Can Procreate Edit Photos? (Yes and More!)

Procreate is a user-friendly platform that many beginners and professional digital artists love.

That’s because it doesn’t confuse you with complicated toolbars, so the beginners can get to know the software without panicking.

Meanwhile, the professionals know where to find the tools and features they need.

The minimalist design may leave you wondering: Can Procreate edit videos and photos? Well, read on to find out!

Can Procreate Edit Photos?

Yes, it can. Although Procreate doesn’t look like most photo editing apps on your phone, it does have the potential to do many things they do, with even higher quality and more customization.

Procreate is capable of:

  • Cropping, resizing and rotating the canvas.
  • Recoloring a part of the drawing and making it lighter or darker.
  • Increasing and decreasing noise and sharpness.
  • Blurring and distorting the image using multiple tools.
  • Cutting out the parts you want.

And so much more!

If you are trying to get a deep understanding of Procreate, I recommend you check Drawing and Painting on the iPad with Procreate. It is the highest-rated and most taken course on Udemy.

Is Procreate Good for Photo Editing?

Once you import the painting or picture you want, the possibilities are endless with Procreate. You can create your own filters that suit your image better than any other readily-made filters. Does that account for photo editing? Sure it does!

Here are some of Procreate’s functionalities. 

Basic Tools

  • Crop, Resize, and Rotate the canvas.
  • The Clone tool will allow you to paint one part of the photo onto another. 
  • To change an object’s appearance and distort it, you can use the Liquify tool, Smudge tool, among others. 
  • Use the Blending options to combine two layers.

Adjustments

  • Add highlights and shadows to your selfies and photos using different brushes.
  • Use the Adjustment Menus to make objects lighter and darker. 
  • Procreate’s color adjustment tools let you change the Brightness, Saturation, and Hue of your entire image or a part of it.
  • The Recolor tool under Adjustments can change the color of the part where your crosshairs are to the color of your choice.
  • The Noise and the Sharpen tool will let you get a crisp and focused look out of your photos by enhancing the details. 

Blurring 

  • The Gaussian Blur tool will smooth and soften the photo.
  • The Motion Blur will make it look like an object is moving fast.
  • The Perspective Blur will cast directional blasting effects.

Selection

Cut out the parts of the image you don’t need using the Selection tool and apply the eraser to smooth out the edges. 

You can even trace around an object in your photo and press the “-“ sign on the right side.

Once you see the grey lines passing across it, you can edit the background without anything happening to the selected object.

Effects

  • With the Glitch tool, add glitch style looks to the image. 
  • Apply realistic glow to your photos using the Bloom tool. 
  • The Halftone tool will help you work with grayscale and color halftones. 
  • Use the Chromatic Aberration tool for its effect.

Brushes

There are lots of fantastic brushes that you can download for free online, including brushes with skin, hair, and cloth textures. They’ll let you edit your photos freely and add more customization.

Can You Draw Over Photos in Procreate?

Yes, you can draw over photos and other drawings to combine photography and illustration.

Once you get the photo on the canvas, you’ll have to create an additional layer on top. Then, choose any brush with any color you want, and start drawing over the photo on the new layer, like you would with a blank canvas.

You can either manipulate the photo and create a mixed canvas or turn the photo layer off in the end and save your drawing, inspired by the photo.

How to import photos into Procreate?

There are three methods for importing a file or photo into Procreate. 

First Method

  1. Go to your Photos app or Files app.
  2. Find the picture you’re looking for.
  3. Click share, and import it to Procreate. 
  4. Open Procreate and go to the gallery to find the photo at the top of the list.

Second Method

  1. Open a photo while in the Procreate app by tapping Actions → Add.
  2. Choose one of the following icons: Insert a file or Insert a photo
  3. That will automatically open the Files app or Photos app
  4. Search and select the photo, and Procreate will display it.

Third Method

  1. While inside Procreate, Tap ActionsAddTake a photo.
  2. The camera app will pop up, allowing you to take a picture. 
  3. Tap Use Photo to insert it to Procreate.

With the two first methods, you can import PNG, JPEG, and PSD files.

However, to preserve the layers in a PSD file, you’ll have to use the first method.

The second method will display the file as a flattened image.

Private Layer

If you don’t want the original photo to appear in your gallery preview image or the exported time-lapse video, you can import it as a Private Layer:

Step 1—Tap ActionsAdd.

Step 2—Slide one of the following tabs to the left:

  • Insert a file.
  • Insert a photo.
  • Take a picture.

Step 3—It’ll then reveal a grey tab allowing you to tap one of the following buttons:

  • Insert a private file.
  • Insert a private photo.
  • Take a private photo.

