In this snowglobe I experimented with natural looking snowflakes. Most of the work was done in Paint Shop Pro 5, though the flakes were made in PhotoImpact 4. The domed globe is from the snowglobes tubes from Skeldale House Treasures, to which there is a link on the first snowglobe page - Our Lady of Lourdes. The dome was heightened by selecting the top of the globe, promoting it to a new layer, adjusting it so that it lengthened the globe but made no jagged join, and merging the two layers. The white interior of the new globe was selected and the selection saved to the alpha channel.

Because the picture of the penguins has a lot of black and white, neither of those colours could be used for the transparent colour at the end of the process, so the area surrounding the globe was selected and coloured green - a colour which is not used in the picture.

The picture is a collage made from two photographs of penguins from the Corel Mega Gallery, and the copyright of the photograph rests with the Corel Corporation.

One of the pictures used had a single penguin against a dramatic sky, and the other, two penguins against a background of a snowdrift. The single penguin was bigger than the two, and so had to be covered with sky before I could make the collage. I cut a strip of sky as wide as possible from beside the penguin, and copied and pasted repeatedly till the bird was hidden. Then I used the clone tool to hide the joins between the strips.

Using the dome shape selection from the alpha channel, I cut a shape from the sky photograph, and another from the picture of two penguins. These were pasted as the second and third layers of the image respectively, above the dome and its base on the background layer.

The penguins layer was given a mask, which was then edited so that the sky showed through from the photgraph below. Eye Candy glass preset was then applied, to give the highlight and the appearance of glass.

I opened a new square image three times as high as the globe, in PhotoImpact 4, and filled it with black. I used the Particle filters snow effect to fill this square with snowflakes, adjusting the size, density and opacity of the flakes visually to get the right appearance for the globe. This image was then opened in PSP5. Using the dome shape selection from the alpha channel I cut three snowflake shapes from the image, from one below the other, and pasted them as three separate layers above the Eye Candy layer of the penguin image. I applied Sandy Blair's Brightness filter to each layer to strip away the black, leaving only the flakes against a transparent background.

Save Copy As was used to save the three transparent gifs, each with a different snowflake layer visible and the other two switched off, which were needed for the animation. After each gif was saved, I used the undo tool to restore the layers which are merged when the transparent colour is nominated, in order to change snowflake layers.

The animation was made in Paint Shop Pro's Animation Shop, and runs with a display time of 12/100ths of a second.

 

 

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