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Procreate Brushes in Photoshop (Guide and Workaround)

Photoshop and Procreate are two of the highest-rated digital painting apps among artists.

Most professionals favor them because they come with amazing brush selections, and you can build custom brushes from scratch.

Many people want to transfer their favorite brushes from one app to another when creating complex art.

Is that possible? Read on to find out.

Can Procreate Brushes Be Used in Photoshop?

Photoshop-compatible brushes are stored in “.abr” files. There are so many different ones available for download online, but some artists want to use the original Procreate brushes or the custom ones they made inside Photoshop, as well.

Unfortunately, Procreate brushes with the extension “.brush” or “.brushset” can’t be imported or installed in Photoshop directly, neither the iPad nor the desktop version.

However, there’s a workaround:

How to Install Procreate Brushes in Photoshop?

Installing isn’t a good word choice here, but you can remake and use the Procreate brushes with one of the following methods:

First Method:

Step 1—Find the .brush or .brushset files and change the file extension to .zip.

Step 2—Open the .zip file.

Step 3—Extract the PNG images contained within it.

Step 4—Import the image into Photoshop.

Step 5—Try to mimic the brush settings and remake it as a custom brush there.

Second Method:

Step 1—Open Procreate and edit the settings on your selected brush.

Step 2—Set the spacing as far apart as possible, the size to the largest, and turn up the opacity.

Step 3—Change the color to pure black, and choose a transparent canvas.

Step 4—Draw on the canvas in a way that you get only one instance of the brush tip, much like a stamp.

Step 5—Once you get the base shape of your brush, save it as an image.

Step 6—Repeat steps 4 and 5 in the first method to create the brush.

Is Procreate Compatible with Photoshop?

Yes. Procreate has become compatible with Photoshop in its latest updates. Firstly, you can import the Photoshop PSD files and preserve the layers, meaning all your PSD layers will stay separate in Procreate so that you can continue your work.

To do so, you’ll have to open the PSD file from the source, which could be the Photos app or Files app. Tap Share and then import to Procreate.

In Procreate 5, you can use Photoshop brushes with the .abr extension. You should save the files on your iPad or cloud storage, open them, click share, and import them to Procreate for installation.

Alternatively, you can import them through Procreate itself. Open any document, tap on the Brush icon, and then on the little Plus Sign to open up the Brush Settings. Tap on Import, find the .abr file of the brush, and tap on it to install.

Some people say that more complicated brushes won’t work in Procreate as flawlessly as in Photoshop, so you may have to tweak a few details to get the best results.

Read Can Procreate Be Shared With Family?

How Do I Import Brushes into Photoshop on iPad?

Unfortunately, Photoshop doesn’t support importing brushes on the iPad. iPad Photoshop was released in 2019, with just the basic features and qualities.

It has come a long way since then, but unlike similar apps such as Adobe Fresco, you can’t save and import brushes to Photoshop through your iPad.

The developers say that the app will have more features “very soon.” 

Another feature they intend to add to iPad Photoshop is “brush syncing.” You’ll have to sign in to Photoshop with the same account on your iPad and PC.

Add your .abr brushes to Photoshop on your laptop, computer, or other devices. Then open Photoshop on iPad, tap on Brushes, tap on the three dots at the top right corner of the window, and turn on Brush Syncing. Your saved brushes will transfer to your iPad, ready for use.

Until Photoshop develops these features, you can use the brushes in Procreate on your iPad. As mentioned, the latest version of Procreate supports .abr brushes.

Check How To Do Pixel Art In Procreate

Can You Favorite Brushes in Photoshop?

You can’t “favorite” your brushes in Photoshop, meaning there isn’t a little star or heart you tap, so the brush becomes one of your favorites. However, there are ways to group your favorite or most-used brushes.

As you spend more time working with Photoshop, you’ll run into several brushes you want to use more frequently. The more brushes you download, the harder it’ll get to keep track of them and find one easily.

So, it’s best to organize the brushes with the same theme or style into separate folders.

