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Is Procreate Dreams Worth It? Six Topics to Consider.

The Apple app store provides access to numerous animation applications, so you may be wondering if Procreate Dreams is the right one for you.

In this post, I want to discuss Procreate Dreams and if it is worth learning to use it if you are going to be creating animations on an iPad.

To do this, I’m going to discuss the benefits of Procreate Dreams from my point of view since I’ve been using it since it was released. I’ll also include a bit of perspective based on other software I’ve used for animation. Finally, I’ll cover a few areas where it is lacking for my workflow.  

Topic #1: Cost

The first topic I want to discuss is cost. At the time of this video, Procreate Dreams costs $19.99, which is a one-time fee, and it covers all future updates.

One issue with the cost is that some people have said that they don’t enjoy the drawing experience in Procreate Dreams as much as they do in Procreate. While I think the drawing tools in Procreate Dreams will continue to improve, if we’re talking about the drawing experience as of today, I understand what they mean. However, the two programs do work well together, so you may need to purchase Procreate as well if you want to improve that drawing experience.

Procreate would be an additional $9.99. This means your total price would be $29.99, which, for no subscription and all future updates included, isn’t too expensive, especially compared to the cost of some desktop animation programs.

I own Procreate, but I’m able to work fine directly in Procreate Dreams. Most of the animations I want to create have simple linework and colors, without a lot of shading or paint effects, so Dreams fulfills my needs even without Procreate.

For iPad apps, the cost of Procreate and Procreate Dreams combined is about the middle of the road. You can get Toon Squid for a one-time fee of $10 or you can get a perpetual license for Callipeg for $59.99. Callipeg also offers a subscription option, but we don’t say dirty words like that on this site.  

Topic #2: Drawing Experience

Speaking of the drawing experience, I find that I really enjoy it. Procreate Dreams offers more brushes than you’ll ever need, and, if you do need more, you can load custom brushes or drag brushes over from Procreate to use within Dreams.

I’ve used a lot of animation programs to draw, including Toon Boom Harmony, Blender Grease Pencil, Krita, Clip Studio Paint, and Toon Squid. I love those programs, but I think my drawing experience in Procreate Dreams is just as good as in those applications, which is surprising considering how new it is. If you need to create complex drawings or paintings, like for backgrounds, maybe this isn’t for you, or you can create those images in Procreate and then import them into Dreams.

Between these two programs, I think they offer a lot of flexibility in how you draw. My only complaint at this point is that I think the implementation of the brush stroke smoothing in Dreams is a bit clunky and is much more intuitive in Procreate, but I’ve been able to overlook that issue due to the functionality Dreams offers.

Topic #3: Accessibility

Next, I want to talk about the learning curve and if I think it is difficult to get used to working in Dreams. My feeling is that it is fairly easy to work with compared to other programs; however, I might be a bit biased. I’m a graphic designer for my primary job, so I have to work with a lot of programs others might consider complex if they’ve never used them. I was very intimidated when I opened Photoshop for the first time and didn’t know where to start, so I think any program can be challenging if you don’t have a background in using similar applications.

I do think that if you have used any animation or image editing program in the past, you should be able to get up to speed with Procreate Dreams fairly quickly.

When Procreate Dreams was released, I spent a few hours playing around with it and reading the manual, which is very well done and is a great resource. After a short period of time, I felt like I had a pretty good grasp on how the program worked, even at a time when there were not a lot training videos available.

Free videos are now online to teach you everything you need to know about using the program. There are even several on my YouTube channel. At the moment, I think the program is very accessible. Hopefully, it will stay that way as the program continues to mature. If Procreate is any indication, I don’t think that will be a problem.

Topic #4: Development

Speaking of maturity, I think the Procreate Dreams team has been quick to provide updates. Since Dreams released on October 27, 2023, it has received ten updates, which averages to about one update every two weeks, which I consider fairly frequent.

These updates have been related to stability, audio processes, the timeline, layer capabilities, and various other upgrades. The latest, released on February 25, 2024, notes that the update was to provide compatibility for everything new that is coming, so I’m intrigued to see what future updates will include.

I try to record a video every time there is a new update that provides new functionality, so check back with the channel frequently to see if anything new has been released. I’ll also include a brief write-up on the Community tab.

Overall, I’m happy with the current state of the program, and I think it will continue to grow quickly based on their priorities and user suggestions.

Topic #5: Text

One area I think the team really needs to be congratulated on is the implementation of text options. I don’t use text much in my projects, but I released a full tutorial about how to use text in Procreate Dreams, and I feel it is one of the most robust parts of the programs.

In that video, I really reviewed all of the settings and controls thoroughly, and it has a lot to offer if working with text is something you need in your videos. I don’t think there is too much lacking in that area, which is pretty impressive considering how new the program is.

Topic #6: Issues

I do want to mention a couple of issues you’ll run into if you expect Procreate Dreams to live up to other more fully featured animation programs, such as Toon Boom Harmony or Adobe Animate.

First you have to consider that those programs aren’t iPad focused. Additionally, they cost significantly more and have had years to develop. With that said, two big problem areas for Procreate Dreams is drawing manipulation tools and rigging tools.

Concerning drawing manipulation tools, Procreate Dreams is lacking some pretty big ones, mainly selection tools. I do think they are coming, but at the moment, you don’t have access to things like a lasso tool to select and manipulate parts of your drawings. This is a pretty big issue for a lot of people. It is hard to make slight adjustments to your drawings without these tools.

Another issue is rigging tools. I don’t know that I expect Procreate Dreams to ever have full-fledged rigging tools like in Toon Boom Harmony or Moho. I would think it is more focused on frame by frame animation techniques, but if you use those types of tools, such as bones in your workflow, this won’t be the program for you. It does offer some basic rigging type tools, but they are far from robust at the moment.

Finally, one thing I would like that isn’t available is a fully adjustable color palette like you see in Toon Boom Harmony or Blender Grease Pencil. In those programs, if you set a color and want to change it later, you just update the swatch and it changes the color across all drawings. I don’t know if that is in their development plans, but I find that it offers an extremely flexible way to work, saving you from having to recolor drawings by hand.

Conclusion

There are a lot more topics that I could discuss, but I just wanted to touch on some of the highlights and mention a few of the potential issues if you are still not sure about whether or not you should buy the program.

If you have questions about using Procreate Dreams text or have other Procreate Dreams questions, send me a message through the Contact page.

Want to see additional Procreate Dreams tutorial videos? Check out the following Procreate Dreams trainings:

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