Convert to CMYK in Procreate

I can guarantee you that one or both of the following things will happen in your Procreate future (if not already that is…)

You created a design you’re really proud of, but you made it in RGB colour format and you need to convert it to CMYK so that you can print it out.

Or…

You created a design at a high resolution with large dimensions. You want to post it online or send it to someone, but the exported file is too big! You need to scale down the size of the image to reduce the filesize.

There is no way to change the document settings on an existing canvas in Procreate.

This is a very common issue so we need to find a workaround. See the video below for how to do it (including an option to preserve your layers from the original too!)

 

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Summary of steps to convert from RGB to CMYK or vice versa.

Step 1 : Find out the settings of the existing RGB canvas (ie. dimensions and resolution). You can find this under the ‘canvas information’ panel from the Actions tab (wrench icon) / Canvas menu

Step 2 : Create a new document with the same dimensions and resolution but change the colour format

Step 3a : If you are finished the design, Export a image (jpg or png) from the original canvas and save it to your iPad

Step 4a : Import the image into the new colour format document you just created

OR 

Step 3b : copy and paste each individual layer from the original design into the new document. 

Step 4b : Reapply any opacity settings or or layer masks as they won’t be automatically copied over. 

Step 5 : important! If you are converting from RGB to CMYK, export a .psd file from the new canvas. You’ll see the colour changes quite noticeably when you export the image. 

In the case of the 2nd situation, and reducing the exported file size of an image, you would follow the same steps, only for the new canvas you would reduce the dimensions and/or resolution to reduce the exported image file. Note, don’t go under 300dpi for print and 96dpi for digital.

I hope you enjoyed today’s tutorial and it helps you feel confident you can make necessary setting changes to your artwork if required without leaving Procreate.

2 replies on “Convert to CMYK in Procreate

  • Patrice

    Thanks for this info. Can you tell me a reason why you would need to convert and image to a different color profile, if it’s going to change the color so much. It doesn’t seem useful. I know Im probably missing some important info. I did this once and the printer had a terrible time getting my original colors to print after saving as CMYK and the entire point of my image was color based. All the pinks looked orange etc, which did not work for me. So I’ve gone back to just using RGB profile. I have needed to scale down an image due to size restrictions. This was great help. I want to understand what kind of scenario would occur to make me want to go to CMYk. Thank you so much.

    Reply
    • Nicole Mauloni

      Hi Patrice! Thanks for your question… If you’re working digital only, you can use RGB. But if you want to print something out the artwork should be in CMYK. The RGB format holds a LOT more colours than is actually possible to produce when printing, that’s why there is often a discrepancy between what you see onscreen in RGB and what is printed out in CMYK. It’s a good idea where possible to create your design using a CMYK palette from the beginning. That way you’re working with a more accurate representation of the finished result once printed! Hope that helps!

      Reply

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