How To Use Procreate & iPad To Make T-Shirt Designs!

How To Use Procreate & iPad To Make T-Shirt Designs!

hey what's up guys BJ Zell here with a video tutorial on how to use the iPad pro the Apple pencil in procreate you make merch by Amazon designs hopefully I'll keep this kind of short kind of interesting give you a few pointers let you know how I use this to create designs maybe on the fence about getting a tablet or don't know exactly where to start hopefully this will answer some of those questions and provide some alternatives for you so a little bit of background on me I am a full-time graphic designer and illustrator with a primary focus on illustration that's why I love procreate first and foremost get out of the way procreate is an illustration app you cannot do any text through procreate so as you can see right there for merch by Amazon that can create some problems there are workarounds though and we will get to those towards the end of the video I'll give you some ideas of how you can still use procreate to do your merge designs even without that text tool on there so let's go ahead and jump into it here I'm using the twelve point nine inch Apple iPad pro it's the big one I personally prefer the larger screen with a bigger real estate makes it a little bit easier to work of course you can use the smaller one if you want Apple pencil is a must no matter which one you get though you're not going to get the the pure benefits out of the the iPad pro without it so that is a must-have procreate $5.99 originally on the App Store it's now $9.99 did go up in price but I tell you what over the past few years they've added so many features to this it's crazy they are constantly updating doing new stuff adding new features it's well worth the money it's one flat fee you don't have to pay subscription-based it is awesome on the desktop in laptop when I'm using those I use a different program called clip studio they do have that out now for the iPad however it is subscription-based so $9.99 a month is a little bit too rich for my blood when you can buy you know the full PC version for you know 50 60 bucks on say so unless they get that sorted out I think I'm gonna stick with procreate so jump into it here as you can see this is the first screen you see when you start it up up to the top right here we've got a plus sign so let's go ahead and hit that this brings up your new canvas so this gives you a few different options you can use some industry standard sizes here or you can also select some of your sizes that you've already used in the past but for this we're gonna go ahead and create a custom size canvas with the width of the 4,500 by the 5,400 for the Murch dpi is already at three hundred and maximum layers is 18 máxima layers you do not set it is set depending on what your width height and dpi is the bigger the canvas the less number of layers you have that are usable honestly for March 18 is overkill you're not even gonna use 18 if you do happen to run in the problem you start filling them up I mean you can combine layers as you go so should not be a problem for you so let's go ahead and create this and jump into it and there is our canvas so kind of run through the the screen you see in front of you here give you the rundown of what everything means we'll start up here on the top left hand corner gallery actually takes you back to where we just work that backs you out of your canvas the wrench icon this is going to allow you first image to insert a file insert a photo or take a photo this is kind of cool because inserting a file they now on iOS 11 Apple has a file structure system much like you see like on a PC or on a Mac to where you actually have files which is really cool that you can save and export and import through that system inserting a photos actually through your camera roll so a little bit different canvas selection under actions gives you perspective guide allows you to flip the canvas sharing is once you're done with the the canvas you can export to all these different things save it as a procreate file so you can use an appropriate sent it to another procreate user PSD file yes you can save as a PSD so everything you create in procreate you can send to photoshop it saves all your layers it is fantastic one thing they've added over the years it used to be you could only export PSD you can actually import PSD now which is really cool you couldn't do that before only I guess caveat with that is when you import the the PSD file it does have your layers but it does not save text layers as a separate raster or a separate editable layer it is rasterized same thing with any filters stuff like that it saves any blending layers but other than that anything that you do in Photoshop that can't be done in here it's going to be rasterized so you can also export PDF JPEG PNG which is important because we're gonna export PNG for merge by Amazon files and TIFF video allows you to do a time-lapse replay was just kind of cool or if they started adding live broadcasts preferences and then your help button next up with the little magic wand adjustments here you'll just the opacity Gaussian blur motion blur so on and so forth adjust your hue your color balance this tool here is basically like a lasso tool that you'll use to make selections and then the arrow next to it is what you'll use to move those selections and then jump it over to the far right hand side we've got the brush tool