Procreate (software)

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Logo for Procreate (software).png
Developer(s)Savage Interactive
Initial releaseMarch 16, 2011; 8 years ago (2011-03-16)
Stable release
4.3.3 / March 6, 2019; 7 months ago (2019-03-06)
Operating systemiOS,[1] iPadOS
PlatformiPad Pro (all versions), iPad Air (all versions), iPad Mini (2-5), iPad (2017), iPad (2018), iPhone
Available in13 languages[1]
List of languages
English (United States), English (United Kingdom), Arabic, Chinese (Simplified), Chinese (Traditional), French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Turkish.
TypeRaster graphics editor

Procreate is a raster graphics editor app for digital painting developed and published by Savage Interactive for iOS and iPadOS. Designed in response to the artistic possibilities of the iPad[citation needed], and catering to artists from beginners to professionals, it was launched on the App Store (iOS) in 2011.[2][3]

The aim of Procreate is to recreate the natural feel of physical drawing, while utilising the practical advantages of a digital platform. It offers over 130 realistic brushes, multiple layers, blend modes, masks, 4K resolution export of process videos, autosave, and many other classic and original digital art tools. In addition to raster graphics, this software has limited abilities to edit and render text and vector graphics. Procreate is designed for multi-touch and the Apple Pencil. It also supports a number of third-party styluses, and import/export to Adobe Photoshop .PSD format.

Procreate does not require in-app purchases or any form of subscription.



Currently in version 4.3, Procreate for iPad was first launched in 2011 by Tasmanian software company Savage Interactive. In 2013 it received an Apple Design Award,[4] and was subject to wide publicity when artist Kyle Lambert's controversial hyper-realistic Procreate finger painting of Morgan Freeman went viral.[5][6] In the hands of professional artists, Procreate has been used to create the posters for Stranger Things,[7] Logan,[8], and Blade Runner 2049,[9] as well as several covers for The New Yorker.[10][11] It has also been adopted by fine artists,[12] tattoo artists,[13] and creatives at Marvel, DC,[14] Disney, and Pixar.[15]

In 2016 Procreate became one of the top ten bestselling iPad apps on the App Store,[16] rose into the top two in 2017,[17] and became the overall bestselling iPad app in 2018.[18] It is regularly featured in Apple Inc.'s product launches.[19][20]

Procreate Pocket[edit]

Featuring a stripped-back interface designed to work unobtrusively in the compact mobile environment of the iPhone, Procreate Pocket was released to the App Store in December 2014.[21] Initially, Procreate Pocket incorporated almost every tool found in Procreate; however, as Procreate amassed additional features via multiple updates over the following years, Pocket fell behind. In 2018, Savage launched Procreate Pocket 2.0, which brought the iPhone version of the app back to feature parity with the iPad version.[22] In December of 2018, Procreate Pocket received Apple's 'App of the Year' award.[23]


Procreate features 4k canvas resolution, 136 brushes including exclusive dual-texture brushes, text and animation capabilities, and a range of classic and original tools built for the multitouch environment.[24]


  • Optimised for iPad Pro and Apple Pencil
  • Ultra High Definition canvases up to 16k by 4k on iPad Pro 12.9" and 10.5”
  • Powered by 64-bit painting engine Silica M
  • 64-bit colour
  • 64-bit smudge sampling
  • Multi-threaded (optimised for iPad’s multiple cores)
  • 250 levels of undo and redo
  • Continuous auto-save
  • Keyboard connection / shortcut capabilities
  • One-touch Quick Menu
  • Canvas crop and resize
  • QuickShape feature allows users to freehand-draw perfect shapes


  • 136 brushes
  • Dual textured brush system
  • 50 customisable settings for every brush
  • Create custom Procreate brushes and brush sets
  • Import and export custom brushes


  • Layer masks
  • Clipping masks
  • Layer groups
  • Multiple layer selection, move, and transform
  • 17 layer blend modes


  • 64-bit color
  • P3 Wide Colour support
  • Color picker (eyedropper) tool
  • ColorDrop (flood fill) tool
  • RGB and hex values for precise color adjustments
  • Color balance
  • Image curves
  • HSB
  • Recolor

Finishing Effects[edit]

  • Perspective blur
  • Gaussian and motion blurs
  • Sharpen and add noise
  • Liquify

Drawing Guides[edit]

  • Perspective, Isometric, 2D, and Symmetry visual guides
  • Drawing Assist tool to 'snap' strokes to guides


  • Time-lapse replay of entire artwork process

Sharing and Workflow Integration[edit]

  • Drag and drop artworks, brushes, and palettes between applications
  • Import or export Adobe Photoshop PSD files
  • Export to AirDrop, iCloud Drive, Photos, iTunes, Twitter, Dropbox, Google Drive, Facebook, Weibo and Mail
  • Export as layered native .procreate file, PSD, TIFF, transparent PNG, multi-page PDF or web ready JPEG

System support[edit]

Procreate is designed for the Apple ecosystem. Both versions require iOS12 or newer.

