Why using Procreate for 3D?

I am just interested.
Sure, UV painting can be used in other apps, but if one want to stay on iPad, is there any reason?

-I got the very nice (and tedious) user case of a tattooist 3D scanning the body part and place tattoo virtually on place for presentation. All on iPad.

-seeing model in AR

Anything else?
I mean, there is no symmetry, no depth filtering and rendering in Nomad is so much better…


I had this discussion earlier with a few people. It’s disappontingly crap. It’s got a wow factor for those who don’t know much about 3D and cant see the wood for the tree’s. Anyone seasoned and there’s sudden glaring omissions in 5.2 painting engine that actually makes it worthless in a lot of ways other than here’s a pretty low poly model. I can see an exception for pipeline use, if the model has intentions for being in a game for example - but not for 3D illustration alone. Nomad can do these features, sure, painting on the vertices directly and not an image map - but at sculpts with millions. I know where I’m happy to paint my models. Just takes some good brush themed alphas for medium differences (crayon, pen, pencil, charcoal, etc.) and you’re set to go. Layers could do with some extra enhancements in Nomad, but we’ve already requested this I believe - but funnily enough, you can use a Plane placed over the camera of the sculpt and adjusting the Plane itself (colours, textures + channels, and Material type) and you can actually get a form of Layer effect lol. Additionally, using the Plane also with Refraction and you can live mirror the sculpt image - without duplicating the model. It’s a lot of fun.

You already mentioned my use case, tattoo layout, but I can see other designers using it in similar ways. Say that you design labels for packaging or paint on any object that is not flat and want to design your 2d design with the shape of where the image is going in mind. In those cases you need to see the design flat and then wrapped around the object.

Apple seems to be at least a bit interested in this concept with the introduction on object capture in Monterey.

1 Like

For their brush engine.
And overall Paint UX (gesture, etc).


If the 3D painting experience echoed their 2D vector art experience I’d be all for it, but it really feels like a shambled attempt to enter the 3D market. Lots of potential still, but delivery wasn’t quite up to expectations. A bit like how ArmorPaint has turned out. However thoroughly appreciate all the work you did to allow accessibility for UV’s as a result.

Savage has just started.
Lots of things can come.
Unfortunately they deliver pretty slow, compared to a very talented person we all know.

Procreates brush engine is nice, but actually all disadvantages do not really justify the hassle to go over instead of finishing in Nomad. Not now.
But in meantime Nomad will develop a bit more as well.

Stroke menu with polygon etc for all tools, also for paint.
A move option for drag dynamic before release.
A stamp option to stamp in place and move forward to another place to stamp again.
Long press for polygon to reopen last made shape.
A rotation lock for brush head with adjustable angle.
Drawing transparency.
Grid lock. Grid assist.

And hell yeah, also:

Creating / export a vertex paint texture, roughness, metalness as well.
Reproject detail from high res to low res decimated model to create normal map.

All this I see much more likely happen in Nomad sooner than in Procreate.


Thank Freakin’ Gawd! I could not agree more at this juncture.

First a real thanks to Stephomi for a minor miracle in enabling UV maps in Nomad.

But the reality is that even w/ a direct export UV map from Nomad that can be imported into Procreate, the experience from that point is at best dismal.

It would take me hours to go over all the things that simply don’t work.

We are much better off modeling and vertex painting in Nomad than the misery of trying to get Procreate to function as one would reasonably expect it to.


for what it’s worth, I have a watercolor, handpainted style that I’ve been doing in procreate for years. Being able to apply all of that knowledge to 3d models from nomad is a huge deal and saves me a lot of work that I don’t have to do in blender anymore.


That makes really sense.Hope to see your style once in here.

Yup, I keep saying the same thing

5.2 is relatively moot in my opinion but it’s a space to watch. @QLieu has already professed a genuine logical reason to use it. This is just the beginning. Who knows what 5.3 will bring other than hopefully great additional features.

Yes. 3D in Procreate was very disappointing IMHO… But it may change in the near future.

