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Snowcloning using Poser and Photoshop

Author: SnowSultan

Tools Needed

  • Poser
  • Photoshop


Hi, and thanks for reading this tutorial. This procedure may be familiar to the more experienced Poser artists, but I consider it to be THE most useful of all Poser-related postwork techniques. I call it “snowcloning”, but when used as shown in this tutorial, no actual cloning is required. It's still easier than saying “multi-render composition” though. ;)

The first four pages explain the most basic snowcloning and shows what it can be used for. The remaining two pages show a slightly more complicated example of this technique in action.

To start off, we will be using the image above. It's a Victoria 3 figure with Kozaburo's updo ponytail and a Second Skin texture by Lisa Buckalew available here at DAZ. It looks good as is, but I think I'd like to eliminate the fishnet mesh and expose her stomach. The next step will show what you'll need to do first while you're still in Poser.


Step 1 - Preparing your Renders


To be able to snowclone this image and get the results we want, we need to make two renders. The first will be dressed, and includes the fishnet mesh that we want to get rid of. We'll also make a nude render, shown above.

DO NOT change your lighting, pose, camera angle, shadows, or anything else between renders! Just render the one with clothes, get rid of the clothes, and render again. Don't change the size of the render window either. Save them however you wish, but I would recommend saving as TIFFs or PSDs (Photoshop format) if possible. Not only does that format not compress and damage your picture like JPGs, but it also saves an Alpha channel (mask) of your scene. These channels can be very useful for merging figures with other elements in postwork.

Before closing Poser, make sure that both renders are exactly the same height and width. I have occasionally seen two identical renders with one being one pixel longer or wider than the other, and this can cause big problems when it's time to combine them.

Step 2 - Not so hard!


I'm using Photoshop for this example, but you can use your favorite program as long as it supports layers (or cloning). Choose Select - > All and Cut the nude render to the Clipboard. Now open the clothed render and paste the nude one into it on a new layer. Once both renders are in the same document, you can perform snowcloning in one of several ways.

- The easy way

Choose the nude layer and select Layer - > Add Layer Mask… - > Hide All. The nude layer will disappear. Now choose a brush and white as your color. Wherever you paint, the skin will reappear! Paint over the abdomen area to replace the fishnet mesh with bare skin. If you accidently paint skin where you don't want it, change your brush to black and paint over the mistakes. When a Layer Mask (Hide All in this case) is applied, white paint will reveal the layer and black paint will hide it. If you apply a Layer Mask normally (Show All), white will hide the layer and black will reveal it.

- The tedious way

Choose the Eraser tool and delete all of the nude render except the abdomen. Lower the opacity of the nude layer so that you can see the clothed image underneath while you work.

- The slow, difficult way

Use the Rubber Stamp/cloning tool to copy the stomach area of the nude render to the clothed one. This was the original technique I used (hence the name “snowcloning”), but it is much more time-consuming than necessary if you have a program that can handle layers.

Regardless of which way you choose, it shouldn't take too long to replace the figure's midsection and avoid having to edit the original texture or make a transparency map.

Step 3 - Having fun


LOL, it's hard to resist going wild and creating stuff like this when all you have to do is paint with black or white. :) Next, we'll try combining three renders to make an original outfit.

Step 4 - Combining from Multiple Renders


We used three of the Second Skin MAT textures (red leather, black leather, and blue jeans) and a nude figure to create the three renders shown above. Save them all and open them in your paint program.

In this example, we're going to once again get rid of the fishnet mesh on her stomach, but we will be combining parts of the two clothed renders to create an original top afterwards. Repeat the steps we did before to replace the fishnet mesh with her skin, and then paste the red leather render into the image as a new Layer. We'll then be ready to start getting creative. :)

Step 5 - Finishing up


After just a few minutes of painting, we're done. Look at the images above and you'll see what parts of each layer were made visible. The Background is the clothed render with the blue jeans. Layer 2 is the nude layer, and uses a Layer Mask to only reveal her stomach. A Layer Mask was also applied to Layer 1, and we painted on the mask in white to show parts of the red leather texture. Since each element is on it's own Layer and is using a Layer Mask, you can go back and edit them at any time.

Please remember that if you create a new Layer Mask using Show All (the default method), the layer will be completely visible and painting in black will SHOW the layer while white hides it. I used Hide All on these Layer Masks so we could paint the outfits on instead of hiding what parts of them we didn't need.

There's no right or wrong way to snowclone, just remember to make renders that contain everything that you might want to add in the final image. It's a simple method of postwork that can help you be a lot more creative and productive. :)

If you have any questions about this tutorial, feel free to send me a message either here on the DAZ forums or on Renderosity. Please visit my homepage for more tutorials and free Poser items too! Thanks very much, take care.


Hoping his pictures are worth 1001 words.

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