3D Rendering in Procreate: Tips & Techniques
Written by  Daisie Team
Published on 7 min read


  1. Setting up your canvas for 3D rendering
  2. How to use Procreate's 3D painting tools
  3. Creating depth with shadows and highlights
  4. Coloring techniques for 3D rendering
  5. How to create realistic textures
  6. Tips for creating 3D effects in Procreate
  7. Why practice matters in 3D rendering

Imagine turning your flat, 2-dimensional sketches into lifelike 3D masterpieces with depth, texture, and stunning realism. Sounds exciting, doesn't it? Well, with Procreate's 3D rendering tools, this is more than achievable. In this blog, we'll explore a variety of tips and techniques to master procreate 3d rendering. If you're ready to take your digital art to another dimension, read on!

Setting up your canvas for 3D rendering

The first step towards creating a 3D masterpiece in Procreate is setting up your canvas correctly. Think of your canvas as the foundation of a building — without a solid base, the rest of your work can't stand. So, let's set the right stage for our procreate 3d rendering journey.

Step 1: Open Procreate and tap on the + icon to create a new canvas. You can choose from the pre-set sizes or customize your own. But remember, larger canvases allow for more detail, but they also use more memory. So, strike a balance that suits your device's capabilities.

Step 2: Once your canvas is ready, you need to switch on the 'Drawing Guide'. This tool will help you maintain perspective and proportion in your work. To do this, tap on the wrench icon then go to 'Canvas' and turn on 'Drawing Guide'.

Step 3: Now, it's time to adjust your grid. Tap on 'Edit Drawing Guide' under the 'Drawing Guide'. Here, you can adjust the grid size and opacity. A smaller grid can help with detailed work, but if you're new to procreate 3d rendering, a larger grid might be more helpful.

Step 4: Finally, select your brush. Procreate comes with a wide range of brushes, but for 3D rendering, the 'Technical Pen' in the 'Inking' set is a good start. Remember, you can always change your brush according to your needs.

And voila! Your canvas is now set up for 3D rendering. Remember, the key to a great 3D artwork is patience and practice. So, don't worry if you don't get it right the first time. Keep trying, and soon you'll see your flat sketches transforming into 3D wonders.

How to use Procreate's 3D painting tools

Now that we've set the stage, it's time to bring our canvas to life with Procreate's 3D painting tools. Remember, the magic of 3D rendering lies in the details. So, let's dive in and get started with Procreate 3D rendering.

Step 1: Open the 'Layers' panel and create a new layer. This will be your 3D object layer. Be sure to keep it separate from your background to maintain the 3D effect.

Step 2: Select the 'Monoline' brush from the 'Calligraphy' set. This brush is great for creating clean, smooth lines — perfect for outlining your 3D object.

Step 3: Draw your object. It can be anything from a simple cube to a complex character. Remember to use the 'Drawing Guide' to maintain perspective. Here's a tip: start with simple shapes. It'll help you understand how light and shadow work in 3D space.

Step 4: Once you're happy with your outline, it's time to add color. Choose the 'Base Color' for your object and fill it in. Remember, color plays a significant role in creating depth and realism in procreate 3D rendering.

And that's it! You've taken the first steps towards creating 3D art in Procreate. Remember, mastering Procreate's 3D painting tools takes time and practice. So, don't get disheartened if it doesn't look perfect right away. Keep refining your work, and soon you'll have a 3D masterpiece on your hands.

Creating depth with shadows and highlights

Now that we have our 3D object and base color in place, it's time to bring some depth to our Procreate 3D rendering project. How, you ask? With the magic of shadows and highlights, of course!

Step 1: Create a new layer above your base color layer. This will be your 'Shadow Layer'. Set the blending mode to 'Multiply'. This mode is perfect for creating shadows as it darkens the base color.

Step 2: Choose a darker shade of your base color for the shadows. Use the 'Soft Brush' from the 'Airbrushing' set to gently paint in the areas where the light doesn't reach. Remember, shadows give your object weight and grounding, so pay attention to where you place them.

Step 3: Now, create another layer for the 'Highlights'. Set the blending mode to 'Add'. This mode brightens the base color, creating the effect of a light source hitting the object.

Step 4: Choose a lighter shade of your base color and highlight the areas where you imagine the light would hit your object. Highlights help bring out the shape and dimension of your 3D object. Think of them as the final touch that brings your Procreate 3D rendering to life.

And there you have it! With a careful balance of shadows and highlights, you've added depth to your 3D object. It's an art to get it right, but with practice, you'll see your Procreate 3D rendering skills soar!

Coloring techniques for 3D rendering

So you've mastered shadows and highlights. Great! Now let's talk color. In Procreate 3D rendering, the right coloring techniques can make your design pop and appear more realistic. Here are a few tips to help you out:

Tip 1: Start with a neutral base color. This might seem counterintuitive—don't we want our designs to be vibrant and colorful? Yes, but starting with a neutral base allows you to build up your colors gradually. It gives you more control over the final look of your design.

