With a new engine, incredible features and a whole world of brush customisation options, the world’s best iPad art app has just got better.
Price $5.99/£3.99 Company Savage Interactive Web www.procreate.si Contact firstname.lastname@example.org
When the iPad was released some three-and-a-bit years ago it changed everything. Software companies saw their chance to get in bed with the new shiny techslate. Autodesk’s SketchBook Pro proved to be a decent piece of software for quick drawings, Adobe created casual vector-based drawing with Ideas, and Ambient Design translated ArtRage from the desktop to the tablet.
Yet one piece of software fared better than all of them: Procreate. Created by Savage Interactive, it was written exclusively for the iPad so the Aussie developer could concentrate on making a great art program without the faff of Android cross-compatibility or rescaling it to fit on an iPhone. The app was well-received and bagged an Apple Design Award for its natty integration of hardware and software.
Procreate 2, then, has a certain amount of prestige to live up to – and we’re pleased to say it’s improved on perfection. The most immediately noticeable change is to the aesthetic, which is brought in line with Apple’s iOS7 translucent update.
Fire up a blank canvas and you’ll see the option for 4K, another new feature. This size is becoming more prevalent in the world of digital art, but it’s rarely used as a preset on tablet apps because of the size of the files involved. Thankfully, Procreate utilises the 64-bit power of the latest generation of iPads (Air and iPad Mini with Retina) to handle epic compositions.
Brushes are Procreate’s forte and even these have been made a lot more granular
The software also taps into the powerful GPU to provide some awesome effects that you’d usually only find in high-end desktop software. Options for Gaussian Blur, Sharpen, Noise, Color Balance and Curves are all available to give your images a bit more (or less) of an edge, and once applied they can be adjusted instantaneously by swiping your finger across the screen.
Brushes are Procreate’s forte and even these have been made a lot more granular. The level of customisation is incredible: each brush has six menu pages so you can adjust shape, grain and dynamics. We found it best to simply fiddle with the sliders, but there’s a comprehensive information screen available for each. That Procreate has a vibrant Photoshop-esque brush sharing community says it all.
The only disadvantage to all these new features is that it lags a little on our first-generation iPad Mini. It’s still smooth and sharp, but zooming and moving a 4K file around results in noticeable pauses and choppiness. But it’s such a refined and gratifying app that it’s quite possibly the best reason in the world to upgrade to a new iPad.
Matt Hubel’s redesign of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles’ Shredder began in Procreate, before being taken into Photoshop for a lick of visual gloss. Pablo Uchida used Procreate’s curves feature in his curvy creation Prospace.
Patipat Asavasena’s art was created in Procreate, despite having a polished Photoshop look. You’re given plenty of options to achieve the perfect brush stroke
in Procreate. Adjustment tools such as Curves and Color Balance mean you don’t necessarily have to export your work into another art program to finish it off.