How to Clear Background on Procreate: A Detailed Step-by-Step Guide

Table of Contents

Get Rid of Unwanted Backgrounds in Procreate and Enhance Your Digital Art

Are you tired of struggling to remove unwanted backgrounds from your digital artwork on Procreate? Look no further! In this comprehensive guide, we will walk you through the detailed step-by-step process of clearing backgrounds on Procreate. Whether you’re a seasoned artist or just getting started, this tutorial will help you master this essential skill and take your digital art to the next level.


Procreate is a powerful digital art software that allows artists to create stunning illustrations, paintings, and designs on their iPads. One common challenge artists face is removing the background from their artwork to make it more versatile or to use it in different contexts. Fortunately, Procreate provides various tools and techniques to achieve this effortlessly.

Clearing backgrounds in Procreate can be particularly useful when you want to:

  • Create transparent or semi-transparent images
  • Add your artwork to different backgrounds or compositions
  • Isolate specific elements from your artwork
  • Refine the edges of your drawings

A Step-by-Step Tutorial:

Now, let’s dive into the detailed step-by-step tutorial on how to clear backgrounds on Procreate:

Step 1: Open your artwork in Procreate

First, launch Procreate on your iPad and open the artwork you want to edit. You can either create a new canvas or open an existing one. Once your artwork is ready, make sure it is selected and visible on the screen.

Why is opening your artwork the first step?

Opening your artwork in Procreate is the crucial first step in clearing the background. By having your artwork ready, you can easily assess the areas that need background removal and visualize the final result.

Tip: If you’re using Procreate for the first time, consider exploring its features and tools to familiarize yourself with the interface. This knowledge will come in handy throughout the background clearing process.

Step 2: Duplicate the layer

To avoid making irreversible changes to your original artwork, it’s best to work on a duplicate layer. This ensures you can always revert to the original if needed. To duplicate the layer:

  1. Swipe left on the layer thumbnail
  2. Tap “Duplicate”

Why is duplicating the layer important?

Duplicating the layer is a crucial step to safeguard your original artwork. By working on a duplicate layer, you can freely experiment with background removal techniques without worrying about damaging your original drawing. This gives you the flexibility to revert to the original or make further adjustments if necessary.

Tip: Organize your layers by renaming them to make it easier to identify the duplicate layer during the editing process.

Step 3: Select the Magic Wand tool

The Magic Wand tool is your best friend when it comes to removing backgrounds in Procreate. It allows you to make precise selections based on color and tone similarity. To select the Magic Wand tool:

  • Tap on the wrench icon in the top toolbar
  • Select “Add” from the menu that appears
  • Tap on the Magic Wand tool to activate it

Why is the Magic Wand tool essential for background removal?

The Magic Wand tool simplifies the process of selecting and removing backgrounds in Procreate. With its intelligent algorithm, it quickly analyzes the colors and tones in your artwork, making it easier to isolate the background for removal. This tool saves you valuable time and effort compared to manual selection methods.

Tip: Experiment with different selection tools in Procreate, such as the QuickShape tool or freehand selection, to find the method that works best for your specific artwork.

Step 4: Adjust the Magic Wand settings

Before using the Magic Wand tool, you’ll need to adjust its settings to match your artwork and desired outcome. Explore the Magic Wand options in the top toolbar to fine-tune its behavior:

  • Tolerance: Adjust the tolerance level to define how many similar colors the Magic Wand should select. A lower tolerance value results in a more precise selection, while a higher value expands the selection range.
  • Threshold: Use the threshold slider to control how the Magic Wand tool treats similar colors. A higher threshold value groups more colors together, while a lower value separates them into distinct selections.
  • Refine edges: This option allows you to smooth or sharpen the edges of your selection for a more polished outcome. Experiment with this slider to achieve the desired effect.

Why is adjusting the Magic Wand settings important?

Every artwork is unique, and the selection requirements may vary. By adjusting the Magic Wand settings, you can customize its behavior to accurately select the background you want to remove. Fine-tuning the settings ensures you have maximum control over the selection process, resulting in a cleaner and more precise outcome.

Tip: Save different Magic Wand tool presets for specific types of artwork or backgrounds to streamline your workflow in the future.

