How to create a vector snowflake in photoshop

by hannah 626 views3

vector snowflakes

This tutorial will show you how to create a snowflake vector shape in photoshop. You will be able to scale up and down the final shape without rastoration, so whatever size you need the final snowflake, you will be able to follow the measurements given in this tutorial. If you do work at a different size you will need to keep the measurements in proportion although the angles used will remain the same.

Step 1.
Create a canvas 1000x1000px 72dpi

New Document Window
New Document Window

Step 2.
I’m going to work with the snowflakes in white right from the start so the first thing is to give the background a colour to work against. I have just used the paint bucket on the background layer.

Background Colour
Background Colour

Step 3.
The next step is to draw some guides out to work with. First we need to find the centre of the canvas. Use the marque tool, and set the tool to ‘fixed width’ 500x500px. Place the marquee tool in the top left corner.

Marque Tool
Marque Tool
Marque Settings
Marque Settings
Marque Position
Marque Position

Step 4.
Make sure the rulers are turned on (toggle ctrl+R / Apple+R to turn the rulers on and off). Drag guides from the rulers top and at the left and drag across in line with the right and bottom of the marque. (This should snap into place if it’s not easy to align click the snap-to settings).

Set the guidelines
Set the guidelines

Step 5.
Set the marque tool to 126x250px and line up to the top right of the central point. Drag the guides across to marque the new points(toggle the guides on and off with ctrl+; / apple+;)

Second Marque & guidelines
Second Marque & guidelines

Step 6.
Set the marque tool to 126x217px and line it up to the centre point top right. Drag a guide to the top of the marque.

3rd marque settings
3rd marque settings

Step 7.
Choose the pen tool and set the foreground colour to white.

Pen tool
Pen tool

Step 8.
Start the pen tool in the middle and work up the centre line to the top intersection, across and down one, and back to the centre point to create a triangle.

Triangle shape
Triangle shape

Step 9.
Staying with the pen tool, change the shape area to subtract in the tool option bar.

Subtract from shape area
Subtract from shape area

Step 10.
Just like you would do with scissors with a folded piece of paper to make a snowflake, cut out sections from the triangle.

cut out shapes from triangle
cut out shapes from triangle

Step 11.
When you are happy with the cut outs, use the direct selection tool to move the points that cross over the left and right side of the triangle in line best you can. (This is only important if you want to have the final snowflake as one vector shape, you can ignore this step if you are happy to have the snowflake in different sections on different layers either grouped or linked together).

the finished triangle
the finished triangle
Direct Selection Tool
Direct Selection Tool
reduce areas over the line
reduce areas over the line

Step 12.
Duplicate the shape layer (Ctrl+J Apple J).

Duplicate Shape
Duplicate Shape

Step 13.
Flip the new shape horizontal. Edit > Transform > Flip Horizontal

Transform Flip Horizontal
Transform Flip Horizontal
Shape after flip
Shape after flip

Step 14.
Use the move tool on the new shape layer to bring it in line with the left of the first triangle.

new shape posistion
new shape posistion

Step 15.
Use the Direct selection tool and drag the direct selection tool across the canvas to highlight all the points.

Select shape points
Select shape points

Step 16.
With the points selected choose to copy and cut the points (Ctrl+C, Ctrl+X / Apple+C, Apple+X). Click ok in the pop up box.

Step 17.
Choose the first triangle in the layers palette and paste the points to this layer (Ctrl+V / Apple+V)

Single shape layer paste extra points
Single shape layer paste extra points
combined shapes
combined shapes

Step 18.
You should now have a symmetrical shape all on one layer. If the central section is out of shape and not symmetrical, this will be because some of the subtraction points were still overlapping from Step 14.

Step 19.
Duplicate the new combined shape and use the transform tools to rotate the shape. Use Crtl+T / Apple+T to bring up the transform tools and set the rotation angle in the tool setting to 60. Hit the return key to exit the transform tool.

duplicate and transform
duplicate and transform
rotate shape
rotate shape

Step 20.
Move the new shape layer into position.

new posistion
new position

Step 21.
Combine the 2 shape layers by repeating step 16 & 17.

combined on 1 shape layer
combined on 1 shape layer

Step 22.
Duplicate the new combined shape layer and rotate 120. Move this layer to the new position before duplicating and rotating the new layer by 120 to complete the snowflake.

New shape rotation
New shape rotation
complete shape on 3 layers
complete shape on 3 layers

Step 23.
Use the same process of highlighting the shape points with the direct selection tool and copying and pasting onto the original shape to create the vector snowflake on one vector shape layer.

select shape points
select shape points
all elements combined in 1 shape area
all elements combined in 1 shape area

Step 24.
The final vector snowflake.

Finished snowflakes
Finished snowflakes

Comments (3)

  1. GOOD WORK!

  2. Good job, 🙂 But for a newbee like me it could be a little more detailed at some points.

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