Snowflake effect?

Is it possible to create a snowflake effect in Express?  Looking for something super super basic for a couple of seconds to overlay on a video.


  • Aladdin4dAladdin4d Moderator
    edited December 2017

    The evil sarcastic part of me is having a real hard time resisting the political joke here but.......

    The easiest is probably trying out snowflake fonts like this one:

    If you have Photoshop, or any other image editor, look for snowflake brushes like this:

    Then you can make a still image the right size and export a PNG with transparency to use in HitFilm.

    You could also use a series of masks to build your own in HitFilm but that's going to be the most difficult and time consuming I think unless @Triem23 or @jsbarrett know a quick and easy way I'm not thinking of.

    Even though you're using Express and can't use 3D models, I'm tossing this last one in here just because of the cool factor.

    It's a donation ware fractal generator that can export 3D meshes. If you elect to donate one of the things you get is a snowflake generator.

  • Do you want sharply defoned snowflakes like a spikey cutout or gentle blob/dots?

    Blobs are easy. Create a plane, add fractal noise, try the blobs noise type and adjust the scale exposure and offset values to get small white blobs on a black field. Animate the X and Y positions for snowfall base direction. Add Heat Distortion (no Diffusion, large scale, small Displacement) for a bit of organic swirl, and Demult to kill the black. Offset multiple layers for parallax.

    With a spikey shape its a lot harder in Express and easy in Pro. 

  • @Aladdin4d The impression I get is that @usmdesigner wants to create the look of snow falling, not large individual stylized snowflakes.  Here's my take on it (very quickly tested):

    Add fractal noise to a black plane, and name the layer "Far".  Use the Starfield preset.  Set the plane's blend mode to Add so that the flakes overlay the underlying layer(s).  Animate the fractal noise position property so that the flakes fall down slowly.  To introduce some subtle "wind", apply the Displacement effect, targeting a grade layer above another plane with default fractal noise.

    Duplicate Far and rename it "Mid," placing it above Far in the layer stack.  Increase the scale of the fractal noise effect, change the seed to a different value, and adjust the noise position keyframes to make the snow fall faster.  To vary the wind, I reversed the values for the displacement effect, as well as increased them a bit.

    Duplicate Mid and rename it "Close," stacking it above Mid. Same adjustments as before: increase fractal noise scale, change the seed, increase rate of descent.  For this final layer, I added the Blur effect (default settings) to fake some DOF.

    To give the snow a little more density (if you feel it needs it), just duplicate any given layer and change the fractal noise seed.

    Here's a quick test render overlaid on a stock image I found online:

  • If you want some free stock, ProductionCrate just posted a whole bunch of winter/Christmas stuff, including several kinds of falling snow:


  • @jsbarrett thanks for whipping up a test--and better explanation--of my rambling above. :) 

  •  Oh wow... the Product Crate is pretty amazing. Thanks for that for sure. I'm just looking for the most basic possible, so that should do it.  literally just a small talking scene that it just puts a finishing touch on, nothing big.

    One thing though, I looked for StarField and can't find it. I also referenced the Express PDF user manual and can't find it there either?  I wanted to at least give your idea a whirl but that part is holding me back.

    Thanks for all the help for sure though!!!!

  • Peerrrrrrrrrrrrrrrfect!  Thanks!

  •  "I looked for StarField and can't find it. "

    In Express 2017 find the starfield fractal noise preset here.

  • @usmdesigner ; I don't know if this what you had in mind for snowflakes but it was just posted today on creating flakes in Blender which can be rendered as PNG sequences for import into HF Express.


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