I have looked everywhere and I cannot find a tutorial on how to make realistic falling snow in cycles. I know it is fairly simple in blender render, but I cannot find out how to do it in cycles. I don't even know where to start, since particles do not show up automatically in cycles.

  • $\begingroup$ Is it animated? $\endgroup$ Nov 8, 2017 at 7:18
  • $\begingroup$ falling snow or snow fall on trees car,etc $\endgroup$
    – atek
    Nov 8, 2017 at 8:27
  • $\begingroup$ how are you easily doing it in blender render? that could help understand what you wish to achieve. Also, add some reference image if possible. $\endgroup$
    – m.ardito
    Nov 8, 2017 at 8:35
  • $\begingroup$ related: blender.stackexchange.com/questions/5049/… $\endgroup$
    – m.ardito
    Nov 8, 2017 at 16:41
  • $\begingroup$ to make realistic snowflakes you have to model each one differently, as they say there's no two identical ones :D $\endgroup$
    – m.ardito
    Nov 8, 2017 at 16:48

3 Answers 3


You could create a snow material using volumetrics using a material such as this :


Applying this to a Sphere produces something like this :


Create a particle system and adjust the properties to provide suitable snowfall - eg, increase Drag, Damp, Brownian in the Particle settings and possibly also add a Turbulence force - to get gently falling snowflakes and the sphere for each particle.

particle physics turbulence

This can produce the following result :


Blend file :

Breaking down the volumetric material, this consists of two parts.

Firstly, a Voronoi texture is used to generate a branching structure by way of a Maths Greater Than filtering out those points greater than a specific value :

voronoi branching

Note that the Light Path render properties in the right-hand panel have been adjusted to increase the Volume bounces. This improves the quality of the volumetric material (as light is allowed to bounce within the volume).

Secondly, the Generated coordinates are manipulated to generate a density that decreases the further the point is away from the centre. This is achieved by subtracting (0.5,0.5,0.5) from the 0.0 to 1.0 generated coordinate (so it varies from -0.5 to 0.5 with 0,0,0 being the origin), the Dot Product is used to calculate the square of the distance from the origin, the Power node takes the square root (ie d^0.5), then it's scaled by a factor of 2 so it matches the input range of the Color Ramp node. The Color Ramp values are reversed (click the double-ended arrow button) so that it reverses the range. This should produce the following :


These two parts are then combined into the final material so that the distance from the centre affects the density (so it's denser at the centre) and the 'width' of the branches (so they taper off as they get further from the centre).

Note that the Greater Than node has become a Less Than node in the final material due to the inputs being swapped over for better node layout.

  • 3
    $\begingroup$ Cool, I came for the snow and stayed for the volumetrics :D $\endgroup$
    – 3pointedit
    Jul 14, 2018 at 11:02
  • $\begingroup$ I have used the same technique to good effect. For a blizzard, I used the Vortex Force Field, which sends the flakes down in a spiral (helix). That way you get flakes coming down left to right and right to left as they go around each side of the vortex. $\endgroup$ May 31, 2019 at 8:17

Well here's what I do. I take a cube and give it a particle system. I set the type to hair, and the "Emit From" option to Volume. Then I make a sphere, and I go down to Render and click Object and select the Sphere. Hopefully this is what you're looking for. enter image description here

enter image description here

Here is what I was able to gain using this technique: enter image description here

  • $\begingroup$ realistic snow... $\endgroup$
    – HenrikD
    Nov 8, 2017 at 10:29

If i understood the question with the help of this Addon You can make snow in quick time.

Select the object

Adjust the thickness and click create snow

enter image description here

Watch this gif how it works link

A small render how it looks enter image description here

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ not realistic, not falling... $\endgroup$
    – m.ardito
    Nov 8, 2017 at 16:49
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ I was actually looking for falling snow, but this will also be helpful in my projects. Thanks $\endgroup$
    – Tucker
    Nov 10, 2017 at 7:03

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