so we'll go ahead and click on that the left hand here is all the different groupings of brushes right now I'm an imported in natural anchor that's my favorite go-to kind of gives you a comic book style inking with a taper on the the end and the beginning so that's what I go to it's unimportant because cool thing was Pro great you can make your own brushes you can also download brushes off the internet so you can get on the procreate forums jump on there find stuff you like download them people selling gum ro2 so sometimes free sometimes paid but definitely cool that you can add to what's already there next over is the smudge tool the erase tool next to that your layers button here which will get into layer a later haha and the color swatch here which is got the color wheel in color so starting out we're gonna start out with a sketch and we're gonna go into our sketch and just I usually start out with like a light blue color to lay down the sketch lines and we're on this top layer one background color is are there that you can change the background color if you want to this will change as you go around and then later once we make the PNG file you'll want to drop it completely out so it does have a transparent background so like I said just starting out we're gonna start out layer one if you're gonna use procreate from start to finish as far as your design place for your merch you're gonna have to do some other work on another program to get that text into this program because of that I did some legwork already so I know what I'm drawing I know what the basic layout and design is gonna be so we're gonna do a cat because that's nice and easy so let's go ahead and start out with a cat here for the sketch layer I just laid down some pretty simple lines to give my design a kind of layout I know what look I'm going for doesn't have to be real neat real clean you can actually go back in when you go to your inking process and fix everything now you'll see as I'm doing this I'll make a line and you'll see it disappear like that super easy to do that it's one of the reasons why I love procreate so much is all the gesture controls they have built into this thing so when you see a line like I do there that disappears like that all I'm doing is taking two fingers and tapping them on the screen that is the undo button basically there is an undo button over here on the side where you can undo there but it's just so much easier when you're holding the pencil and it comes second nature to just go ahead and kick those two fingers on the screen and and go back if you do three fingers that is to go forward so if you go back too many times and need to redo it that's three fingers but I tell you what it is amazing how quick you catch on to it and and how second natured it becomes I do a lot of illustration work too with just traditional media and that response in that reaction has just become so second nature as far as making a mistake and hitting two fingers against the screen that I find myself doing it actually hit with my traditional media so I'll be you know sitting down and drawing on a piece of paper with a pencil or drawing on a piece of paper with a pen and I'll make a mistake and do a line that I don't like and instead of flipping the the pencil over and using the eraser the first instinct I have is I press two fingers against the paper and then of course feel like a complete idiot about five seconds later when I realize nothing's happening so just crazy how the mind and body works together that you can build up these reflexes that you don't even think about doing and it's just it's just nuts but just tells you how easy it is to use so alright so basically we've got our design done pretty quick pretty stuff like I said gonna make this fairly fast so that's our sketch we're gonna go ahead now and go up to our layers and make a new layer because we want to do our lines on top of this layer so that plus button right there is gonna start a new layer so now we're on this top layer if you hit the layer again you see this over to the left you can actually rename this layer so if you want to rename the layers to keep them separate so you know just by looking at them I personally don't take a little bit more time and you get pretty used to where everything's at but you'll see the other options off to the side there you also have select copy fill clear alpha lock and mask which are something you've probably used in Photoshop before reference merge it down and combine down which we'll get into some of those and what they do layer later but for now we're going to go ahead and select this layer for lines written jump back down to the sketch layer with this selected we're gonna go back up here to the adjustments and go to opacity so we want to do is drop this down because we're gonna be drawing on top of it so we want to be able to see it but not too much and then we're gonna go back and select our black color and then go back to our line layer and then we can go ahead and start laying down the lines so we'll just make sure we're on our anchor here and start laying everything down on this slider usually like around 24 the outlines the cool thing with the Apple pencil is that it is pressure-sensitive so when you do these inner lines instead of dropping that size back down to make the inner line smaller just don't press as hard and you're good saves you time from having to go back and forth changing the size so