Procreate Handbook

Version 5X
Actions

Canvas

Make sweeping changes to your canvas from one simple menu. Crop, Resize and Flip, engage the power of Animation Assist, add Drawing Guides, and access detailed technical information about your artwork.

Crop and Resize

Tweak the size and shape of your canvas to create the perfect composition.

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To make your canvas larger, smaller, or a different shape, tap Actions > Canvas > Crop and Resize.

This will bring up the Crop and Resize interface, which adds a grid overlay to your image. The edges of this box represent the new edges of your canvas. You can adjust it in a number of ways.

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Rotation

Introduce a whole new angle to your artwork with Rotate.

Use the Rotation slider in the bottom toolbar to adjust the angle of your current canvas relative to the crop area.

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Freeform Crop

Drag the boundaries of the grid overlay to crop or enlarge your canvas.

Stretch or squash your canvas size along one axis by dragging one side of the overlay.

To adjust the canvas size on both horizontal and vertical axis at the same time, drag a corner point.

The numerical width and height readouts in the bottom toolbar update automatically as you adjust the crop overlay.

A readout in the notification bar will track how many layers your new canvas size can offer. Due to hardware limitations, you won’t be able to drag the grid out past the maximum possible canvas size.

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Uniform Crop

Lock your aspect ratio to uniformly crop or enlarge your canvas.

The chainlink button between the numerical width and height readouts is the Aspect Lock. Tap it to lock the ratio of image width to height. In plain terms, this locks the canvas shape - so, for example, a square canvas will stay square no matter how you resize it.

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Numerical Crop

Enter numerical dimensions to precisely crop or enlarge your canvas.

The bottom toolbar includes numerical readouts that display the width and height of your canvas, in the unit of measurement you set when you created it. For example, if you set your original canvas size in inches, this readout will be in inches.

Tap the width or height readout to invoke a keypad, and type in a numerical value for that axis. If the Aspect Lock is active, the other axis will change accordingly.

If you’re using drag to resize, you’ll see these readouts update live as you change the crop overlay.

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DPI

Set or change the DPI of your image.

To set or change the DPI of your canvas Tap Actions > Canvas > Crop and Resize then enter the DPI you want.

DPI (dots per inch) is a print resolution measurement. DPI tells you how many pixels are in each inch of your canvas. More pixels means more capacity for detail in your image, and higher-quality printing.

The standard DPI for printing is 300DPI. If you are planning on printing your artwork, and want it to print without any fuzziness or blurring set your DPI to a minimum 300.

The standard DPI for screens is 72-144DPI. If you are wanting to share your work so someone can view it on-screen, set your DPI between 72-144.

Be aware that changing your DPI setting will alter the physical size of your canvas in millimeters, centimeters and inches, but not the pixel size.

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Resample

Scale your entire image up or down with the power of Resample.

To make your canvas larger, smaller, or a different shape, tap Actions > Canvas > Crop and Resize. Toggle the Resample switch on to begin resizing your content.

When you toggle Resample on, the Aspect Lock is automatically engaged. It will preserve your aspect ratio (relative width and height) as you resize your canvas.

If you’d like to change the aspect ratio of your canvas when resizing, adjust the overlay before you switch on Resample.

With Resample switched on, adjusting the size of the crop overlay won’t change the dimension readouts. Instead, the overlay sets the area of the canvas that will be enlarged or shrunk to fit the numerical dimensions you entered.

If you need to change your image dimensions, tap a number to bring up the keypad. Type in your new size. The area inside the overlay will automatically grow or shrink to fit that size.

You can use this to change the composition of your piece (for example, by zooming in on a part you like) without changing the overall dimensions of the canvas.

Pro Tip

Resampling is the process of scaling a digital image, and creating new data from existing pixels. When you resample an image, Procreate automatically enlarges or shrinks it using bicubic interpolation.

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Snapping in Crop & Resize

Snapping in Crop & Resize automatically occurs when you Tap Actions > Canvas > Crop & Resize.

To help perform more precise cropping and resizing of your artwork or canvas, the edges of the grid overlay will automatically snap to the edges or horizontal and vertical centre points of your canvas.

The edges of the grid overlay also automatically snap to the edges of any artwork within your canvas allowing you to accurately crop to the edge of an image.

Animation Assist

Switch to an interface that gives you everything you need to create stunning animations and attention-getting motion graphics.