Tip 2: Use a variety of shades. For a single object, don't just stick to one shade of a color. Add variations—darker tones for shadows, lighter ones for highlights. This will add depth and dimension to your Procreate 3D rendering.

Tip 3: Experiment with blending modes. Procreate has a variety of blending modes that can drastically change the look of your colors. Multiply, Overlay, Add, Screen—each one can create a unique effect. Try them out and see what works best for your design.

Tip 4: Don't forget about opacity. Changing the opacity of your color layers can create a more subtle, nuanced color effect. It's another tool in your arsenal—use it wisely!

Remember, coloring is not just about making your design pretty (although that's certainly a plus!). It's about communicating the form and structure of your 3D object. So take your time, experiment, and find what works best for your Procreate 3D rendering project.

How to create realistic textures

Adding realistic textures to your Procreate 3D rendering project can make a world of difference. It can transform your design from a mere shape to a tangible object. So, how do you create these textures in Procreate? Let's dive in:

Tip 1: Get to know the Brush Library. Procreate's Brush Library is a goldmine for textures. You've got brushes that mimic everything from fabrics to foliage. Spend some time exploring the library and testing out different brushes on your 3D object.

Tip 2: Look at real-life references. Want to create a realistic wood texture? Study a wooden object in your environment. Notice the patterns, the grains, the variations in color. Then, try to replicate those details in your Procreate 3D rendering.

Tip 3: Use layers to build up your texture. Creating a realistic texture is all about layering. Start with a base layer, then add more layers with different brushes and colors. This can create a more complex, realistic texture.

Tip 4: Don't be afraid to use Procreate's Smudge tool. The Smudge tool can help blend your layers together, creating a cohesive texture. But remember—like all tools, it's best to use the Smudge tool in moderation.

Creating realistic textures in Procreate can be a bit of a learning curve. But once you get the hang of it, you'll see just how much it can elevate your Procreate 3D rendering project. So go ahead, roll up your sleeves and start creating!

Tips for creating 3D effects in Procreate

Creating 3D effects in Procreate can seem like a daunting task. But, with the right approach and some handy tips, it can be easier than you think! Here's a few things to keep in mind when you're trying to give your Procreate 3D rendering that extra depth.

Tip 1: Use perspective to your advantage. Perspective is a powerful tool when it comes to creating 3D effects. Play around with the size and placement of your objects. Smaller objects can appear further away, while larger objects seem closer. It's all a matter of perspective!

Tip 2: Experiment with different shades of color. A well-placed dark shade can add depth to your 3D rendering, while a bright highlight can make a part of your object pop. So, don't be afraid to play around with shades!

Tip 3: Use lighting to create depth. In the real world, objects have shadows — and your Procreate 3D rendering should too. Adding shadows and highlights can give your objects a more three-dimensional look.

Tip 4: Practice, practice, practice. The more you work on your 3D rendering skills, the better you'll get. So, don't get discouraged if your first few attempts don't turn out as you hoped. Keep going, and remember — even the pros started somewhere.

Remember, creating 3D effects in Procreate isn't about creating a perfect piece of art right off the bat. It's about exploring, experimenting, and having fun. So, dive in and start creating!

Why Practice Matters in 3D Rendering

Procreate 3D rendering is a fantastic skill to have, but like anything worth doing, it requires practice. But why exactly does practice matter so much in 3D rendering?

Understanding the Tools: Procreate has a plethora of tools at your disposal. The more you practice, the more familiar you'll become with the brushes, colors, and other assets. You'll discover which tools work best for certain effects, and how to use them to enhance your 3D rendering.

Building Confidence: With each stroke you make, you're not just creating art — you're building confidence. Practice allows you to make mistakes and learn from them, all while improving your skills. It's the best way to become comfortable with your own style and techniques.

Honing Your Eye: An important aspect of 3D rendering is being able to visualize in three dimensions. As you practice, you'll develop an eye for detail, perspective, and depth, all of which are crucial for successful Procreate 3D rendering.

Exploring Creativity: Practicing 3D rendering isn't just about mastering a skill. It's also about exploring your creativity. The more you practice, the more opportunities you'll have to try new ideas, techniques, and styles.

In conclusion, practice is the cornerstone of any artistic endeavor, including Procreate 3D rendering. So grab your stylus, fire up Procreate, and let's get practicing!

If you're excited about 3D rendering in Procreate and want to expand your skills even further, check out the workshop 'Creating 3D Art: How To Build a Room in Blender' by Jonathan K. This workshop will teach you how to create stunning 3D environments using Blender, a powerful and versatile 3D software, complementing your Procreate knowledge and enhancing your 3D art skills.