How To Animate on Procreate A guide on Animating on Procreate

For artists using an iPad, the art program Procreate is a powerful tool that offers countless brushes, a wide range of colours, and an array of tools to enhance your creative journey. What sets Procreate apart from many other art apps is its animation feature. With Procreate, you can easily create short animations and export them in various formats. Whether you’re working on larger projects, storyboarding, designing YouTube intros, or simply creating fun animated GIFs, Procreate has got you covered.

Credits – Skillshare

Setting Up Your Canvas

To begin your Procreate animation, start by opening a canvas of your desired size. In this guide, we’ll use the ‘Screen Size’ option as an example. Once your canvas is ready, access the ‘Actions’ menu by clicking on the wrench icon.

Enabling the Animation Assist feature will add a new panel at the bottom of your screen. This panel is where you’ll focus most of your attention during the animation process. It consists of various elements you should get acquainted with:

  • Settings: This button allows you to modify animation settings like loop options, frames per second (fps), and onion skin. If you’re new to animation, onion skin helps you view previously drawn frames, aiding in creating smoother animations. Adjust the number of onion skin frames and their opacity here.
  • Add Frame: This button adds your next frame to the timeline, which is just below the panel.
  • Timeline: The timeline displays all your frames and their content. Tap a frame to view it, or tap and hold to rearrange frames. You can also change the frame duration, duplicate frames, or delete them.
  • Play: The Play button lets you preview your animation.


Now that your canvas is set up, you’re ready to start animating. The Procreate animation process is straightforward:

Use the animation bar to add frames to your animation. The Settings menu on the bar allows you to control the animation’s speed in frames per second (fps), onion skin settings, and whether the animation should loop (it loops by default). For beginners, onion skin displays multiple frames simultaneously, making it easier to maintain consistency.

Animating with Procreate Tools

Procreate offers various tools to help you create smooth animations:

  1. Onion Skin: Onion skin is a feature that lets you see the previous and next frames while you’re working on the current frame. This helps you make consistent changes and maintain the flow of your animation. Frames displayed by the Onion Skin feature are often bright red or blue, making them easily distinguishable from the frame you’re working on. You can adjust the Onion Skin opacity and frame settings in the ‘Settings’ menu.
  2. Frames Per Second (FPS): You can set the frames per second for your animation by tapping the wrench icon, going to “Canvas” and adjusting the “Frames Per Second” option. A standard animation speed is 12 fps, but you can change it according to your preference.
  3. Play and Preview: To see how your animation looks, press the play button at the bottom of the canvas. You can also use the slider to go frame by frame and check for any errors.
  4. Background and Sound: You can add a background to your animation by creating a new layer beneath your drawings. Procreate also supports adding sound to your animations, so you can create a complete multimedia experience.

Sharpening and Adding Colour

Once you’ve completed your initial sketches for your Procreate animation, you may want to enhance it by adding clean linework and colors. In Procreate, grouping your sketch, lineart, and colour layers is essential for displaying them on the same frame.

To group layers in Procreate, create the layers you need and then swipe right on each of them in the Layers panel to select them. You’ll then have the option to create a group. Another option is to select a ‘Background Layer’ to set the background colour for your animation sequence. This background layer remains the same on every frame, which is ideal for a consistent static background or a simple splash of colour.

Exporting Your Animation

Once you’re satisfied with your animation, it’s time to export it. Tap on the wrench icon (Actions Menu) and navigate to the ‘Share’ sub-menu. You can export your animation as an Animated GIF, Animated PNG, MP4, or Animated HEVC. Choose your desired format and adjust settings such as the number of frames for your final export. After completing the export, make sure to select ‘Save Video’ to add the animation to your camera roll.

Originally posted 2023-10-24 18:35:47.