Is there a good algorithm that simulates falling snow? I'm particularly interested in snow that falls slowly, so it doesn't quite fall in a straight line but deviates a bit. Maybe even including simulation of flurries (drafts of wind), variable size, etc. Are there any papers or articles on an algorithm that mimics real-life snow movements or simulates it in the context of a game?

I'm particularly interested in a 2D algorithm, but I imagine any algorithm can be taken to 3D easily.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Are looking for something particle based or something else? \$\endgroup\$ Commented Oct 14, 2010 at 23:15
  • \$\begingroup\$ Anything that gets the job done. \$\endgroup\$
    – Ricket
    Commented Oct 17, 2010 at 0:33

1 Answer 1


Something like this?


Realistic-looking rain and snow greatly enhance scenes of outdoor reality, with applications including computer games and motion pictures. We present a novel technique for realistically and efficiently rendering precipitation in scenes with moving camera po- sitions. We map textures onto a double cone, and translate and elongate them using hardware texture transforms.

Rendering Falling Rain and Snow - SIGGRAPH submission of the paper

Actual published paper - Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow (and Rain) - Game Programming Gems 5

Written by Niniane Wang(absurdly smart, who gradautes cal tech in CS at 18??!!!@!@!$) and Bretton Wade

  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ Pretty cool paper. However, if you read the entire paper, it does say "Our system looks most realistic for rain and heavy snow. Light snow should jitter as it falls, which is better simulated by a particle system.". Ricket is interested mainly in slow-falling snow. \$\endgroup\$
    – Jason Down
    Commented Oct 15, 2010 at 1:35
  • \$\begingroup\$ Ah my bad, I didn't see that ricket wanted a low density of snow flakes. Particles would be a better choice in that case. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Oct 15, 2010 at 1:51

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