it's definitely a quick time saver there let's try to get these evened up to match the best possible all right another thing that you can do is the natural anchor honestly any of these the options here is there's an option to adjust the spacing streamline which we're going to use the jitter the fall-off so on and so forth streamlined we're gonna turn up streamline what it does is it actually allows you to make large swooping motions and it keeps them very clean so this almost has like a vector look to it my hand honestly is not that steady and that's what it does it basically uses some computer processing power to make your lines look a lot better than what they might be just using your unsteady hands so whenever you're making large swoops like that I find that that's like a really really good tool to switch to and use that streamline gives that like I said almost like a vector look so I'm just gonna clean up some of these ends the one thing was streamlining that it doesn't do the the fall-off in the taper at the end aren't the best you don't have a lot of control over it so I always like to go back in after I'm done with that and kind of clean up the the taper on the on the lines so get that done here real quick so I'm not sure how this will turn out I'd usually would take more time doing and design and make sure that everything is perfect and kind of using this more as just hey here's how you do this so don't want to bore you with just watching line after line being drawn so we try to go through as fast as possible here make it too boring alright and once again down here we're gonna use that streamline for the body here's one thing that's cool too is if you're doing a streamline here you've got to worry about overlapping these lines here what you can do is go and back up to your layers go ahead and add a new layer and that way you don't have to worry about going over that line all you have to worry about is alright is a shape look right once it does then you can go back in you can erase that line that you just did and not have to worry about affecting that headline that we've already done and then once you're done you can kick back by pinching these two together I've got everything selected now taking these two and pinching them together you can form these back into one layer so even though they're on separate layers to begin with you can kick back in there and knock them back down which it's kind of nice because like I said before if you're finding that you're using too many layers that's a good way to to free up some layers it's just combining stuff together so all right with these legs down here coming down the middle we're gonna go ahead and add a new layer again so that we can go back in and erase I'm gonna switch this back to streamline off it's more of the straight lines I like to do those by hand it's just those ones that are almost circular that I like to have the streamline on you'll see a lot of time I'll do a lot of lines and do a lot of just backing out cuz I find out what I'm drawn it's almost more the the motion that you get right that makes the line look perfect if you don't have that right motion just keep repeating it until it feels right and it looks good so we're gonna go back to the body later to erase this overlap part here knock these out real quick and we'll be doing with the the outlines so a lot of people ask if you know a tablet something that you should get is it good for merch by Amazon I find it's fantastic it's just nice not to be stuck at a you know a computer so that's why I really like it the other question is you know okay well I decided I definitely want to go with tablet should I do iPad pro should I do the surface pro you know what should I do honestly that's up to you it's a a preference type of thing I know people that did go both ways on it personally I had the the surface pro before – iPad being bigger I liked surface pro is a I mean let's face it it's a full-fledged computer so with that you get less battery life so that's one of the the things you lose the iPad itself battery life is just insane on this thing now the cool thing is the Apple pencil you actually need to recharge the iPad can actually recharge that itself it just plugs in to the Lightning port at the bottom which is really really cool so you don't have to carry around an extra cord if you don't want to the surface like I said it not as good battery life I do a lot of drawing on the couch watching TV and the surface would get because it you know as a full computer so that's another thing to to take into consideration but at the same time if you're getting into the merge and you don't have a computer if you you know mostly use like maybe you've got a regular iPad now and that's your main go-to thing or oh I get on Facebook with my phone you know that's where I usually do stuff it might be good to go with the the surface just because I mean yeah you're getting the tablet but you're getting a full computer out of it – and I mean be honest with you're not gonna be able to do absolutely everything all the time with an iPad I know Apple says it's the laptop replacement and all that but I don't think it's there yet I'm you know even myself a huge fan of Apple and I am NOT one of those people that thinks that you know everything is perfect all the time with them so there's still some some hurdles they have to jump over to be able to get these things to totally replace the computer so