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TOP DRAW A re­vised lay­ers sys­tem and video record­ing make this great art app even bet­ter, so long as you keep its pow­ers in check…

Price £5.99 Com­pany Sav­age In­ter­ac­tive Web­cre­

Pro­cre­ate 3.2 is a pow­er­house of mo­bile dig­i­tal art, with sys­tem re­quire­ments to match. You don’t just need an iPad to run it: you need an iPad ca­pa­ble of run­ning the very lat­est iOS ver­sion, which lim­its the range of mod­els that Pro­cre­ate is com­pat­i­ble with. This is be­cause Pro­cre­ate de­vel­oper Sav­age In­ter­ac­tive has in­vested in a state-of-the-art ren­der­ing en­gine be­fore ap­ply­ing a raft of tools and op­tions on top. This is no or­di­nary paint­ing app.

The ba­sic tem­plate for this ver­sion was es­tab­lished with Pro­cre­ate 3.0 in 2015; ver­sion 3.2 builds on top of that re­lease with some ma­jor new fea­tures. You can now im­port full Pho­to­shop doc­u­ments and re­tain their lay­ers and blend modes: for ex­am­ple, iPad key­board users can work faster with the help of key­board short­cuts.

The big two changes, how­ever, are lay­ers and video cap­ture. A re­designed lay­ers panel gives you more con­trol if you’re cre­at­ing com­plex il­lus­tra­tions, where hav­ing lots of lay­ers is pretty much a given. You can now se­lect mul­ti­ple lay­ers sim­ply by swip­ing to the right on each layer you want to choose. This swip­ing mech­a­nism is faster and eas­ier than pick­ing at check­boxes, and makes the Lay­ers sys­tem feel more in­tu­itive in use.

The in­tro­duc­tion of mul­ti­ple layer se­lec­tion leads to a host of pos­si­bil­i­ties. As well as mov­ing them in the stack or delet­ing sev­eral lay­ers in one go, for ex­am­ple, you can now group your se­lected lay­ers to­gether, then ap­ply the same ef­fects to the en­tire group. You can also use Trans­forms func­tions on in­di­vid­ual lay­ers or groups, such as mov­ing an el­e­ment across the can­vas or dis­tort­ing its shape.

The sec­ond ma­jor change is de­signed for artists who like to share their work­ing process. Video sup­port means you can now record your­self as

Sav­age In­ter­ac­tive has in­vested in a start-of-the-art ren­der­ing en­gine. This is no or­di­nary paint­ing app…

you work; a switch pref­er­ence en­ables you to choose whether to record your voice nar­ra­tion through the iPad’s mi­cro­phone at the same time. You can then ex­port the video file to edit in an­other app, or share it on­line.

Bet­ter still, you can also stream your work­ing process di­rect to the in­ter­net. This re­lies on the pres­ence of a com­pat­i­ble stream­ing app, such as Periscope or Mobcrush, which use iOS’s Ex­ten­sions sys­tem to ap­pear as op­tions within sup­port­ing apps.

The ex­e­cu­tion is much sim­pler than the de­scrip­tion: once you’ve got a stream­ing app in­stalled, you just se­lect Pro­cre­ate’s stream­ing op­tion, choose the stream­ing ser­vice you want to use, then 3, 2, 1… you’re live!

If Pro­cre­ate has a fault, it’s that it’s in dan­ger of be­com­ing too pow­er­ful. The app has so many tools and op­tions that play­ing with them can dis­tract from the art­work you’re sup­posed to be mak­ing. There’s an over­whelm­ing choice of ways to cus­tomise any brush pre­set, for ex­am­ple.

If you paint on your iPad be­cause you want a spon­ta­neous, rapid cre­ative fix, you might find that work­ing with Pro­cre­ate is bit­ing off more than you want to chew. But if your vi­sion of your iPad is as a sub­sti­tute for your Win­dows or Mac OS com­puter, and you’re look­ing for the slick­est, most pow­er­ful art app around, Pro­cre­ate is a strong con­tender for the ti­tle.

With a re­designed lay­ers sys­tem, Pho­to­shop file sup­port and video stream­ing, Pro­cre­ate is more ver­sa­tile than ever. The new lay­ers sys­tem makes it easy to se­lect mul­ti­ple lay­ers, cre­ate layer groups and more.

In one of ver­sion 3.2’s more mi­nor changes, the colour wheel is re­designed to make se­lect­ing yel­lows and or­anges eas­ier. With the help of a stream­ing app, you can broad­cast live paint­ing to the world – and even ap­pear in the video.

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