Procreate Animation: 5 Practical Brush Tips
Written by  Daisie Team
Published on 6 min read


Procreate is a fantastic tool for digital artists, offering a range of brushes that can elevate your animations to the next level. Mastering how to use brushes in Procreate for animation can unlock a world of possibilities. This blog will guide you through five practical brush tips, starting with the art of using different brushes for different effects.

Use Different Brushes for Different Effects

The first step in effectively using brushes in Procreate for animation is figuring out which brush creates what effect. Not all brushes are created equal—each one possesses a unique quality that can dramatically change the outcome of your animation.

Understanding Brush Types

Procreate offers a variety of brush types, each designed for specific tasks. For example, the Gouache brush is perfect for bold, opaque strokes, while the Soft Pastel brush gives a delicate, textured finish. Knowing which brush to use can significantly enhance the look and feel of your animation.

Experimentation is Key

Don't be afraid to try out different brushes. The Round Brush might be your go-to for line art, but have you ever tried the Studio Pen or the Technical Pen? Experimenting with different brushes can lead to delightful discoveries—you might stumble upon a brush that perfectly captures the mood or style you're aiming for in your animation.

Custom Brushes

Procreate allows for the creation of custom brushes. This means you have the freedom to design a brush to suit your specific animation needs. Want a brush that mimics the texture of fur for your animal animation or a brush that creates the perfect starry night effect? With Procreate, you can make it happen.

Understanding how to use different brushes for different effects is a significant step towards mastering how to use brushes in Procreate for animation. So grab your iPad, open up Procreate, and start experimenting with brushes—for all you know, your next animation could be your best one yet!

Modify Brush Settings for Animation

Once you've got a handle on the different brushes and their effects, it's time to dive into the nitty-gritty of brush settings. Modifying these settings can drastically improve your animations, giving you more control over your brush strokes.

Pressure Sensitivity

Procreate's pressure sensitivity setting offers a unique tool for adding dimension to your animations. Adjusting this setting allows you to control the density and width of your brush stroke based on how hard you press with your stylus. It's like the difference between a whisper and a shout—both can be powerful, but in different ways.

Opacity and Flow

Opacity and flow are two more settings that can be adjusted to fine-tune your animations. Lower opacity can create a softer, more ethereal effect, while higher opacity offers bold, vibrant strokes. Flow, on the other hand, controls how quickly the paint is laid down, allowing for smoother transitions between colors and textures.

Size Limit

The size limit setting is an often-overlooked gem in the world of Procreate animation. Adjusting this setting can significantly impact the scale of your brush strokes, allowing for grand sweeping gestures or minute, detailed work. It's like having a whole art store worth of brush sizes at your fingertips.

Knowing how to modify brush settings for animation in Procreate can open up a world of possibilities for your artwork. It's like being handed the keys to a supercar—you now have the power to take your animations wherever you want them to go. So, ready to put the pedal to the metal?

Layer and Blend Brush Strokes

Now that we've tweaked our brush settings to perfection, let's focus on how to layer and blend brush strokes for more dynamic animations. After all, creating art in Procreate isn't just about painting—it's about building a masterpiece one layer at a time.

Mastering Layers

Think of layers in Procreate like sheets of tracing paper, with each new layer adding another dimension to your animation. By creating distinct elements on separate layers, you can adjust, rearrange, and animate them independently. It's like being an animation magician—pulling rabbits out of hats, or in this case, pulling characters out of thin air.

The Art of Blending

Blending isn't just for smoothies anymore—it's also a key technique for creating seamless transitions between colors and textures in your animations. By using the smudge tool in Procreate, you can blend brush strokes together for a more natural, cohesive look. It's like being an animation chef, mixing ingredients until you get the perfect blend.

Layer Masks

Layer masks are one of those features in Procreate that can truly take your animations to the next level. Using a layer mask, you can hide certain parts of a layer without permanently erasing them. It gives you the flexibility to experiment without the fear of making irreversible changes. Like a superhero's mask, it gives you the power to conceal and reveal at will.

With the knowledge of how to layer and blend brush strokes in Procreate for animation, you're well on your way to creating animations that are as complex and unique as you are. Ready to start layering?

Explore Brush Texture for Depth

Just as a chef adds spices to elevate a dish, an animator uses brush textures to add depth to their animations. Let's dive into how you can explore different brush textures in Procreate to add that extra dash of depth to your animations.

Understanding Texture

Texture in Procreate refers to the visual quality of the brush stroke. It can range from smooth and sleek to rough and grainy. Think of it as the difference between silk and sandpaper, each texture imparts a different mood and feel to your animation. So, how do you choose the right texture for your animation? It's simple: Experiment! Try out different brush textures and see what works best for your artistic vision.

Customizing Brush Textures

Procreate offers a range of options to customize your brush texture. Dial up the grain, tweak the scatter, or adjust the spacing—every little change can have a big impact on the final look and feel of your animation. It's like you're a kid in a candy store, with an endless array of textures to pick and choose from. Just remember, the goal is to add depth to your animation, not to overwhelm it with too many textures.

Using Texture for Depth

When you strategically use brush texture in Procreate for animation, you can create a sense of depth that takes your work from flat to three-dimensional. It's like turning a 2D sketch into a 3D model. By varying the texture between foreground and background elements, you can create an illusion of depth that makes your animation come alive.

Ready to explore the world of brush textures in Procreate? The depth of your animations is only a brush stroke away.

Animate Brush Strokes in Procreate

Animating brush strokes in Procreate can sound like a complex task, but with the right strategies, it's as simple as pie. Let's dive into how you can breathe life into your art by animating brush strokes.

Creating Frame-by-Frame Animations

Frame-by-frame animation is the backbone of brush stroke animation in Procreate. It's like creating a flipbook, where each page is a new brush stroke. Here's how you do it:

  • Start with creating a new layer for each frame of your animation.
  • Draw your brush stroke on each layer, altering it slightly from the previous one to simulate movement.
  • Once you're done with all the layers, play them back in sequence, and voila—you have an animated brush stroke!

Using the Animation Assist

Procreate's Animation Assist is a game-changer when it comes to animating brush strokes. It streamlines the process and makes it more intuitive. With the onion skin mode, you can see the ‘ghost’ of previous and future frames while working on the current one. It's like having a roadmap for your animation journey.

Exporting Your Animation

Once you're happy with your animated brush strokes, it's time to share your masterpiece with the world. Simply tap the Actions button, select Share, and then choose Animated GIF or Animated MP4. Now, your animated brush strokes are ready to be admired by all!

So, what are you waiting for? It's time to animate those brush strokes and bring your Procreate art to life.

If you're excited about Procreate animation and eager to learn more, don't miss the workshop 'Animating with Procreate and Photoshop' by Nyanza. This workshop will not only build upon the practical brush tips discussed in this blog post but will also provide you with the skills and expertise to create stunning animations using Procreate and Photoshop. Start your animation journey now!