that's something that's taken into consideration you know if you're wanting to seriously get into marchin and do some serious damage with it i mean what do you have now what are you working with now then also what's your skill level what are you comfortable with working with I mean are you able to learn are you wanting to learn are you willing to learn hopefully by watching this video you you want to pick up some pointers so I think we're on you know the right step there but definitely all things to consider so alright we got the lines done let's go ahead and go back into our layers tab now we're gonna combine those last two layers that we did so we've got one air pinch those together this point you can go ahead and either uncheck that box to hide the line sketch layer or if you want to slide it to the left you can actually just delete it knock it out so we're gonna go ahead and do the colors now to do this go ahead and hit that plus button again the layer above it is open now we need to pull that below the lines so just push that click and drag down you always want your colors below the line layer otherwise if you color on top it's going to cover up your lines so clicking on this top layer now with the lines we're gonna do that click it again and it brings up this list that we talked about before what we're gonna do right now is we're gonna select reference what that does is everything that you do and any other layer underneath is going to reference that top line layer what this allows us to do is color in super easy so we're gonna make this cat brown and usually if you're on that line layer you can just click and drag this over to fill in we don't want to do that on the same line layer though because when we go to do highlights it's actually gonna cover up the lines likewise if you would do shadows and you had a line layer that wasn't this dark black that we're doing it will cover up the lines as well and it would look kind of funky so we're gonna go ahead and select that reference so everything that we fill in down here now is gonna fill it in just like it would if it was the line layer but it's actually on this separate layer underneath so as you can see I mean what was it like five seconds our entire cat is colored and then it's gonna take another couple seconds to do the ears we're gonna do eyebrows do the nose and then gonna make sure to color in even though it looks like it we've got to do the white there because once you take out this background since you've got that transparency that white is actually going to show clear if you don't fill it in so just keep coming back and selecting the colors and loops oh we're done so like I said that's how fast it is to to color in this it's it's pretty amazing how quick it works so we're good there the one thing I want to do though there's a little part here where the line comes zips goes together so I'll fill that in clean up this spot up here real quick and as you can see since I erased up there the line or the colors didn't go up to that line so we gotta fill those back ok so we are done now completely what the colors said really really fast so we're gonna go ahead now and make a new layer for the shadows so I had that plus button again so the shadows then are in between the lines and the colors so we're gonna go ahead and select a black for the shadows this is a nice easy way to do this as well if you select the color layer hit it and select it what this is gonna do is on this layer here for the shadows it's gonna allow you to color only inside what's colored right now so if you try to go outside of the lines it will not let you this is a huge time-saver because you can go really big and really messy to lay down some thick shadows you can clean these up later as we go along but this allows you to cover up a lot of space in not a lot of time and I know it looks a little weird now because everything is this pitch black and you're like oh you can't see anything and it's going over well there's a few different ways that you can add shadows one of the ways that takes a ton of time is if you look at each one of your colors on your canvas and think okay well this cats this kind of greenish brown color so I've got to find the darker version of that and okay now these eyebrows are different colors so what's a darker shadow version of that and oh well I got to do the nose and what's the shadowed version of that with doing it this way we're filling it in all black and then what we're gonna do is go in and adjust the opacity so what it's gonna do is basically add a drop shadow to everything and still allow the color underneath it to kind of come through so it's gonna make all those colors just the darker versions of themselves so what that does is just frees up a ton of time takes out the guesswork of what colors look like the shadow color and allows you to kind of continue on and get a lot done very quickly so just finish this up here of course we've got the light coming in from the right there or from the left so we want the shadow to be here on the right also if you have a spot like this you want to click and drop in we've still got the line layer as a reference if you take that off that'll actually allow you to drop that in and fill bigger spots in at once makes it a little bit faster as well there's always things you'll find as you're going along and you're like oh man I could do this like this and it'll save me so much time and it's a lot of