To do so, follow these steps:

  1. Open the Brush Panel and click on the Gear icon on the top right corner.
  2. Once the menu pops open, click on New Brush Group.
  3. Type in a name for this specific group, and click OK. The folder will appear at the bottom of the list in the brush panel.
  4. Click on any of the brushes and drag them into the new folder.
  5. Add as many as you want!

This way, you can create a favorites folder, as well. If you want to copy brushes and not move them from one folder to another, click on the brush and tap the little Plus Sign at the top right corner. That will duplicate your brush.

You can rename it or keep the original name. Then drag the second version and drop it into any of the folders you’ve created.

Is Procreate Easier Than Photoshop?

Photoshop might be easier to work with for professionals in certain areas. For example, Photoshop’s editing might be more straightforward because of all the useful tools and additional features. Procreate can edit photos to an extent. But you’ll have to learn where to find all the tools and discover their potential.

On the other hand, when you think about the primary purpose of Procreate, which is creating illustrations and drawings, you could say it’s easier than Photoshop.

Procreate keeps its platform very minimal and simple, so you can jump right in with a brush. The learning curve is more straightforward, especially for beginner digital artists.

Is Procreate as Good as Photoshop?

The answer to this question would be a definite yes if we’re comparing Procreate with the iPad version of Photoshop.

As of this moment, Apple store Photoshop has to go through many updates to reach the potential of the desktop model.

However, there’s a bit of debate when comparing Procreate with the fully stocked version of desktop Photoshop. Let’s compare them more closely:

  • Illustration: Both apps can create beautiful illustrations and drawings, but Procreate is mainly built for this purpose. Its platform, tools, and features make an artist feel more at home. That’s why it’s the go-to app for many professional digital artists. Plus, the iPad and Apple Pencil combo make you feel like you’re drawing with real brushes on real paper.
  • Photo Editing: Procreate provides you with basic and simple photo editing tools, mainly to make it easy for you to create better drawings. But Photoshop is the ultimate photo editing platform that gives you lots of control down to every little detail.
  • Brushes: Since Photoshop has been around for a very long time, many different compatible brushes are available for download online. Procreate has lots of great built-in brushes and allows you to change them to your liking or build your own from scratch.
  • Customization settings: These are more versatile than Photoshop’s. Plus, you can use Photoshop brushes in Procreate with the latest version. Although some say the more complicated brushes don’t work the same, Procreate is still the overall winner in this category.
  • Layers: Although Procreate lets you create up to 90 layers for your drawings, that’s still a limited number. Photoshop allows you to add hundreds of layers, which can be a necessity for creating more complicated and detailed drawings.
  • Simplicity: Many first-timers become overwhelmed with the toolbars and complicated menus when they open Photoshop. On the other hand, Procreate’s simple platform makes it easy to pick a brush and start drawing right away. Both apps have a bit of a learning curve; it’s just more straightforward with Procreate.
  • Compatibility: Procreate is made for iOS devices and Apple users, most specifically those with an iPad and Apple pencil. However, Photoshop is compatible with Windows, macOS, as well as iOS systems. This feature targets many more digital artists, especially those who prefer a bigger screen.
  • Price: You should pay $9.99 once to purchase Procreate without any additional costs and monthly fees. On the other hand, a subscription through Adobe Creative Cloud is necessary for buying Photoshop, and it costs $20.99 per month. So, Procreate is the cheaper option, unless, of course, you want to invest in an iPad and Apple Pencil.
  • Time-lapse Recording: As opposed to Photoshop, Procreate can record your drawing process with all the details and brushstrokes and speed it up in the form of a time-lapse video. This feature is excellent for those who want to share their work on social media.

Final Thoughts

Procreate, and Photoshop are similar in many ways and satisfy the needs of many pro artists. Even so, they both have their strengths and flaws in different areas.

Depending on what you want from a digital art platform, you can choose your preferred app with the tight comparison you just read.

If you’re new to Procreate, you should also read about its video editing capabilities.

This post is part of our hero content series on “The Ultimate Procreate Guide: The Number 1 Creativity Tool“.