Step 4—Once you choose a file or photo or take one, it’ll appear on your canvas and in the Layers menu.

Remember, you can’t import a layered PSD photo as a private layer.

How Do You Procreate A Picture?

Procreating a drawing is as easy as it can get with the Procreate app. Just open the app, create a canvas, pick a brush, and start drawing! 

As a beginner, you can even copy a photo by tracing the shapes and lines. Import a photograph with the previous method, create another layer on top, and draw lines on the photo.

You can then turn off the photo layer and paint the drawing the way you like.

If you are interested in pixel art, I recommend you check Can Procreate Make Pixel Art?

Can I Use Procreate Without an Apple Pencil?

Procreate is a highly adaptable app that works with any stylus that connects to your device. If you want to use Procreate on touchscreen Windows or macOS devices, you can use their suitable styluses. You can even use your finger as a stylus for drawing on any touchscreen device, including the Apple iPad.

Most artists prefer their experience with digital painting to be as close to paper and pencil as possible.

The Apple pencil has a priority over other styluses because it’s best matched with iPads and Procreate, offering you many other options.

It’s sensitive, fast, and precise. For example, if you increase the pressure, it’ll draw thicker lines. If you tilt it, you’ll create realistic shades. 

Although your finger is the cheapest stylus available that never gets lost or broken, it doesn’t give you the best brush strokes. You’ll need some time to get used to drawing with your finger and refine your skills.

Even so, Procreate has some options to make it easier on you. You can adjust the settings to let Procreate know if you’re using your finger or a stylus.

It can tell the difference! Click on the wrench in the toolbar, tab Prefs, and Gesture Control. Go through the list of options and toggle the switches on or off.

To draw thicker or thinner lines, you can adjust the slider. For more precise brush strokes, you can zoom in to take more control.

If you’re not sure about working with Procreate and don’t want to invest in an Apple pencil without trying it out first, using your finger can help you get to know the platform.

Does Procreate Need Wifi?

Procreate is a self-sufficient app that doesn’t rely on a constant internet connection to operate. You can use all the features and tools to their full capacity offline. That makes it the perfect drawing software for traveling and nature adventures.

However, since we’re always connected to the internet, we do many things online without noticing we’re using Wifi. 

So, if you’re going off the grid, make sure the app and your device are updated so you won’t run into technical issues.

And don’t forget to download and save all the reference photos or drawings you might need. 

If you want to purchase something through Procreate, do it while you’re connected.

Also, remember that you can’t back-up or share your work to a cloud-based service or social media without an internet connection.  

Additional reading: Can Procreate Be Shared With Family?

Is Procreate Easier Than Illustrator?

Procreate and Illustrator aren’t developed for the same purpose, so they’re easier for different projects.

Procreate is best at creating illustrations with various tools and brush options, while Adobe Illustrator is a vector-based program that’s much better for designing logos and posters. 

However, for a novice digital artist, you could say that Procreate has a simpler and more minimal interface, making the learning curve a bit easier.

But it’s wise to choose the programs based on what you’re looking to create and spend some time learning them using a wide range of tutorials and courses available online

Is Procreate Better Than Adobe?

Adobe is a creative computer software company with different apps that can compete with Procreate. Most of their apps are designed for specific purposes and are the best at what they do.

For instance, Adobe lightroom is the ideal platform for editing photos, while Adobe Illustrator is best for creating logos, and Adobe InDesign creates layouts for magazines, posters, and brochures. 

The closest Adobe app to Procreate might be Photoshop. Photoshop beats Procreate in device compatibility, photo editing skills, and additional features. It’s available for Windows, macOS, desktop, and iOS devices. 

On the other hand, Procreate is a dedicated iOS app. It’s better for creating illustrations, animations, and time-lapse videos. It’s also easier to use and also cheaper.

Is Procreate Worth Buying?

Procreate makes it easy to create animations that may seem out of reach for many artists. With all the great features that Procreate stores, it’s definitely worth buying, especially for digital artists. The price is much less than many other similar platforms.

It has lots of tools and brushes for drawings and illustrations, plus many more that you can download online. You could draw on photos and manipulate them, and create interesting time-lapse videos from your work. 

Final Thoughts

Procreate is an intuitive multi-purpose app that’s top-rated in many fields.

Although it’s not the ultimate app for editing photos, It satisfies the needs of artists, with lots of customization options. You’ll just have to learn its potential!

Spend some time to learn the tips and tricks and familiarize yourself with the tools with which you can do things you wouldn’t even dream of!

Invest in some Procreate courses and tutorials to pass the learning curve more straightforward, especially if you’re a beginner.