Finally, we’ve come to the post where we actually make
Animated falling snow – like this
Part 3 – Animating falling snow
This post builds on –
Part 1 – Creating snow using Photoshop
Part 2 – Creating sets of images to be used for GIF Animation
Starting points –
Note – The snow image is larger than the image of the scene
This allows us to use a single (saved) snow image over & over
As long as it’s larger than the resolution of the scene
In this case, scene = 800 x 533 & snow = 2000 x 2000
(They’re not shown to scale above)
We use the two image files above as follows –
1. Open the scene image in Photoshop
2. Add the snow image as a layer above the scene
3. Change the blend mode for the layer to Screen
This makes the layer’s black area disappear, as we want
Back to that over-sized snow image. Why do that??
1. It saves having to make a snow image many, many times
2. PS’s noise filter gives an identical noise pattern every time
If you needed 10 snow images & made them individually
They’d all be the same
Nothing would move when animated
A snow image larger than the scene (background)
Can be positioned (dragged) wherever desired
Each new position provides a different scene since
Only the part overlaying the background is visible
3. Changing the blend mode to make the snow more visible (black) in the two images below –
Illustrates the effect of moving the snow layer relative to the scene
Practically speaking the bottom location wouldn’t be used
Just for show
Practically speaking (again) the upper image shows one of
Almost countless snow locations
Each of which generates a different composite image
4. Bottom line – Make a good snow template once (mine needs work)
and reuse it any time snow is needed
Creating a set of images for use in an Animated GIF program
OK – we’ve got our two files open in PS. Now what?
Tedium sets in (a good place for a PS action)
We decide how many images we want for our animation set
And we make them
Just how do we make those images (I made 20 for the barn scene)?
We simply re-position the snow 20 times (saving each)
That’s all?? Then why does this image look different?
Because the snow was moved more or less randomly
Each successive position should relate to the previous
What I did for each snow location was –
Nudge the snow layer a “wee bit” from its previous spot
How much is a nudge?
Depends on image pixel sizes. Experiment
By the way, unless you want snow dropping straight down
Nudge a left/right as well as down
How do you nudge (precisely)?
Use the keyboard’s arrow keys
For this image I did 12 down & 3 left between each location
Did I mention tedious??? 😉
Be careful with the nudge directions.
The motion illusion may end up backwards
This isn’t a big problem as
It is fixed in the animation program by reversing image order
Some programs will even do this for you with a click
A final thought – motion “jump’ when animation restarts
This was mentioned in part 2
The problem is caused when the final image (snow in this case)
Is a poor match to the initial image
Since the “restart” means going from the last to the 1st
If they’re too dissimilar there will be a “jump”
For images like today’s (vs. simple bouncing balls)
I don’t think there is a perfect solution
What I tried today for the first time was
Adjusted the snow layer’s opacity
Image #1 – 60%, #2 – 70%, #3 – 80%, #4 – 90%
Images #5-16 were 100%
Images #17-20 took it back to 60% in 10% steps
Starting and ending opacity can be played with
This doesn’t eliminate the basic mismatch of snow flake location
It just makes it less noticeable by reducing contrast
Top barn – constant opacity; Bottom – adjusted opacity
Jump occurs every 5 seconds
The stationary scene with snow is only one possibility.
Later – animated falling snow with a scene that also moves
Sorry about the length of this post
And to think I originally planned all 3 parts as a single post 😦
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