Today’s photo is a rough and tumble shot of Toulouse and Thomas playing in the garden. It seemed a good photo to experiment with because I want to share an effect I have been exploring. It’s called an overlay. Overlays are not difficult to do and heres how to add snow to a cat photo for some Christmas fun.
The layered snow effect gives your photos a totally different look, especially here in New Zealand (where it’s spring!) Still, it’s a quick and easy effect you will enjoy using on your cat photos.
Snow Overlays for Your Computer
For a fast way to add the snow effect I suggest using one of the free (or paid) effects you can get online. Here’s a list of just a few I found with a brief search:
- Luxe Lens Overlays (currently on sale at $8US for the Thanksgiving holiday. Usually $40+) They have a great range of overlays.
- Pixel Buddha Snow Overlays – (free)
- Shutterstock free snow overlays (also paid images)
- Overlay Selection Envato Elements (monthly membership)
NOTE: The Luxe Lens offer (time limited) is worth a look. It works with all the major software programs including Photoshop and Photoshop Elements, Gimp, Affinity Photo, and any editing program or app that allows layers. This is not a Photoshop ‘action’ or a pre-set, it is a simple and easy to use layer you add on top of your photos.
How Do I Add Snow?
- Open your computer software Photoshop Elements, Paint Shop Pro, Affinity Photo or program of your choice.
- Load the photograph you want to add snow to.
- Open your snow overlay in a second window.
- With your photo page open, Open the Layer panel in your software. In Affinity Photo it is to the right of the Document menu along the top.
- Select New Layer. This opens a transparent layer on top of your photo.
- Go to your snow overlay and copy it. Ctrl-C/Cmd-C works.
- Return to your photo and Paste the overlay into the Layer you created. Ctrl-V/Cmd-V works.
- Resize the snow layer by dragging the corners, if it is too big or small for your image.
TOP TIP If you want to make your snow thicker, you can add a second and even a third layer of snow, depending on the kind of overlay you use. Several light layers can be as effective as one dramatic thicker layer of fluffy snow flakes.
Help I Can’t See The Snow!
As the overlay is transparent, the snow can be difficult to see but don’t panic. It is there!
If you look at the sample, you can see the chequered background (which indicates the layer is transparent) has smudgy blurs. These are the snowflakes but see through is not very helpful when you want an idea of what the snow looks like. I have added a dark background to show the snow. If you dowload a free or purchased snow overlay you should be able to check photos to see the effect you are getting.
Here’s a second example of cute snow fun. I used a different overlay to create a touch of winter on a image I used for a blog post’s featured image. The plain image is brought to life by snowflakes.
Don’t be surprised if I start getting into the Christmas spirit with more snow photos over the coming weeks, we haven’t had snow here since 2011!
Have you used an overlay on your photos, did you like the effect you got?