Behind the Scenes October 15, 2021

Layer limits set to triple on some iPads in Procreate 5.2

With the release of iPadOS 15 Apple has raised the amount of RAM available to developers. Historically apps running on iPad were limited in RAM due to a reserve needed for background apps and tasks, so when Apple opened up more RAM to developers this month it was a big deal. For Procreate this means a significant boost in extra layers for iPads with 8GB RAM or more
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Testing is underway to see what can be safely achieved with the extra RAM for when Procreate 5.2 releases later this year. The results are looking very promising with the M1 iPad Pro (8GB RAM) seeing an increase of 200% for a 1,920 x 1,080px canvas, jumping from 250 to 500 layers. Procreate may also see a new maximum resolution, expanding to 16,384 x 8,192px with 3 layers. Other canvas resolutions will see increases of:

  • 2,048 x 2,048px from 196 to 246 layers
  • 4,096 x 4,096px from 46 to 58 layers
  • 8,192 x 8,192px from 8 to 11 layers

The M1 iPad Pro will produce a 16,384 x 8,192px canvas in Procreate 5.2

The M1 iPad Pro (16GB RAM) is even more exciting, where the amount of RAM available to Procreate has more than doubled. This means an increase of well over 300% on a 1,920 x 1,080px canvas, going from 250 to an incredible 902 layers. This means a frame-by-frame animation in Animation Assist at the default 15FPS can now run for over a full minute. This iPad will also give you 10 layers instead of 3 at the new 16 x 8K maximum resolution. Other canvas resolutions will see increases of:

  • 2,048 x 2,048px from 196 to 444 layers
  • 4,096 x 4,096px from 46 to 108 layers
  • 8,192 x 8,192px from 8 to 24 layers

To put these impressive figures into context, the original v1.0 of Procreate only managed 16 layers at 960 x 704px, the native screen resolution of the original iPad (1st gen.). Lloyd Bottomley, Procreate’s original software engineer and CTO has worked on every iteration of Procreate since the very beginning and has seen the iPad platform evolve to be almost unrecognizable since its launch back in 2010.

“The platform has really matured over the last decade, and although it has changed so significantly over time, the original iPad with Procreate v1.6 was a really great place to sketch and paint. In 2015 with the introduction of the Apple Pencil the platform really became the standard in sketching and painting. Now with the opening of generous limits for use of RAM with M1 iPad Pros, Procreate can handle anything you throw at it while never giving up its incredible performance.”

"With M1 iPad Pros, Procreate can handle anything you throw at it." – Lloyd Bottomley

It isn’t just the latest M1 iPad Pros that will see a performance boost, even those with the 2018 iPad Pro (1TB) will see a boost in layers to match 2020 iPad Pro devices. Procreate 5.2 is already looking like an unmissable release, with the inclusion of 3D Painting and new accessibility features. Now, with more layers than ever before for those on Pro devices, the upcoming release is guaranteed to have something exciting for everyone.

Procreate insight

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