Supported platforms[edit]


Procreate supports the following iPad models:[1]

Procreate Pocket[edit]

Procreate Pocket supports the following iPhone models:[1]

Supported styluses[edit]

Procreate fully supports Apple Pencil, with settings for Tilt, Azimuth, Accumulation, and Flow. It is the only stylus currently supported on iPad Pro models.[1]

The following iPad models support Apple Pencil:

On devices that are incompatible with Apple Pencil, Procreate currently supports the following active styli:

  • TenOneDesign - Pogo Connect, Pogo Connect 2
  • Adonit - Jot Touch 4, Jot Touch Pixelpoint, Jot Script, Jot Script 2, Pixel
  • Wacom - Intuos Creative Stylus 1 & 2, Bamboo Fineline 1, 2, & 3, Bamboo Sketch
  • Any capacitive or magnetic field passive stylus

Supported file types[edit]

Procreate uses a proprietary file type, ".procreate", to store artworks. It can export images to the following formats: PNG, JPEG, BMP, TIFF, single and multi-page PDFs, and Adobe Photoshop's .psd format. Additionally, it can export multiple layers in sequence to a single file, allowing artists to create animated GIFs, animated PNGs, and MP4s. Procreate can also batch export layers to a folder as static PNGs.

It can import all the file types listed above, with the exception of PDF.

Notable users[edit]

Well-known users of Procreate include comics artist and DC Comics co-publisher Jim Lee, who has used it to sketch Batman and the Joker.[25] British fine artist David Hockney created a series of landscape paintings using Procreate.[26] Kyle Lambert, a poster artist notable for creating the Stranger Things poster in Procreate,[27] is also known for his viral Procreate finger-painting of Morgan Freeman.[28] Artist James Jean also uses Procreate for film poster work, including the poster for Blade Runner 2049.[29] Art Director for Ubisoft and Electronic Arts, Raphael Lacoste, uses Procreate for studies.[30] Concept artist Doug Chiang creates robot, vehicle and creature designs for Star Wars in Procreate.[31] John Dyer, the English landscape painter, is using Procreate as part of the 'Last Chance to Paint' project, a partnership with the Eden Project that is sending Dyer to stay with the Yaminawá in the Amazon rainforest, where he will paint the experience.[32]

Procreate is also used in-house at Disney[33] and Pixar.[34]

Savage Interactive[edit]

Savage Interactive was founded in January 2010 by James and Alanna Cuda in response to the announcement of the first iPad. Working from the Cudas' kitchen in Old Beach, Tasmania, Australia, with programmer Lloyd Bottomley and graphic designer Cameron Newton, Savage launched the first version of Procreate for the iPad on the App Store in March 2011.[35]

After winning an Apple Design Award in June 2013, Savage launched Procreate 2 in conjunction with iOS7, adding 4K file support, continuous auto-save, and customisable brushes.[36] In December that year, Kyle Lambert's Procreate finger-painting of Morgan Freeman went viral, generating a great deal of publicity for the app.

Savage launched Procreate Pocket in December 2014.[37] In the wake of the growing success of Procreate and Procreate Pocket, Savage received investment offers and invitations to relocate to Silicon Valley. Savage refused these offers on the basis that the company's remote Tasmanian location is a deliberate choice to maintain independence from Silicon Valley politics and culture.[38] Now supporting a staff of seven, Savage moved to commercial office premises in North Hobart in 2016.

