Procreate – Art Creation App for iPad Every Artist MUST Have
Procreate is THE Digital Art Creating App on the iPad that every Artist has been hoping for…and it is just the beginning!
I am a traditionally trained and learned Studio Artist. I started with crayons, evolved to pencils and excelled at Art when I was very young, and went forth later in life to get what I thought was the education and experience necessary to become better. I had to lug around my tools, media, sketchbooks, canvases, portfolios….and even transport in progress marble sculptures I was working on for a class (mind you they were only about the size of a basketball….but then, well I think you can get the picture that lugging a marble basketball is not fun). When Digital/Graphic Design hit the scene, I remember seeing it passing by a classroom thinking…’Hmmm, cool…but what kind of art can you really make with that?” Of course to my chagrin, more than my and many minds thought at the time. But, quickly learned and utilized it later, as it became a great portfolio tool as much as any Photoshop type uses.
Loved when Laptop came out. Loved then Photoshop caught up to it, and loved when the Wacom tablet came out. The ‘Mobile Studio’, at least digitally, was a reality.
But what was missing? Well…. something that was an all-in-one, not something akin to the marble basketball when lugging them all around. Then remarkable, the life changing iPad tablet. It was beautiful, sweet and sexy…it had everything! Music, Photos, Movies, Apps doing all sorts of things. As most did, my Artist’s eyes sought out the Apps directed for us… for the creation of Art. What we found was…. well, dismal is just a polite way to describe it. Sure there were some that were decent…but after using traditional media, and the advent of Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator and the like…. it was hard to use those as the ‘go-to’ tool. You stuck with lugging the marble basketball.
Then came something wonderful. Developers around the Globe tried and tried, from this way and that…even Adobe… and yet 4 guys in Australia were able to do what no other has yet to do. And this Fab 4 was not a band of teams of people…. it was just them. 4 of them. Developing what is to be the standard, or bar setter in iPad Art Creation Apps. Note…I said iPaid, sorry Droid users or Surface people, no version for you as of now. This software App…this budding masterpiece, came with a few bumps and grinds of course when it was released, but has now reached what is to be the pinnacle of Art Apps. I have not stopped using it since earl release, even through the bugs… and with their new 1.7 update, it is game over for so many other Apps that took up my time. They are akin to fodder now.
How is this possible, why is this Procreate App so great? Well I could list so many features from personal use, and from others but will just surmise some of the main focus areas.
Silica 2 Engine
Procreate owes it’s incredible performance to a proprietary Silica Engine, which can render strokes in 64 bit precision….and most importantly, has high speed and accuracy. Strokes, smudges, blends, and erasures or opaque fades are all in real time. Any delays are only brought forth by the settings a user puts onto the brush within the brushes own Edit and Settings options….which there are many others. THis also allows the creation of unique brushes just like one finds in Photoshop….and all rendering equally fast, if not faster.
Combine all this with the iPad, with Retina Display capabilities…and nothing comes close to this the level of this rendering on a tablet, with an arguable question as to whether it can even outdo what many desktop softwares can do. Most desktop software cannot compete, much less the ease and sleekness of the UI (User Interface).
Having used most all Drawing and Painting Apps available on the iPad…. BEFORE using Procreate, I can tell you…..I have seen what those can do, and some have some features and abilities that are what one would expect but one finds so much lacking as one uses them. AFTER using Procreate, what can I say… it is like watching a bad SyFy Fantasy movie and switching to The Lord of the Rings style CGI quality. Just look at the renders and artwork here, created by Procreate users and Artists.
Art by Nikolai Lockersten
Artwork by Nikolai Lockertsen
The UI (User Interface) is sleek and sexy, unlike many others out there. Fast, intuitive and easy to use..in fact one will find producing work at an amazing pace if desired or able to take the time one would with say an oil painting, whatever pace you desire…but with the ease of being able to coordinate all of the different brushes and settings AND maintaining that actual drawing time is above par.
