to try this technique, but don't worry if you haven't.

Open Your Photo

When you have decided which photo you are going to use, go to File > Open and navigate to the photo before clicking the Open button.

Add a New Layer

We need to add a blank layer that we will use to add our snow to.

Go to Layers > Add New Layer or click the Add New Layer button in the Layers palette.

Fill the Layer

As odd as it may seem, to produce the effect of snow, we need to fill the new layer with solid black.

In the colors palette, set the Primary color to black and then select the Paint Bucket tool from the Tools palette. Now just click on the image and the new layer will be filled with solid black.

Add Noise

Next, we use the Add Noise effect to add lots of white dots to the black layer.

Go to Effects > Noise > Add Noise to open the Add Noise dialog. Set the Intensity slider to about 70, move the Color Saturation slider to zero and the Coverage slider all the way to 100. You can experiment with these settings to get different effects, so do try this tutorial later using different values. When you've applied your settings, click OK.

Change Blending Mode

This simple step visually combines the fake snow with the background layer to give an impression of the final effect.

Go to Layers > Layer Properties or click the Properties button in the Layers palette. In the Layer Properties dialog, click on the Blending Mode drop-down and select Screen.

Blur the Fake Snow

We can use a little Gaussian Blur to soften the snow effect a little.

Go to Effects > Blurs > Gaussian Blur and in the dialog, set the Radius slider to one and click OK.

Strengthen the Fake Snow Effect

The effect is quite soft at this stage and that may be what you want; however, we can make the fake snow denser.

The easiest way to strengthen the appearance of the fake snow is to duplicate the layer, either by clicking the Duplicate Layer button in the Layers palette or by going to Layers > Duplicate Layer. However, we can produce a more random result by repeating the previous steps to add another layer of fake snow.

You can also combine different fake snow layers with different levels of Opacity by changing the settings in the Layer Properties dialog, which can help to give more natural results.