Offering a visual Timeline of your animation, onion-skinning to help you see where you’re going and where you’ve been, Play/Pause controls, and powerful options to help you get the most out of your motion graphics, Procreate’s Animation Assist is all you need to breathe life into your art.

Tap the wrench button in the top left of the screen to open the Actions menu, then tap Canvas, and flip the Animation Assist switch.

Animation Assist is now activated.

Explore Animation Assist to discover what this robust animation feature can help you accomplish.

Drawing Guide

Add a visual guide to your canvas to help you build realistic environments and objects.

With precise 2D Grids, snappy Drawing Assist, powerful Perspective and mind-bending Symmetry, Procreate’s array of Drawing Guides free you to focus on the big picture.

Tap the wrench button in the top left of the screen to open the Actions menu, then tap Canvas, and flip the Drawing Guide switch.

Your Drawing Guide is now activated.

The Drawing Guides section offers an in-depth exploration of this powerful and versatile feature.

Reference Companion

Add a floating window above your work that references your canvas, an image or your face in FacePaint while you work.

To activate the Reference Companion window Tap Actions > Canvas > Reference toggle. The window will appear on top of your canvas.

You can move the Reference Companion anywhere on your canvas by touching the handle at the top of the window and dragging it to where you want.

Resize the Reference Companion by touching and dragging the bottom right or left hand corner of the window. You can pinch-zoom and pan the image inside the Reference Companion window as you would on your canvas.

On the bottom Reference Companion window are three buttons that represent reference for Canvas, Image and Face.

Reference Canvas

View your entire canvas while working zoomed in on a detail, or view another part of your artwork at the same time while you draw.

The Canvas button is selected by default when you open the Reference Companion. This shows you a reference image of your entire canvas and updates live as you draw.

Zoom and pan to view detail while you work and use the Eyedropper to color pick anywhere on the Reference Canvas.

Reference Image

Use an image for reference without the need to split screen or using a layer as reference.

Many artists use an image or photo on their canvas as reference while they work. The Image button allows you to import an image from the Photos app to use as a Reference Image in the exact same way.

Zoom and pan to view details while you work and use the Eyedropper to color pick anywhere on the Reference Canvas.

Pro Tip

Tap the Reference Companion window to hide the UI, giving you more space to view your Reference Canvas or Image. When you need to use the UI, Tap the window again to reveal.

If you have a compatible iPad, your Reference Companion will also feature a Face button that will activate FacePaint. Compatible iPads that are:

  • iPad Pro 12.9" 2018 and 2020
  • iPad Pro 11” 2018 and 2020
  • iPad Air 3 and 4 or mini 5 running iPadOS 14
  • iPad 8th gen running iPadOS 14

Reference Face

See what your canvas looks like wrapped around your face using AR.

The Face button activates FacePaint and the forward facing camera of your iPad. Using AR technology, FacePaint maps whatever is on your canvas onto your face in real time.

Face Reference is designed to work in conjunction with the FacePaint feature and a custom FacePaint canvas.

Find out more about FacePaint below.

FacePaint

Use Procreate’s FacePaint and AR to create interactive masks, makeup and more.

Creating in FacePaint

To start in FacePaint, go to Gallery and hit + to create a new Canvas. Tap FacePaint from the list of canvas presets and a blank canvas will open with no layers. This will also automatically activate the FacePaint Companion.

To activate the FacePaint Companion manually Tap Actions > Canvas > Reference toggle to open the Reference Companion. Tap the Face button on the Reference Companion window. You should now see video captured from your iPad’s front facing camera in the Reference Companion window.

FacePaint is designed to wrap a custom made FacePaint canvas to your face. When the front facing camera detects a face, FacePaint will display four guides on your Canvas that represent the position of the eyes, nose and mouth. Use these guides for positioning while painting on the Canvas. Anything you paint on the Canvas will be mapped to your face in the Reference Companion window.

Anything you can do in Procreate you can also do in FacePaint, including using layers, blend modes and effects. Even Animation Assist and Time-lapse works while in FacePaint allowing you to bring your creations to life.

FacePaint is available on the following supported devices:

  • iPad Pro 12.9" 2018 and 2020
  • iPad Pro 11” 2018 and 2020
  • iPad Air 3 and 4 or mini 5 running iPadOS 14
  • iPad 8th gen running iPadOS 14
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FacePaint Options

Share your FacePaint creations by exporting them as images or video from the Options menu.

FacePaint exports whatever is seen in the Reference Companion window rather than what is on your Canvas.

