Procreate is a Raster (pixel) drawing app, and has many features not found in other drawing apps available for the iPad. It is a true gem, and well worth the money.
In 2019, my “go-to” tools for making quick–and detailed–graphics and illustrations were Adobe Illustrator and Adobe Photoshop on my Macbook Pro. My setup included a Wacom drawing tablet, a wireless keyboard, and a large monitor. My iPad was a secondary tool, hardly part of my graphic design workflow. I dabbled in the different Illustrator and Photoshop apps for the iPad, but they seemed awkward.
Then I traded in my iPad for an iPad Air (3rd Generation) and bought an Apple Pencil. I kept hearing about an app called Procreate, designed for the original iPad Pro and the Apple Pencil. One of the blogs I follow had lots of Procreate tutorials, so invested the small sum of TEN DOLLARS (!) and got started with Procreate.
Procreate is a true gem.
- Choose from pre-installed templates, or create your own
- Allows you to use pressure sensitivity with Apple Pencil to change drawing strokes
- Layers! Depending upon the drawing size and resolution, you can have up to 40 or more layers
- Robust text capabilities, and you can add typefaces
- Preinstalled color palettes
- Ability to create your own color palettes manually, create from an image or a photo in your library, or import palettes created by others
- Ability to export color palettes
- Shape and symmetry tools
- Drawing assist allows you to create straight lines, smooth curves, and more
- Create CMYK and RGB documents for print and Web, respectively
- Export to several file formats, including PNG, JPEG, TIFF, layered PSD, PDF and more
- Ability to create Procreate brushes and brush sets
- Hundreds (thousands?) of free and paid Procreate brush sets are available
- As a Raster app, you need to set the drawing size and resolution up front, according to how you intend to use the illustration
- In the current version, you can draw and edit arcs, with three or four points, but not “S-curves.”
- If you are a Typophile and load dozens of typefaces, or often create illustrations with 20 or more layers, Procreate will crash periodically, even with decent iPad memory–but I have never lost a file!
- There are so many Procreate brushes available, you may find it hard to limit the number you add; currently you cannot tag brushes as “favorites”
- Cannot lock a color palette; I have accidentally changed color swatches many times
All told, I like this app and recommend it to graphic designers as part of your work flow.