cool little tips and tricks and that's one of the reasons why I wanted to do the video sure a lot of people want to see you know what it's like to use the iPad for merch some people who I'm sure already have one and hopefully you'll kind of get some time-saving tips out of this too to speed up your process so all right we're gonna add a few more shadows here into the ears along pretty good and pretty fast and then I always like to add shadows in under the eyes too he said you can be pretty messy cuz once you're done with this you can go back in and do an erase tool and it'll clean up a lot of the lines give you some better edges and stuff like that so I think we're pretty much done with the the shadows so what you need to make sure you do now is click off up here on the arrow click off of that selection because if you would go now and adjust the opacity it's only going to adjust what's selected right then if you have to go back and add to it it's gonna go back in black so now that we've got that D selected we can go up here again to our adjustments go to opacity it's just like we did for the line layer when we were doing our sketch and just drop this down you see the change so we want to get it to where it's dark but not too dark or you can still you know tell it's a shadow so think about 42% is good so go ahead and clear that back out and then like I said now you can kind of just go back in and clean up those lines or some spots here they see mist and and stuff like that so get it all cleared up and I think that's pretty good so one other thing I'm gonna do is add one more shadow layer here to add some shadows in the ears and then if you remember we added that shadow underneath the eye since this shadow or the size already shadowed it doesn't really look like there's an extra shadow under the eye so we're gonna go out and do that real quick and then with this you'll do the exact same thing as you did with the the other one the other shadow layer is just drop the opacity down and you're good so there we go another thing you can do too you'll see like pretty much this entire right hand side is shadowed what we can do to add a little bit of highlights without actually adding highlights is just remove some of the shadow on that edge that's facing our light source alright so there we go now we're actually going to go in and add highlights to it same thing is doing the the shadows go and do the plus on the layers we're gonna put this above the shadow layers and then you'll just want to go in with white with shadows I add quite a bit highlights not nearly the same amount I don't think you really need as many highlights to give the idea as you do a shadow shadows are really good at kind of building up the the design and adding some depth and stuff like that so I like to use the highlights a little bit more sparingly likewise since I'm not using a lot I don't go in like I did before and select that color layer like we did to keep everything defined and inside the lines really not a reason if you're not using that mini you just want to make sure that you're checking at the end that you didn't go out of the lines cuz right now if you did you're not going to be able to tell since everything is white since we've got that background on so you should drop that background out you might see oh I really messed up on that one and you know I went out the lines big-time so you're gonna have to clean that up before you export the PNG because otherwise if you put it on a dark color shirt you're gonna have a nice white line so alright so we've got the white there for the shadow or for the highlights so we'll just click the adjustments again drop the opacity down and that looks good there one thing to keep in mind with opacity is you might have to make more layers on the highlights side because with opacity on a dark color it's gonna look a lot different than what it does on a light color so a like this is a pretty dark cat right now so the opacity isn't down a whole it's down quite a bit to where if it was on a like let's say bright yellow you have that in the canvas too and you had it all in one layer the opacity of the white is not gonna look the same on that bright yellow as it is on this dark color you're maybe not even going to see it so you'll probably want to make a separate one just for that so alright so we are done then with and a little bit here we are done then with the design itself as far as the cat goes so what we're going to do is we are going to go back up here to our layers and we are going to go ahead and click and drag everything together so everything is all in one layer now we can move and resize the cat if we had done that before making all those one layer it would only move and resize the colors or move and resize the shadows so you need to group them all together so it's all one now so the next step then the final step in the design is adding in the text so like I said no text tool what do you do well from here you could export this as either your PSD file or your PNG put it into your other program to put text in or you can do the legwork on those programs and drop it into here usually I would drop it into another program but since I'm recording the screen all at once and doing a procreate thing I'm gonna drop it into here just to show you how to stay inside this one program so like I said I already did the legwork had all those built beforehand so I'm gonna go ahead and import those by