Even if you were new to the world of drawing apps for iPad or tablet-based painting apps, and unaware of the excellent reputation Savage Interactive’s Procreate app has established, from the moment you launch Procreate you know you’re in good hands.
Starting off confidently with a video tour that shows off some of the impressive works people have produced with the app, you’ll instantly feel that Procreate is capable of helping you make some gorgeous artwork, even when out and about.
Still only available for iOS (sorry Android users!), version 3.1 improves Procreate even further, with the ability to adjust the Streamline settings that correct and stabilise strokes for controlled line work. As a result, lines appear smooth even when painting with your fingers. It gives you a lovely feeling of control and it avoids that frustration of inaccurate lines that other apps can cause.
Selections are now simpler, too. You can tap and drag across your artwork to select similar areas. Custom canvases can now be measured in pixels, mm, cm and inches, and are autosaved so you can access your favourite settings easily.
Clearly aware that people are using Procreate to make polished artwork instead of simple sketches, Savage has upgraded the app’s record and export functions. So if you want to show off a time-lapse replay of your artwork (the app records all of your brushstrokes while you work), you can now do so in 4K ultra high-definition. There are also options to export artwork as PDFs or multiple images into one combined PDF.
Procreate really feels like an app that’s taking steps to become something you create art with from start to finish, instead of something you use to start sketching and then finish in, say, Photoshop. The UI is clean and intuitive, while remaining uncluttered. This isn’t to say that Procreate scrimps on options – they’re simply well organised. Obviously, Procreate offers the usual suspects of brushes, textures and selection tools on hand, but there are also colour correction controls like Colour Balance and Curves adjustments, and if you’re running the 64-bit version, Motion Blurs and Perspective Blurs too.
The design of Procreate isn’t solely focused on its features. Considerable attention is devoted to improving your workflow within the app. Programmable gestures that work in conjunction with your fingers and the Apple Pencil are there to speed things up, and a Modify button enables you to access the Eyedropper so quickly you can have a new colour selected and be painting again within half a second.
Procreate is a bargain at only £4.49, and with free updates, it’s an essential purchase for all creative iOS users.
This article was originally published in ImagineFX magazine issue 139. Buy it here.