How To Animate On Procreate Ipad

How To Animate On Procreate Ipad

How to Animate on Procreate iPad: A Complete Guide


Procreate, an innovative and powerful drawing app, has gained immense popularity among digital artists. Apart from its exceptional drawing abilities, Procreate also offers animation features that allow artists to bring their artwork to life. With Procreate, you can create stunning animations right on your iPad. However, if you are new to animation or unfamiliar with the Procreate interface, getting started might seem daunting. In this comprehensive guide, we will take you through the process of animating on Procreate iPad, step by step.


  1. Understanding the Basics
  2. Preparing Your Canvas
  3. Creating Animation Frames
  4. Animating Your Artwork
  5. Adding Sound and Effects
  6. Exporting and Sharing

Understanding the Basics

Before diving into animation on Procreate, it’s important to familiarize yourself with some basic concepts. Animation consists of a sequence of frames that create an illusion of movement when played in rapid succession. Each frame represents a slight variation of the image, and combining these frames produces the animation. Procreate enables you to create frame-by-frame animations through its intuitive interface.


Layers are an essential component of animation in Procreate. They allow you to separate different elements of your artwork and control their visibility and order. You can think of layers as transparent sheets stacked on top of each other, where each sheet contains a different part of your drawing. By creating separate layers for different body parts or objects, you can independently manipulate them during the animation process.


In animation, frames represent individual still images that, when played in sequence, create the illusion of movement. Procreate enables you to create and organize frames easily. By working on one frame at a time, you can gradually build your animation, making adjustments along the way. Procreate also offers the ability to duplicate, delete, and rearrange frames, providing complete control over your animation’s timing and flow.

Preparing Your Canvas

Before starting your animation, it’s important to set up your canvas properly. The canvas acts as a blank space where you create your art and animation. Follow these steps to prepare your canvas:

  1. Open a New Canvas: Launch the Procreate app on your iPad and tap the “+” icon to create a new canvas. Select your desired dimensions and resolution.
  2. Choose a Background Color: Select the “Background” layer and choose your desired color. You can also import an image if you prefer.
  3. Adjust Canvas Settings: Tap the “Actions” menu and customize the canvas settings according to your preferences. Procreate offers various options like canvas rotation, grid, and snapping, which can enhance your animation workflow.
  4. Create New Layers: Tap the “Layers” menu and create multiple layers to separate different elements of your animation. For example, you can have separate layers for the background, characters, and any additional elements.

Creating Animation Frames

Now that your canvas is set up, it’s time to start creating animation frames. Follow these steps:

  1. Choose a Brush: Select the appropriate brush for your animation. Procreate offers a vast array of brushes to choose from, each offering unique textures and effects. Experiment with different brushes to find the one that suits your style.
  2. Create Your First Frame: Start animating by drawing on the first frame. You can use the layers you created earlier to separate different elements and ensure smooth animation.
  3. Duplicate Frames: To create subsequent frames, duplicate the initial frame and make slight modifications. This technique is called onion skinning and provides a visual reference for consistent movement throughout the animation.
  4. Adjust Timing: Use the timeline at the bottom of the screen to adjust timing and frame duration. Drag frames to rearrange them and achieve the desired animation flow.
  5. Add Extra Frames: If necessary, you can add more frames to your animation by tapping the “+” icon in the frame panel. This allows you to extend or refine your animation further.

Animating Your Artwork

With your frames in place, it’s time to bring your artwork to life through animation. Follow these steps to animate your artwork:

  1. Switch to Animation Assist: Open the “Actions” menu and select “Animation Assist.” This mode provides additional features and tools specific to animation.
  2. Choose Your Loop: Set the animation loop style from the options provided. You can choose from a ping-pong loop, forward loop, or custom loop duration.
  3. Set Onion Skin Settings: Use the onion skin settings to adjust the opacity, color, and number of visible frames. This helps you visualize the previous and next frames while working on the current frame, ensuring smooth transitions.
  4. Animate Frame by Frame: Select each frame individually and make necessary modifications to bring your artwork to life. Procreate provides a variety of tools, including transform, warp, and liquify, to assist in animation.
  5. Preview Your Animation: To see how your animation is progressing, tap the play button at the bottom of the screen. This allows you to make any necessary adjustments before finalizing the project.

Adding Sound and Effects

Once you are satisfied with your animated artwork, you can enhance the overall experience by adding sound and effects. Although Procreate does not have built-in audio features, you can export your animation and import it into video editing software that allows sound integration. Here’s how you can add sound and effects to your animation:

  1. Export Your Animation: Export your animation as a video file by tapping the “Share” button and selecting the desired file format and quality. Save it to your device or cloud storage.
  2. Import into Video Editing Software: Open your preferred video editing software and import the exported animation file. Add the desired sound effects, background music, or any other audio elements to enhance your animation.
  3. Adjust Timing and Effects: Use the video editing software’s timeline features to sync the sound and effects with the visuals. Experiment with different effects to enhance the overall impact of your animation.
  4. Export the Final Animation: Render the final version of your animated video with sound and effects. Choose the appropriate export settings for your intended platform or audience.

Exporting and Sharing

Once your animation is complete, it’s time to share it with the world. Procreate provides various options for exporting and sharing your animated artwork. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Export as Video: To export your animation as a video file, tap the “Share” button and choose the desired file format and quality. You can save it to your device or share it directly on social media platforms.
  2. Export as GIF: If you prefer, Procreate also allows you to export your animation as a GIF. This format is widely supported and can be easily shared across platforms.
  3. Share on Social Media: Procreate integrates seamlessly with various social media platforms. You can directly share your animation on platforms like Instagram, TikTok, or YouTube.
  4. Print or Use in Other Projects: Export your animation as individual frames or a sequence of images if you intend to use them in other projects or print them.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

1. Is Procreate only available on iPad?

Yes, Procreate is exclusively available for iPad. It takes advantage of the iPad’s touch interface and powerful hardware capabilities to deliver an exceptional digital art experience.

2. Can I import images or use references while animating on Procreate?

Absolutely! Procreate allows you to import images and use them as references while animating. This feature is particularly useful when animating complex movements or capturing specific details.

3. Can I undo or redo actions in Procreate?

Yes, Procreate provides a comprehensive undo and redo system that allows you to easily correct mistakes or experiment with different approaches. Simply use the respective buttons or perform a two-finger tap to undo or redo actions.

4. Can I export my Procreate animation to other software for further editing?

Yes, Procreate allows you to export your animations as video files or GIFs, which can be imported into various video editing software for further editing, adding sound, or incorporating additional effects.

5. Are there any additional resources or tutorials available to learn advanced animation techniques on Procreate?

Absolutely! Procreate has a thriving online community with countless tutorials, tips, and resources dedicated to animation techniques. Websites like YouTube, Procreate’s official website, and art-centric communities are great sources to explore and expand your animation skills on Procreate.

Closing Thoughts

Animating on Procreate iPad opens up a world of creative possibilities. With its intuitive interface and extensive features, Procreate provides a powerhouse for animators of all levels. Whether you are a beginner exploring the basics or an experienced animator looking for a portable solution, Procreate delivers impressive results. Follow the steps outlined in this guide, experiment with different techniques, and let your imagination run wild. Happy animating!

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