What Can And Can’t You Do With Procreate?

In a short space of time, Procreate has become one of the most popular art apps available for the iPad. With this popularity comes a lot of questions from potential buyers about what the app can and cannot do.

In this article, we outline clearly the capabilities and also limitations of this app to help prospective purchasers.

What You Can Do

Customize Your Canvas

When you start a new project in Procreate you have the option to create a custom canvas where you control everything about your new artwork’s foundation.

There are some presets you can choose from that will quickly give you a common size, like A4, or you can make completely custom dimensions with custom resolution.

On top of size, you also have the chance to select how many layers you would like for your canvas and dictate the preferred color profile.

Customize Your App Controls

In addition to fully customizing the nature of the canvas, you are going to create, Procreate also allows you to customize the controls of the app.

In this way, if you have got certain behavior patterns that you have developed regarding the way that you interact with technology, you can configure Procreate to allow you to use that same behavior on the iPad you are using Procreate on.

There are many different things you can configure regarding the app controls. You can turn off the touch settings if you are using the Apple Pencil. Some people would like to be able to use the apple pencil to draw whilst also controlling the app with their fingers, whereas some people find that disabling the touch controls makes for a smoother and less interrupted drawing experience. You can try both and then choose the setting you prefer.

Connect An Apple Pencil

One of the many benefits of the Apple ecosystem is that Procreate can leverage other apple technology. Specifically, Procreate has been designed to work seamlessly with the Apple Pencil.

The Apple Pencil is a touch-sensitive pencil-shaped device fitted with Bluetooth technology and a rubber tip that you can use to draw directly on the iPad. The technology will convert your hand movements into digital art on the digital canvas. 
For someone with established hand drawing skills, The Apple Pencil feature can be a great way for them to combine their existing skills with the digital world.

Play With Shapes and Lines

With Procreate it only takes one tap to insert a new shape onto your canvas. There is a whole range of shapes available and once they have been inserted onto your canvas you can manipulate the shapes, change the color, adjust their border thickness, and easily move them around.

Or if you prefer to hand draw your shapes you can use the quick shape feature which takes your hand drawings and converts them into perfectly symmetrical shapes and objects. For example, a circle drawn by hand is going to be impacted by many imperfections. in the Procreate app, you can draw a circle and then leave your pen pressing down and this will be a signal to the Procreate app to convert your hand-drawn circle into a perfectly symmetrical circle.

There are six different quick shapes that the Procreate app can identify and transform for you including a straight line, an arc, an oval, a circle, a triangle, or a square.

If you participate in a Procreate Masterclass, you will learn a lot more about this functionality.

Work With Layers

One of Procreate’s very popular features is the ability to use layers. as the name suggests you can create multiple different layers of your canvas and work on them separately. Once you have the layers how you would like you can then rearrange the layers without disfiguring your canvas or interrupting your other elements.

Layers are amazing for experimentation as you can add a new layer to a canvas and do many different things just to see how it looks without any risk of negatively impacting the rest of your creation.

What Procreate Cannot Do

One of the biggest requests on Procreate user forums is the ability to add music to a timeline for Procreate animation.
When it comes to creating animations with music you need to be able to structure your animation across a timeline so you can then adjust what images and scenes are displayed at what times of the music.
We don’t expect this functionality to be available in Procreate anytime soon, and maybe never.
Procreate very specifically markets itself as an art and design app, and though it has many features that assist with photo editing it is not focused on audio-visual art in the same way.
So if you are looking for something that you’ll be able to use to record, edit, and modify video and audio content, then Procreate is not likely to be the most suitable app for you. You might need to decide which function is most important to you, and then choose an app based on that specialization.
If you’re looking for an art and design app, you won’t find anything better than Procreate for the price, but if audio-visual integration is important to you, then you may find yourself frustrated with Procreate and be better off considering alternative programs.

Final Thoughts

Though there is a lot more that could be said regarding Procreate, this article outlines some of its major capabilities, and also some of its limitations. Further information can be found on the Procreate website.