Procreate Dreams makes animation nightmares a thing of the past

Procreate Dreams; a person moves an image on a iPad with their finger
(Image credit: Procreate, animation by Nikolai Lockertsen)

Procreate Dreams is the new standalone animation app for iPad, from the creators of the award-winning Procreate, and it could be the best thing to happen to artists in, well… a decade.

Procreate, the digital art app, celebrates ten years this month and rather than add iterative features to this established Apple-only software, developer Savage Interactive has announced something completely new, Procreate Dreams. Due for release 22 November, this app is designed to change how 2D animation is created, in the same way as Procreate made digital art more accessible, Procreate Dreams will enable everyone to make movie-quality animation.

"A goal we had in developing Procreate Dreams is to bring animation to everyone," says Claire d’Este, Chief Product Officer at Procreate. "Traditionally animation software has been expensive and complex. We wanted to develop a product that anyone can pick up and have fun with.

Usually I'd raise an eyebrow at a dev's claims to make something as complex as professional animation easier, especially as it's being designed around touch controls on iPad, but Savage has a proven history. Procreate is easily one of the best digital art software around, and something I personally use almost daily.

Procreate Dreams; a person uses touch controls on an iPad

Procreate Dreams uses a next-generation painting and compositing engine (Image credit: Procreate, animation by Weronika Marianna)

Procreate Dreams sounds incredible, and will likely build on the simple yet effective animation tools, called Animation Assist, already in Procreate. The idea is to make animation accessible; for example, the new tool Performing uses gestures on iPad to add keyframes based on your actions, the art comes to life spontaneously in real time.

The Multi-Touch Timeline is the beating heart of Procreate Dreams, from where you can edit, organise and navigate projects. This enables you to mix drawing, cel animation, keyframing, video editing and compositing in one space using gesture controls for ease.

"Procreate Dreams looks and feels like a Procreate product and has the core painting and drawing experience that our users love," says d’Este, explaining how a feature called Flipbook transforms the UI and feels like a refined version of Animation Assist.

d’Este tells me: "We’ve been listening to the community. Procreate Dreams introduces features for animation users have been requesting for years: more layers, larger resolution, support for video and audio, and a next-generation painting and compositing engine." 

Procreate Dreams introduces features for animation users have been requesting for years

James Cuda, the company’s Co-Founder and

What's interesting is how Savage envisioned Procreate and Procreate Dreams working together as a suite of apps. The process of moving art and projects from one app to the other will be seamless and in-keeping with the team's decade-old approach of making digital art accessible.

"We’ve aimed to make it easy to work with both apps," explains d’Este. "Artists can import frame-by-frame animations from Procreate into Procreate Dreams with drag-and-drop to continue working on more complex projects. You can also import static Procreate artworks, with all your layers, masks and blend modes, and bring it to life by adding motion and sound."

Procreate Dreams; a multi-touch timeline

Procreate Dreams has a new multi-touch Timeline to create frame-by-frame animation (Image credit: Procreate, animation by 21-19)

As with Procreate, a new animation app Procreate Dreams has been developed for Apple devices, and Apple Silicon in particular. This ensures the new app can eke all the power out of iPad and run impeccably on iPad Pro

The new painting and compositing engine developed for Procreate Dreams has some startling stats behind the simplicity, such as a boast of being able to work 'on raster projects with resolutions up to 1 million by 1 million pixels'. The new app also supports all of Procreates brushes, ensuring working from painting to animation is effortless.

Procreate Dreams has been in development for five years, and will release 22 November exclusively on the App Store for a one-off fee of $19.99; just like Procreate there are no extra costs or subscriptions.

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Ian Dean
Editor, Digital Arts & 3D

Ian Dean is Editor, Digital Arts & 3D at Creativebloq, and the former editor of many leading magazines. These titles included ImagineFX, 3D World and leading video game title Official PlayStation Magazine. In his early career he wrote for music and film magazines including Uncut and SFX. Ian launched Xbox magazine X360 and edited PlayStation World. For Creative Bloq, Ian combines his experiences to bring the latest news on AI, digital art and video game art and tech, and more to Creative Bloq, and in his spare time he doodles in Procreate, ArtRage, and Rebelle while finding time to play Xbox and PS5. He's also a keen Cricut user and laser cutter fan, and is currently crafting on Glowforge and xTools M1.