We're big fans of Procreate, the iPad art app, which has come to rule them all. The last time we looked at it, late last year, the software had just adopted a brand new engine, and with it came a bunch of useful new features, such as brilliant blurs and bountiful brushes.
It felt like there was little developer Savage Interactive could do to improve on the level of perfection contained in Procreate’s most recent iteration. And yet that's exactly what it’s done with version 2.1.
This version's biggest new features are based around the way it handles and enables you to use colours.
The most immediately noticeable new element is the colour wheel, which replaces version 2's less-intuitive sliders. It works much like Photoshop's own colour tool, with an outer ring for selecting the primary colour, and an inner for the shade. The inner circle can be zoomed a little to achieve the right tone.
It's not a huge leap forwards, but where Procreate 2.1 gets really cool is in its fills. It's surprising that the software has never had a Flood Fill tool, and even in the 2.1 build you’ll draw a blank if you look for the paint can icon.
Savage has integrated Flood Fill into the Color Picker, and it's just a question of dragging your current colour in from the upper right to the area you wish to fill. It's such a straightforward approach that it makes you wonder why no one's thought of it before.
The way Flood Fill works is also a bit different. The paint radiates outwards from wherever you drop it, like a ripple in a puddle. It intelligently finds areas of stroke transparency to fill in, so even if you've used a rough and fragmented brush, you'll still get edge-to-edge coverage.
Cleverer still is that you can change this threshold by pausing momentarily over the area you wish to fill and then dragging to the right – a little for a conservative fill, or a lot to flood the area.
It may sound complicated, but it's intuitive and flexible once you get used to it. It can add some pleasing bleeds and saturations to filled areas, and enables you to completely recolour images.
There are also a lot of other tweaks under the hood of Procreate, and one new minor feature web designers will love is the ability to specify colours with RGB and HEX values.
It may seem like we rave a little too much about Procreate, but it's such a versatile product that it even feels as though Savage has underestimated the brilliant beast it’s created.
This article originally appeared in ImagineFX magazine issue 112.