As an illustrator, what I really wanted to do was to import a 3D file into a procreate 2D file as a 3D layer. I would use this 3D layer to correctly place my model on the artwork and then I would keep working at it. That would mean I could make a fast 3D block In Nomad Sculpt, export my Obj without UV Wrapping, place it in my 2D artwork and work from there.

With a few good models I would be able to kitbash something in Procreate and then proceed to 2D painting on top of it. I would be able to use clipping masks to keep clean edges where needed.

Right now it seems it will be easier for me to keep doing what I was doing before: I export my 2D artwork, open it as a reference file in Nomad Sculpt, position my file and camera over there, render and export a transparent PNG, open it as a layer in Procreate and keep painting. If I happened to position it somewhat wrong in Nomad I have to go back and try again…

Things would be really powerful if I could position, scale, rotate (maybe painting 3D) before I commit to what I need and make my 3D layer into a 2D layer again.

1 Like

I use a similar technique in zbrush, concept sculpting then lighting and rendering in keyshot to match a photo or film backplate, try bringing your procreate illustration (or base sketch) into nomad as your background image before you then render it as PNG that way you know it will line up :slightly_smiling_face:

1 Like

Btw. does anyone know an app to make other apps transparent?

Sounds weird, but for windows there are apps like peak through. You can make any window transparent and lock it, so you can work through transparent reference window. ZBrush users now that it can cone in handy time by time, as zBrush allows itself being transparent.

Reading last two kind of workflows, and having used peak through today for placing 3D object quickly as reference in a 2D painting, I really would love to use this in IOS as well.
At least till Procreate has build a bridge.
But even then it is much faster and you can use any 3D model from any source and snapshot it.


Wow! I’m so sorry that I have failed to follow-up with you. Could you post a sample of the “watercolor” style you do of Nomad to Procreate?

If nothing else it might give me hope that this combination has promise

Wow! so sorry I dropped the ball on you!

This sounds extremely promising, but I’m a bit lost in the woods.

So, if I export my Nomad OBJ to Procreate (UV mapped) then take a screen shot of the 3D OBJ inside Procreate and then bring the Procreate PNG as a background into my original Nomad file, align my nomad art so that it aligns with the PNG, then re-export.

I can’t speak for art showpieces for which performance/optimisation is irrelevant, but in the case of 3d models made for realtime applications (video games being a big example) where making UVs is a given to begin with; Procreate has a lot of potential for handpainted (especially stylised) texturing in 3d, and I’ve found 5.2 already very promising (especially given its only the first iteration), having tried other options on desktop such as Substance Painter, Armorpaint, Quixel Mixer, Blender, etc. The two “best” options out of that bunch I’ve found was Substance which is great but overkill for my use case, and Armorpaint wouldn’t be too bad if it wasn’t so unstable and buggy with a UX that is questionable at best.

Procreate ticks the main boxes for my workflow of handpainting textures for game models in a nice UX-friendly workflow with brushes that translate surprisingly accurately from 2d to 3d, and this is coming from someone who is very new to Procreate and has spent years using other tools.

Coming back to your original question - if you’re only staying on the iPad and this isn’t part of a bigger workflow, then you may be right; there isn’t much reason to use Procreate if you’re already able to achieve what you need in Nomad.

Since I started this thread, a lot of things have changed. A very good decimation in Nomad, basic UV creation in Nomad and other options a rising slowly but surely. All this (efforts of others) is making Procreate more attractive then it was those days.
I am curious what Savage will come up with with next update.
Together with Nomad next new features, all will be much better already.

Still kind of torture if you force yourself to stay on iPad only, but much better.

1 Like

Can Procreate do symmetrical stuff? Like if I paint one eye, the other would copy?

The only worse thing than painting low res textures with weak tools in procreate is vertex painting in nomad… There is no texturing tool on iPad at a professional capacity and vertex painting should burn in hell.

That said, whenever I need to texture some less important asset, at least there is procreate and I don’t have to sit in front of PC for that.