How to animate in Procreate using layer masks

Since the update to Procreate 4.3 earlier this year, we now have the ability to animate directly within the app! This has exciting potential for a whole range of uses, including creating attention-grabbing instagram posts.

Procreate animation works in that each (visible) layer counts as a single frame. This can rapidly become out of hand with so many layers, but I’ll show you a process to follow in order to keep that layer count under control! There’s a special trick to speed up your masking too!


Learn Calligraphy
on the iPad
from Scratch!

Create stunning calligraphy in Procreate with no experience or special tech skills (even if you have messy handwriting and don’t think you’re creative enough)


In today’s tutorial will be using layer masks to create a smooth animation. We’ll set up the final scene first, then create the animation leading up to it using layer masks to reveal the text.

I’m a strong believer that doing something yourself, helps commit it to memory. If you would like to follow along with the tutorial, you can download the Procreate project file we’ll be working on via the form below. This has all the design elements created so you can jump right to the animation part!


Got your Procreate file ready? Then without further ado, onto the tutorial!

Key Takeaways :

  • Each layer will count as a single frame
  • Only visible layers will be included in the exported animation 
  • Start at the end – create your final scene first, and create the frames leading up to it
  • Export as MP4 or GIF
  • Instagram videos need to be 3 seconds or longer
  • Exporting : the higher the frames per second, the faster the animation will play
  • Quick tip : duplicate the artwork before merging layers to create a backup
  • Quick tip : Tap and hold the color circle to swap to previously used color (great for masking!)

If you’re interested to learn calligraphy on the iPad, you can get started with the free starter course below. It has recently been updated to the newly released 2019 version of the guide!

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