Procreate 5X gains Pencil Features, AR facemasks on Monday

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An update to Procreate arriving on Monday promises a "huge leap forward" for the creative tool, including new general filters and versions specifically for the Apple Pencil, and AR-based face painting.

Available to existing users as a free update on September 21, Procreate 5X will introduce a number of features to the highly-regarded illustration app for iPad. While most of the headline features apply to how it supports the Apple Pencil, there's also new elements that may be considered more experimental.

The new Pencil Filters will turn any brush into a filter, which can be used to paint effects onto a composition using the Apple Pencil, as well as to adjust it after painting. This is in contrast to the usual application of filters onto a full layer, though that is still possible to do following the update.

Adjustment filters include a new Glitch version, a Gradient Map, Bloom, Chromic Aberration, Noise, and Halftone, with the latter offered with a variety of styles. Continuing with the Apple Pencil, there's now support for iPadOS 14's Scribble feature, allowing text entry and being able to set color and brush values by writing using the Apple Pencil.

On the more experimental side, the FacePaint system uses the TrueDepth camera array and AR to capture the user's face. The composition can be mapped to the live camera view, showing it displayed as a digital face mask, and allowing for further edits to be made.

Other new additions include a Private Layer that keeps elements out from time lapse videos, an Instant Pallette that uses the iPad's camera to generate a selection of colors, and changes to object snapping. Also, Bounding Box Adjust allows rotation to stretch and scale elements from any orientation.