Another beauty feature are the brushes. Of course this is creatively done on many apps…but compared with Procreate, these are simply Gimmicky and Childlike. Able to edit setting into multiple creations is just an outstanding feature…but may not even need to, as Procreate comes with an amazing default variety of brushes, and can easily purchase more from the integrated store that is so easy to use you are ready to use them before having a thought as to make sure they are even downloaded. And being able to create brushes just opens the doors for any artist, budding or professional.
Sharing brushes. Yep, just like has been so successful and loved with Photoshop and the sharing of creations, Procreate brings the sharing aspect …to an App! It is so easy to share and get other creations via the website made by other users, it becomes hard to decide what to use…not how do I get them.
Stylus connectivity is a no brainer to include… and Procreate is one that sets itself up to be one of the top integrations. In fact, probably sets the bar to make them better. Pogo COnnect is one that now offers pressure sensitivy and can be used simply by using the Bluetooth connectivity of the iPad itself. Wacom’s Bamboo shines and makes you wish for the standard desktop Wacom Tablet interfacing when using it. Of course the drawbacks are the iPad itself with Styluses. It is made simply for using your fingers…no Stylus needed. And Procreate works exceptionally with no Stylus at all. In fact I had my own Pogo Sketch Stylus, a cheapy with foam tip… and never used it, until I got Procreate. Now my poor Pogo felt tip is like a flat tire, which will happen with foam tipped styluses…but rendering in Procreate and the resolutions, brush strokes and everything, simply make on unable to to keep from just entering the Mind’s Eye and rendering as fast as you can. The Felt tip Sketch just can’t keep up!
4K Canvas… ExtenZe for the iPad
4K. Plain and simple it is the industry standard in resolution for ultra-high definition. Maybe you have seen them before… which most likely you have, but haven’t known of it. Think of those long, landscape type of scenes in the movies…specifically those in films like Star Wars and other Fantasy films. Before CGI and everything was done digitally, they were big or wide Matte Paintings which the film was superimposed upon to create the effect. The 4K canvas is like watching the widescreen version of a movie, instead of ‘fitted for television’. Basically it is over 20 times bigger than the standard remarkable canvases inherent with Procreate.
“The retina screen resolution of 2048 x 1536 was a big step forward for detail and clarity, but professionals demand even higher fidelity for creative application. Procreate has the solution, capable of sizes up to 4096 x 4096px+-translating to images over 16 mega pixels in size!” – quote by Procreate developers
The ability to create large, hi-res images capable of and actually being used be many artists in their industry to create works for whatever high end caliber project they are working on….and on the go. With the ability to Export lossless files to boot. Procreate is made with the professional creative always in mind. It is easy to export your artwork as a layered Adobe® Photoshop® PSD file, or backup your precious work as native, lossless Procreate files… which is a blessing, as you WILL be creating a lot more Artwork and Files than your iPad can store alongside all of the other Apps, Music, etc. But believe me as an Artist myself, with just an iPad 3rd Gen with only 16Gigs and Wifi… you may find you readily delete other Apps without a second thought just to be able to carry around and work on what will be your new ‘Mobile Studio’!
Here is an example of one of my 4K renders:
How does it look and perform? Well, I will simply leave you with this… Procreate has kept me up into the wee hours of the morning, creating Artwork after Artwork. In fact some wee hours of the morning have turned into burning daylight…and not morning light mind you. It works. Beautifully. Is stylish, sexy from top to bottom and inside and out. A must for every Artist…budding or pro.
Any drawbacks? Well… the only one I get is, it is only an App, not software for the Desktop…because these 4 Guys could give Adobe more than a run for their money, surpassing them with overall performance of actual digital art creation and only lacking the photochopping capability of a Photoshop. But as so many users have learned by using and experimenting, and sharing… you can do a whole lot more than you’d think. After all you can import photos, export as Procreate file, PSD file (ahem! did I forget to mention that?), JPEG and PNG’s. Not to mention importing and exporting work, easily continuing or polishing a work in another App such as PhotoForge2 or most any other.
And if one has doubts, well….there’s another of my own 4K Artwork rendered posted below.