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Take a Photo

To take a photo simply Tap Options > Take a Photo on the Reference Companion window. This will start a timer counts down from 3 before it takes a photo and saves it to your Camera and Photos app as a 3088x2320 72DPI .JPG.

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Record a Video

To capture a video Tap Options > Record a Video in the top left hand corner of the Reference Companion window and select Record a Video from the pulldown menu. This will record whatever is viewed in the window to the Camera and Photos app as a 1080p H264 format MP4.

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Camera

If you would like to turn off your front facing camera and just view your FacePaint art work against a blank background Tap Options > Camera. Initially this will display your FacePaint art work against a white background, however you can change this by altering the color of the Background Layer at the bottom of your Layer’s list.

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Full Screen

To view a full screen version of the what is in the Reference Companion window Tap Options > Full Screen. To return to your canvas with a Reference Companion window Tap Options > Full Screen again.

Flip Canvas

Flip your canvas to see your art with fresh eyes.

Tap Actions > Canvas > Flip canvas horizontally or Flip canvas vertically.

Your canvas will instantly flip along the horizontal (side to side) or vertical (up and down) axis.

You can also flip your canvas from the QuickMenu.

Pro Tip

Flipping your canvas horizontally is a great way to reveal problems in composition and proportions. Many experienced artists use this technique to check their work.

Canvas Information

View comprehensive technical information about your artwork.

Tap Actions > Canvas > Canvas information.

This will bring up the Canvas Information screen. It is divided into the following sections:

About this artwork

You can now ‘sign’ your artwork with your name, a handwritten signature, and a profile picture. This information will be embedded in your .procreate file, so anyone else who opens your image in Procreate will see your credit in Canvas Information.

Artwork Title

Change your artwork title without returning to the Gallery - a tap on the artwork title here will bring up the keyboard. Enter a new name and tap the return key.

Profile picture

Tap the ‘person’ icon to bring up Image Source options. From Camera allows you to snap a photo of yourself using the iPad camera. Or, choose From Photos to load an image from your camera roll.

Made by Name

Tap the greyed-out word Name in Made by Name to bring up the keyboard and add your name to your creation.

Signature

Sign your name on the dotted line using Pencil or finger. If you need to start again, tap the (x) icon to clear the field.

Date Created

The date and time this canvas was created.

Date Modified

The date and time this canvas was last modified on this device

Dimensions

Pixel width / Pixel height

The width and height of your canvas in pixels. If you created your canvas using a physical measurement like millimetres or inches, these numbers are calculated from physical dimensions combined with DPI.

Physical width / Physical height

The width and height of your canvas shown in the unit of measurement you chose when you created it. If you created your canvas in pixels, this number is calculated from pixel dimensions combined with DPI, and the default physical unit of measurement is based on your regions.

DPI

Also known as print resolution, DPI (dots per inch) tells you how many pixels are in each inch of your canvas. More pixels means more capacity for detail in your image, and higher-quality printing.

Layers

Maximum layers

The highest number of layers you can have in this canvas.

Layers used

How many layers currently exist in this canvas.

Layers available

How many more layers you can add to this canvas. (Layers available equals Maximum layers minus Layers used.)

Assisted / Clipping / masks / groups

These four categories show you how many of the layers in your canvas currently use Drawing Assist, how many are set as Clipping masks, and how many Layer masks and Layer groups exist in this document.

Color profile

Color profile

Displays which color profile your document uses. This was set by you during canvas creation.

Video settings

Procreate can generate a Time-lapse video recording of your artistic process, which you can then export to share.

Explore how to enable, disable, and adjust your Time-lapse video.

Video length

The running time of the Time-lapse video generated from this artwork

Video quality

The quality setting of your Time-lapse video recording. Higher settings give you better visual quality, but also increase the size of your file, meaning it will take up more digital storage space and be slower to upload and download.

Video resolution

As with image resolution, a higher resolution means your video includes more pixels. Higher-resolution videos look better on big screens but come with larger file sizes.

Video file size

This readout tells you the size of your Time-lapse video in megabytes. This size is affected by the length, quality settings, and resolution of the video.

Video codec

A codec is the type of compression your video file uses. Learn more about it in Time-lapse Video.

Statistics

Total strokes made

This tracks the number of individual strokes you’ve made in your current artwork.

Tracked time

This tracks how long you’ve had your current artwork open in Procreate, over multiple sessions.

Total file size

The size of your .procreate file, in megabytes.