How do I create this snowy wind kind of effect, where wisps of snow appear to blow through the air close to the ground?

I have seen this in several games like Skyrim, the new God of War, but I don't know what name to call it by.

Example of windblown snow visible against a cliff face Example of windblown snow visible against a cliff face

I found this God of war gameplay https://youtu.be/b7u59Iutb0c

  • \$\begingroup\$ There is good Unity tutorial on Youtube at this link youtube.com/watch?v=b8oVAS9IdZM You can change textures, sizes, and speed of the particles to achieve the look you want, and I've had good results using wind zone objects to blow the snow around. The turbulence variable on the wind zones gives some good random movement to the particles as well. \$\endgroup\$ Jun 22, 2018 at 17:15
  • \$\begingroup\$ If you have an animated example - eg. a gif or link to a video - that might help remove any ambiguity about the look you're going for. \$\endgroup\$
    – DMGregory
    Jun 22, 2018 at 17:19
  • \$\begingroup\$ Here I found this GOW gameplay now you can see the wind clearly youtu.be/b7u59Iutb0c I think this might be useful in understanding what i want \$\endgroup\$
    – Davy Jones
    Jun 22, 2018 at 17:35
  • \$\begingroup\$ Looks like animated particles? Not sure how it differs from your standard particles. \$\endgroup\$
    – Sidar
    Jun 22, 2018 at 18:58

2 Answers 2


Note: I have not used Unity yet, so here's my very high-level/conceptual answer:

Aside from simply spawning particles in a particular area/direction, it looks like Skyrim is using another technique where a semi-transparent "blown snow" texture is quickly scrolling across a flat mesh coming off the ground.

The mesh would be completely stationary, but the texture on it would be scrolling quickly in the direction of the wind. To make a texture scroll across a mesh without moving the mesh itself, just translate the vertices' UV coordinates over time. To make the effect repeat correctly, you'll have to set edge sampling of the texture to 'repeat' or the equivalent (if this is not already the default).

Also, since the mesh you'd be using would be 'paper thin' you may want to disable backface culling on the object in order to see the gust effect from both sides.

Final note: You may want to fade the effect out as it gets closer to the edges of the mesh, otherwise it may look like a cutout. This can be done via the mesh itself. Add extra vertices and triangles near the edges of the mesh, then set the color attributes on the outermost vertices to completely transparent.


I think that image space modifiers (imod objects in the object window) could be used as well. A weather comes with its own ambient directional lighting and imod. The weather is also flagged as "severe" for Frosftall, survival mode etc. So I would investigate the solution starting at the weather. Imods are "just" changes "on-screen" of the player, and not really alter the environment ("in 3D").


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