Use Smart Objects to Create Snowflakes in Photoshop

snowflake Final
 

They say that no two snowflakes look alike. Trying to create several different snowflake designs in Photoshop can take time. Fortunately, there’s a simple technique that you can use to quickly create any number of truly unique snowflakes. Let’s get started!

Step 1

Create a new Document 100 px by 300 px. This will become one arm of our snowflake.

snowflake 01
 

Step 2

Next, go to Edit > Preferences > Guides, Grid & Slices. In the Grid Section, set the Gridline to every 25 pixels and the Subdivision to 4. This will give us an even grid to work on.

snowflake 02
 

Step 3

If your gird is not visible, got to View > Show Grid (or press Ctrl + ;). Your canvas should now resemble the image below:

snowflake 03
 

Step 4

On a new layer, use the gridlines as a guide to draw a line down the center of the canvas. It’s important to start our shape at the center.

snowflake 04
 

Step 5

Continue to add decorative elements to the shape.

snowflake 05
 

Step 6

Once you’re happy with the shape, hide the background layer by selecting the eye icon in the Layers Panel. Next, select both the shape layer and the background layer. Right-click on any layer and select Convert to Smart Object

snowflake 06
 

Step 7

Create a new document 800 px by 800 px.

snowflake 07
 

Step 8

Drag the Smart Object that we just created into this scene.

snowflake 08
 

Step 9

The next step is to make copies of the smart object in a circle. To make a copy, press Ctrl + J. Now, press Ctrl + T to enter Free Transform.

snowflake 09
 

Step 10

Go to the Top Menu and select the bottom, middle anchor point to reposition the center of our layer’s orientation.

snowflake 10
 

Step 11

Now, use the handles to rotate our object to the 45 degree mark

snowflake 11
 

Tip: holding shift will snap the rotation to 15 degree increments

Step 12

Repeat the last 2 steps (copy and rotate) until you have a complete snowflake.

snowflake 12
 

Step 13

In order to quickly update the look of the snowflake, you can double-click any of the smart objects in the Layers Panel. This will open up the original shape we created.

snowflake 13
 

Step 14

At this point, We only need our snowflake scene (the 800 px by 800 px document) and the smart object (the .psb document) open. We can close anything else. Now go to Window > Arrange > 2-up Vertical.

snowflake 14
 

Step 15

As you can see, this will allow us to work on both documents simultaneously.

snowflake 15
 

Step 16

Now, all you need to do is update the smart object with any shape you want and save it (Ctrl + S). The snowflake document on the other side will automatically update with the new design.

snowflake 16
 

You’re Done

Now that you’ve learned how to quickly create custom snowflakes, see what different designs you can come up with. Also experiment with adding different Layer Styles to create the perfect snowflake!

snowflake Final
 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>