Procreate 5X adds new filters and a handy reference companion view

Technology

Procreate’s next big update, Procreate 5X, adds new filters and adjustments that’ll be really helpful for those who are trying to do more in Procreate and less in Photoshop. The update will be available starting September 21st.

The new filters include halftone, gradient map, chromatic aberration, glitch effects, and more. The iPad illustration app has also added a reference companion window, allowing you to view your whole canvas or another image on the side while you work. While overall this feels less flashy than the Procreate 5 update (which added Animation Assist, a tool that adds a timeline to the app for looping GIFs and animated videos), it includes some great features that help to close the gap with Adobe’s more powerful desktop software.

The updates that might be most exciting to users are the new filters and how you can apply them. Procreate 5X has Pencil Filters now, so you can draw in your filters and adjustments as opposed to applying them as an entire layer (that’s still an option).

The new adjustment filters are great, too. Included are Glitch, which gives you four types with controls, and Gradient Map, which takes a color gradient and transposes that to the image’s color values. Procreate has also added Chromatic Aberration, Bloom, and Halftone, which has three styles, Full Color, Screen Print, and Newspaper.

You can now use the new Palette Capture to create a custom palette, too, taking an image from your canvas, photo library, or from an Adobe ACO or ASE palette.

There’s also a new feature called FacePaint, which lets you paint directly on your face in real-time using your device’s camera, as long as it’s compatible. I have a sixth-generation iPad, so I couldn’t try this out, but it does look fun.

The biggest update to me is the reference companion. This is a movable window that lets you continue working zoomed in while seeing the macro image in real time, or you can load in a separate image to use as a reference, which is also extremely useful.

What’s most exciting about this update is seeing how Procreate is continuing to add in features to help users stay in the app more and more. While I personally love working with lots of apps for my art, the ‘have to export to add this one effect I can only do in this one other app and then reimport to continue working’ process can get old fast and be disruptive to a workflow.