In December 2018, Procreate became the bestselling app[39] on the App Store, and Procreate Pocket received Apple's 'App of the Year' award.[40]

As of June 2019, Savage employs over 25 staff, and continues to release regular updates and improvements to Procreate and Procreate Pocket.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e "Procreate FAQ". Savage Interactive. Retrieved May 23, 2019.
  2. ^ "A look at Procreate, a new painting app for the iPad". Retrieved March 24, 2011.
  3. ^ "Procreate Review". Retrieved November 8, 2011.
  4. ^ "Apple fingers app for award". The Mercury. Retrieved March 5, 2014.
  5. ^ "Morgan Freeman's biggest role yet? Viral video of an iPad drawing". LA Times. Retrieved December 3, 2013.
  6. ^ "This Hyperrealistic iPad Painting Of Morgan Freeman Boggles The Mind". Huffington Post. Retrieved December 3, 2013.
  7. ^ "'Stranger Things' iconic poster created on Apple's iPad Pro". Mashable. Retrieved August 8, 2016.
  8. ^ "Incredible Logan poster painted on iPad Pro towers over Times Square". Retrieved March 6, 2017.
  9. ^ "An Interview with James Jean — Creating Posters for Blade Runner 2049 and the Year's Most Anticipated Films". Retrieved October 6, 2017.
  10. ^ "Latest New Yorker Cover Was Drawn With an Apple Pencil". Adweek. Retrieved January 4, 2017.
  11. ^ "iPad art graces cover of latest New Yorker". Retrieved May 26, 2017.
  12. ^ "iPad Is an Artist's Canvas for David Hockney". New York Times. Retrieved January 10, 2014.
  13. ^ "Who's Using The iPad Pro At Work? Tattoo Artists". Retrieved July 14, 2016.
  14. ^ "Watch a Marvel and DC Comics illustrator do what he does best with an iPad Pro and Apple Pencil". Retrieved April 6, 2016.
  15. ^ "Disney animators use iPad Pro to sketch characters such as Mickey and Olaf". Retrieved October 6, 2015.
  16. ^ "App Store shatters records on New Years Day". Retrieved January 1, 2017.
  17. ^ "Rewind 2017: Apple reveals most popular apps, music, movies & more". Retrieved December 7, 2017.
  18. ^ "Apple presents the best of 2018". Retrieved December 4, 2010.
  19. ^ "Epic 12.9-inch iPad Pro Available to Order Online Wednesday & Arrives in Stores Later This Week". Apple. Retrieved November 9, 2015.
  20. ^ "New iPad Pro with all-screen design is most advanced, powerful iPad ever". Apple. Retrieved October 30, 2018.
  21. ^ "Procreate Pocket is an iPhone version of the popular iPad art app". Retrieved December 18, 2014.
  22. ^ "Procreate Pocket receives major 2.0 update that's built from the ground up". Retrieved May 21, 2018.
  23. ^ "Best of 2018: Apps of the Year". Apple. Retrieved January 1, 2019.
  24. ^ "Procreate on the App Store". iTunes. iTunes. Retrieved May 29, 2019.
  25. ^ "Watch DC Comics Publisher Jim Lee Draw Batman and Joker on iPad Pro with Apple Pencil". Retrieved April 6, 2016.
  26. ^ "Interactive demo of David Hockney painting with iPad, The Met, New York". YouTube. Retrieved November 22, 2017.
  27. ^ "'Stranger Things' iconic poster created on Apple's iPad Pro". Mashable. Retrieved August 8, 2016.
  28. ^ "This Hyperrealistic iPad Painting Of Morgan Freeman Boggles The Mind". Huffington Post. Retrieved December 3, 2013.
  29. ^ "An Interview with James Jean — Creating Posters for Blade Runner 2049 and the Year's Most Anticipated Films". Retrieved October 6, 2017.
  30. ^ "French Villages - Procreate Studies". Retrieved May 26, 2010.
  31. ^ "Doug Chiang: The Evolution of Star Wars Design - Designing Episode I Live Panel at SWCC 2019". Star Wars - YouTube. Retrieved April 14, 2019.
  32. ^ "Spirit of the Rainforest 2". Retrieved May 30, 2019.
  33. ^ "Disney Artists Try Out The iPad Pro And Apple Pencil: What Do They Have To Say?". TechTimes. Retrieved August 8, 2015.
  34. ^ "Pixar development team tests iPad Pro & Apple Pencil, says palm-rejection is perfect". Retrieved September 29, 2015.
  35. ^ "Apple fingers app for award". The Mercury. Retrieved March 5, 2014.
  36. ^ "Procreate 2 brings GPU accelerated filters, 4K canvases & 64-bit to iPad app". Digital Arts Online. Retrieved November 26, 2013.
  37. ^ "Procreate Pocket is an iPhone version of the popular iPad art app". Retrieved December 18, 2014.
  38. ^ "Tasmania's High-Tech Startup Stories". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved May 29, 2019.
  39. ^ "Apple presents the best of 2018". Retrieved December 4, 2010.
  40. ^ "Best of 2018: Apps of the Year". Apple. Retrieved January 1, 2019.

External links[edit]