Procreate is a digital painting app designed specifically for the iPad. Procreate offers exceptional performance, an elegant user interface, powerful layers support, hundreds of brush presets (including pens, pencils, and abstract tools), and the ability to import, create, and share custom brushes. Since my last review of Procreate, the company has addressed nearly all of my listed "cons" and continues to enhance the app beyond my expectations.
Version Reviewed: Procreate 1.9.1
Cost and Compatibility: Regular price $4.99. Compatible with iPads running iOS 6.0 or higher.
- Highly responsive--zero stroke lag
- Simple and intuitive user interface quickly toggles off or on, and doesn't get in the way
- Includes hundreds of brush presets, and lets you create custom brushes, import and share brush presets
- Work is saved automatically in the background
- Right or left-handed option for user interface
- Supports large canvas sizes (up to 4096 x 4096px for iPad 3/4), and custom canvas sizes
- Supports many pressure sensitive stylus pens
- Records your drawings as videos that can be exported in full HD - very cool!
- Maximum layers are limited by canvas size.
- No free version to sample the app.
- Well-designed user interface which is simple, yet powerful
- Paintbrush, smudge tool, and eraser all share the same brush library
- Import and create custom brushes; adjust a variety of brush attributes (30 customizable settings) such as shape, grain, speed, scatter, and spacing
- Adjust size and opacity of painting tools quickly and with precise controls
- Powerful layers: Use up to 128 layers (maximum layers depends on canvas size); merge, duplicate, and reorder layers; adjust layer opacity; layer visibility toggle; alpha transparency and 17 blending modes; layer transformations and distortion
- 250 levels of undo and redo, with auto-saving of work in progress
- HSL color picker, favorite color swatches, and tap-hold to pick colors from the canvas
- Import images from device, iTunes, or Dropbox, and export canvas to Photos, iTunes, Twitter, Dropbox, Facebook, Weibo and email
- Export Procreate work as layered native Procreate file, layered Photoshop document (PSD), and transparent PNG or JPEG files
- Gallery allows browsing small previews of your artwork and duplicating, stacking, naming, sharing, exporting, and deleting it
- Records your canvas in 1080p full-HD resolution video; videos can be saved to Photos, uploaded to Dropbox, exported to iTunes or emailed
- Supports popular pressure sensitive stylus pens including Hex3 JaJa, Pogo Connect, Jot Touch, and Wacom Intuos Creative
Working with Procreate
Procreate's user interface is strikingly simplistic, yet once you begin working with the app, you begin to realize how powerful and elegant it is. All the features are readily accessible, and the company is quick to issue updates and address issues. When I was reviewing several pressures-sensitive stylus pens around the time that iOS 7 was released, Procreate was one of the first art apps to work with all of them without issues. Continued on page 2...