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Snow Globe in Photoshop 6 or higher

Software Used: Adobe Photoshop 6.0

For this tutorial you'll learn how to create a snow globe from scratch using Photoshop 6 or higher. This is an intermediate level tutorial, so you will need to have some familiarity with the interface and a good understanding of the basics of Photoshop. If you are new to Photoshop, I suggest you complete the 8 self-paced lessons in the Adobe Photoshop Basics course on this site before attempting this tutorial.



Before you begin you'll need to save the snowglobe.zip file to your hard drive (right click on the link and choose save) then extract the files. The zip file includes snowglobe.psd, the completed layered file from this tutorial; Bear.psd, the transparent bear image; and GlobeBase.csh, a custom shape file for the snowglobe base. We'll be creating the globe base from scratch for the tutorial, but the custom shape is provided for your convenience. You may find it helpful to examine the layered snowglobe.psd file for hints if you get stuck during the tutorial. The tutorial uses some features not available in Photoshop Elements, however, Elements users can still open the layered PSD file and customize the snow globe. By hiding the "Globe Contents" layer set, users can insert their own image into the snow globe.

I've used Windows keyboard shortcuts throughout the text of this tutorial. Mac users substitute the Command key for Ctrl and substitute Option for Alt.

Special thanks to forum member Linda for inspiring this tutorial. If you have questions about this tutorial, please post them in the forum.

This is a long one (6 pages), so before you get started, you might want to get yourself comfy with a snack and a beverage.

Variations on a Theme
See several examples of snowglobes created in Corel Photo-Paint by Desktop Publishing Guide Jacci Howard Bear. These were based on the techniques in this and other tutorials on the Web. She also used Hemera's Photo-Objects as a quick alternative to creating the base yourself.

1.) Create a new document: 400x500 pixels, 72 ppi, white background. (If you were creating this project to be used in a printed document, you would need to increase the resolution. If you do use a different size than what is specified in this tutorial, keep in mind that you may need to alter some values used in various dialog boxes.)

2.) Fill the background with a bright red color.

3.) Choose Filter > Render > Lighting Effects. Adjust your settings as shown in the screen shot here:

Lighting Effects

4.) Choose the Shape Tool and select Ellipse from the options bar. Set foreground color to white and don't use a layer style. Hold the shift key down to make a perfect circle for the globe.

5.) Alt-double click and name this layer "Globe Shape." We're going to be working with a lot of layers so you'll want to name your layers as you work so you can stay organized.

6.) Add a new layer above the globe shape. Type Ctrl-G to group this layer with the globe shape.

7.) Select a light red as your foreground color and a deep red as the background color. (I used F 249-52-52, B 113-0-0)

8.) Go to the gradient tool and set options for foreground to background, radial gradient.

9.) With the new layer active, click in the middle of the globe circle and drag to the edge of the circle then release the mouse button. You should have something like the screen shot shown to the right.

10.) Name this layer "Globe Background."

11.) Add a new layer to the top of the stack.

12.) Ctrl-click on the globe shape layer in the layers palette to load the layer as a selection. Save this selection as an alpha channel as we will need it again later.

13.) Now on our new blank layer, with the selection active, we are going to add another radial fill. Choose black, white as the gradient and select the reverse checkbox in the options bar. Click in the top left corner and drag to the lower right corner to create the sphere shading. Deselect.

14.) Set the blend mode for this layer to hard light and reduce the opacity to about 80%. Name the layer "globe shading."

15.) Because we're going to be working with so many layers, let's set up some layer sets to help keep things organized. Name a layer set Globe Contents and drag the globe shape and globe background layers into it.

16.) Open the Bear.psd image or a transparent image of your own and use the move tool to drag & drop it into the snowglobe document.

17.) Position the bear above the globe background in the layers palette.

18.) Use the Move tool to adjust the size and position of the bear so it fits in the globe. Type Ctrl-G to add it to the clipping group.

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