going up to the wrench icon image and insert a file like I said this is the the file side of things new and iOS 11 so we're gonna go ahead and click on cats you kind of know want to know ahead of time to how you're gonna have your design set up with this to make it usable I had to actually do two different fonts are two different uh text files because the way I was gonna have it set up I needed to be able to reposition them so because of that I've got them as two separate ones so I can kind of adjust and make it fit the canvas and make it fit with the cat likewise then you can change the cat if you need to to make it fit so okay so right there we have pretty much the the final design we can go ahead and pinch these two together make one file layer there for the the text and then we've got the cat on the second one one other thing we want to do black text this is gonna go on a light shirt do you want to put this possibly on a light shirt well or on a dark shirt well we need to have the alternate version then so what we're gonna do here with the cats are fun2draw text layer selected we want to slide this to the left and we want to duplicate it now that it's duplicated we'll go ahead and turn the bottom one off and hide that and then we want to select white from over here and then if you click and drag and just drop your color into the letters this will totally take out the letters and turn them lately white another option for this would be if you went to the layer select layer fill layer the only thing with that selecting and filling I found on text sometimes it leaves a feathered affect to it and that doesn't look good on white text so it's easier to do it this way and there you have it so now you've got the the version that's gonna go on a dark shirt and you've got the version that can go on a light shirt one final thing I want to show you is distressing is really big adds a little bit more to the design so I'm this I'm gonna show you how to distress the text version of this I don't really want to add the distress to the cat I think that's gonna be too much but just doing it on the the text here so once again we're gonna go back into insert a file and I've got this distressed PNG saved got to make sure it's a PNG you got to make sure it's transparent background because what you're gonna do is gonna select all this black here so we're on the insert image here if we click that and hit select anything that's black there that's not transparent it's going to select and then if you go to the white hit that hit it again and hit clear that's going to remove anything from that white cats are fun2draw layer that's selected on the de-stress layer so there you have it there's the white distressed logo text and now we're gonna do the black one so to do that same thing go back to your distressed insert an image select go to your black select that one and then go to clear and that's going to remove any and all of the distressed that shows up so from here everything is done last thing you need to do is drop out the background so that way you've got the transparent background PNG file that's ready to upload gibberish my Amazon account last thing you need to do go to your wrench icon and share so this is where you can share it out this you need to save as a PNG of course now this brings up a few different options save to Dropbox save image etc etc you can actually save to Google Drive from here email whatever you want one thing you do not want to do is save image since iOS 11 saving a PNG with a transparent background two images which goes to your photo roll it actually adds a background into it just wider black does not leave it transparent so what you want to do here is you want to go to save to files that's going to save just exactly what you saw it's gonna save the PNG with the transparent background that is ready for merge by Amazon and then once you do that want to go back in and just switch out that so you've got the alternate version so that way you've got two designs basically out of one so alright guys that's pretty much it if anybody has any questions or comments leave them in the comment section below anything else you'd like to see me cover please let me know and I appreciate your time guys thanks for watching have a good one

22 Replies to “How To Use Procreate & iPad To Make T-Shirt Designs!”

  1. I don't usually watch tutorials from beginning to end, but this was worth the time. Thank you, I've learned a lot of skills that I can use to design our T-Shirts. Kudos!

  2. Hi. I’m somewhat new to Procreate. My Question is can you use Procreate alone to download on Merch design Amazon? I noticed that their templetes were all through photoshop? I don’t use photoshop yet. I’m waiting for the version for the IPad Pro.

  3. Procreate should be the new standard since i dont fuck with greedy ass adobe no more and since Procreate is iOS it makes the perfect combo with the pencil if you ask me.

  4. I use Procreate exclusively for my POD shops. I notice in your Procreate videos you always adjust opacity in the adjustments. Are you aware that can be done from the layers panel by clicking the n and the opacity option is in there. Love your videos and your illustration style!

  5. I'm so glad I clicked on this video. I love the way you explain everything you are doing. I must have learned 5 new tips by watching. Thanks again!! So very helpful!! 🙂

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