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Procreate Animation: An Introduction to How to Animate on Procreate

Animation is fun and exciting. You can create a GIF of your favorite animal, wiggle your kitty's whiskers, or set a flower in motion by drawing every frame one at a time.

It used to be the work of large studios with special rooms full of computers and cameras. In the past, it meant the use of a certain type of specialized computer software, like Adobe After Effects.

Now, you can do it on your iPad with just a few finger swipes. It's pretty great! But the big question is, can you animate on Procreate?

The answer is YES! I have just recently learned how to do animation on Procreate using Freya’s Procreate Masterclass, and I thought it would be fun to share what I’ve learned.

Using Procreate is the best way to animate your work because it gives you more control over your drawings. 

With that said, let's walk through how to do animation on Procreate!

Animation Assist

To start off, let’s look at the Animation tool in Procreate.

Tap on the wrench tool at the top of your canvas to open the Actions menu.

Then go to ‘Canvas’ and turn on ‘Animation Assist’. When you turn on Animation Assist, a toolbar will appear below your screen.

How to Animate in Procreate

Let’s now try animating in Procreate!

In the video lesson, Freya created an animation of the word “Animation”. In this tutorial, I’ll recreate her steps by writing “Hello there!”

Choose your brush and color for your work. I’ll use Freya’s Dry Marker 12 from her Better Marker brush set and this purple color with hex code #93658B.

Once you’ve chosen your own brush and color, let’s proceed!

This is what I’d like the whole text to look like.

I’ll start with writing ‘H’ on the left part of my canvas. Taking into consideration the space that will be left on the right side for the rest of the letters I’ll write.

After that, I’ll add a frame by tapping on the ‘Add Frame’ option at the top of the toolbar. You’ll see that another frame is added to your timeline.

I’ll then write the letter ‘e’ and add another frame after to write the letter ‘y’. I’ll keep doing this for every character until I finish the phrase ‘Hey there!’

After I add the last frame, my workspace looked like this. Try clicking on ‘Play’ to see what the animation would look like.

You can add more things to a single frame depending on the design you’d like to achieve.

Animation Settings

Now that we’ve finished working on our frames, let’s look at the settings.

In Procreate, you can choose how your animation would play. You can choose between loop, Ping Pong, and One-shot.

Loop

With this style, your animation would play over and over again, like it’s in a loop.

Ping Pong

If you want your animation to play from beginning to end, then end to beginning, and so on, you can choose this style.

One-Shot

You can choose this animation style if you want your animation to play only once, from beginning to end.

Frames Per Second

The first setting is the ‘Frames Per Second’ which lets you adjust how fast or how slow your frames move.

Onion Skin Frames

This setting allows you to choose up to how many of the frames show up in Onion Skin. When a layer is shown in Onion Skin, you can see the layer but it doesn’t show up on your frames. This helps guide you on what would happen next in your animation.

Onion Skin Opacity

This allows you to change the opacity of the other frames.

 

Blend Primary Frame

When you turn this on, you’ll be able to see the previous frame.

Onion Skin Colors

This one allows you to change the color of the frames that are onion-skinned to help you not get confused as to which frame you’re currently working on, especially if they look the same.

Editing the Animation

Now that we’ve run through the basics of animating in Procreate, let’s go back to our work.

If you try playing your animation now, you’ll see that the frames appear one by one, so the phrase doesn’t actually appear as we want to.

I’d like them to appear one by one and form the phrase ‘Hey there!’ so I will have to edit my work.

I’ll delete all the letters and just leave the frame with the letter ‘H’

I will then duplicate this layer, and add ‘e’ on the same frame. To duplicate a frame, just tap on it and choose   ‘Duplicate’. I now have 2 of this frame.

I’ll then write ‘e’ and duplicate the layer again. This time, I’ll add ‘y’ to the third layer.

Keep repeating this until you finish the whole phrase.

Try clicking play to see what the animation looks like! Now the letters actually form the phase and we can easily read it.

Since I don’t like how it goes back to the letter H after the phrase appears, I’ll change the style from ‘Loop’ to ‘Ping Pong’. I'll also decrease the Frames Per Second so that it doesn’t go that fast, it made me a little dizzy.

I also changed the last frame’s duration so that it stays longer on the screen. I tried different durations and settled on 2, meaning the frame will stay 2 frames longer than the other ones. This way it’s easier to actually read the phrase.

You can also adjust the settings as you like!

Share Your Animation File

Now that we’re done with the animation, it’s time to share the file.

Go back to the Actions menu and tap on ‘Share’

For animated works, you can choose between the options with ‘Animated’ in their name. For this one, I’ll go with Animated GIF. When you tap on Animated GIF, it will take you to another window wherein you can edit your file further.

Since I want to share it on this blog, I chose ‘Web Ready’ at 6 frames per second.

Here’s what it looks like!

There are a lot of possible applications for animated work. You can add it to videos, especially if you like doing some vlogs, it’s a nice addition to make it more fun and interesting.

You can also create your own GIFs and upload them for use on Instagram. I’ll show you how to do this on a future blog!

Now that you're an expert at animating with Procreate, it's time to put that knowledge into action.

Go forth and create works of art that are truly alive!

Author:
Patricia Salanguit
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