Procreate, the already excellent iPad drawing app, has been updated to play nice with the iPad 3’s Retina Display. But to dwell on that would be to ignore the massive changes that have gone into this version. Make no mistake: This might be labelled v1.6, but it is much more like a v2.0.
In addition to the new thumbnail gallery layout (with drag and drop organization) and a tweaked in-canvas interface, Procreate has tossed out all its old brushes (still available in a dusty drawer if you need them) and brought in a whole new set of brushes, textures and tools; added gestures and canvas rotation and much more, all while making the thing scream along even with the new iPad’s super hi-res screen.
Procreate was always one of my favorite drawing apps. It has great, realistic brushes (I used to do a lot of painting with oils and acrylics) and powerful tools, and yet is very easy to use (the brush size and opacity sliders which are permanently ready at the side of the screen, or the tap-and-hold color eyedropper are two great examples).
None of this has gone away. It has just been made better. The new brushes are split into sections in a popover (and can all still be edited), with sections for pencils, ink, paint, airbrushing and so on. Gestures have been added (twist while zooming rotates the canvas, three-finger swipes for undo and redo), as has the ability to capture images directly with the camera.
You can also set a background color (which sits beneath up to 16 layers), export PSD and other formats, import any image to use as a brush and even shop in the new in-app store.
That’s right. While the $5 Procreate comes with 48 brand-new brushes (in addition to all the old favorites) you can buy more sets in the store for $1 each. These include a pack of charcoals, spray paints and a very cool “Luminance” set which will add light leaks, Bokeh Highlights, Flare and other lighting effects, letting you make your own Instagrams.
There’s a whole lot more: Even the release notes are longer than this post. If you are already a Procreate user, you have probably already downloaded this update. If you’re not, then shame on you. This is the painting app your iPad 3 has been waiting for.