Step 5: Select the background

With the Magic Wand tool now active and the settings adjusted, it’s time to select the background you want to remove. Follow these steps:

  1. Tap on the background area you want to remove
  2. Procreate will automatically select the pixels with similar colors and tones based on your settings

Why is selecting the background an essential step?

The selection of the background determines which pixels will be removed from your artwork. By carefully choosing the areas to remove, you can maintain the integrity of your main subject while creating transparency or preparing it for placement on different backgrounds. The Magic Wand tool simplifies this selection process, reducing the time and effort required.

Tip: If the initial selection isn’t perfect, don’t worry. You can refine it in the next step.

Step 6: Fine-tune the selection

After selecting the background, you may need to refine the selection further to include or exclude certain areas. Procreate provides options to add or subtract from the selection based on your requirements:

  • Add: Use the “Add” option in the Selection menu to brush over areas you want to include in the selection. This is useful if the Magic Wand tool missed certain parts of the background.
  • Subtract: Utilize the “Subtract” option in the Selection menu to brush over areas you want to remove from the selection. This is handy when the Magic Wand tool includes elements you want to keep.

Why is fine-tuning the selection necessary?

While the Magic Wand tool is powerful, it may not always produce a perfect selection on its own. Fine-tuning the selection allows you to correct any inaccuracies and precisely define the areas you want to remove or retain. These options give you complete control over the selection process, ensuring a clean and professional result.

Tip: Zoom in and use a smaller brush size for intricate areas that require detailed refining.

Step 7: Delete or hide the background

Once you’re satisfied with the selection, you have two options for dealing with the background – delete or hide it:

  • Delete: If you want to make the background transparent, tap the trash can icon in the toolbar. This action permanently removes the background pixels, leaving only your main subject.
  • Hide: If you prefer to keep the background intact for further editing or potential future use, tap the eye icon next to the background layer. This action temporarily hides the background, allowing you to work on other aspects of your artwork without obstruction.

Why is deleting or hiding the background the final step?

Deleting or hiding the background is the final step in the background removal process. It allows you to see the immediate result of your selection and assess whether further adjustments or refinements are necessary. Whether you choose to delete or hide the background depends on your specific needs and how you plan to use the artwork moving forward.

Tip: If you’re unsure of your selection, try toggling between hiding and revealing the background layer to compare the impact on your artwork.

Complete Guide: How to Clear Background on Procreate

Here is a complete table summarizing the steps to clear the background on Procreate:

Step Instructions
1 Open your artwork in Procreate
2 Duplicate the layer
3 Select the Magic Wand tool
4 Adjust the Magic Wand settings
5 Select the background
6 Fine-tune the selection
7 Delete or hide the background

How to Clear Background on Procreate – FAQ

Q: Can I undo a background removal in Procreate?

A: Yes, if you accidentally delete or hide the background, you can undo the action by tapping the Undo arrow in the top toolbar or using the two-finger tap gesture.

Q: What should I do if the Magic Wand tool selects unwanted areas?

A: If the Magic Wand tool selects areas you want to keep, use the Subtract option in the Selection menu or decrease the Tolerance value to make a more precise selection.

Q: Can I change the background color after removing it?

A: Yes, once you have removed the background, you can create a new layer beneath your artwork and fill it with any color you desire.

Q: Does Procreate offer more advanced background removal tools?

A: While the Magic Wand tool is incredibly powerful, Procreate also provides additional tools like the QuickShape tool, freehand selection, and masking options for more complex background removal tasks.

Q: How can I save my artwork with a transparent background?

A: To save your artwork with a transparent background, export it as a PNG file format. PNG supports transparency, unlike JPEG or other formats. Make sure you have deleted the background before exporting.

Q: Can I use the Magic Wand tool on images with low resolution?

A: Yes, you can use the Magic Wand tool on images with low resolution, but be mindful that the selection may not be as accurate due to pixelation or lack of details.

Q: Is it possible to clear the background of a scanned drawing in Procreate?

A: Absolutely! You can import scanned drawings into Procreate and follow the same steps to clear the background. However, ensure the scanned image has sufficient contrast and clean lines for better results.

Q: Are there any alternatives to the Magic Wand tool for removing backgrounds in Procreate?

A: Yes, Procreate offers various selection tools like the Lasso, QuickShape, and ColorDrop that can be used in combination to achieve the desired background removal effect.

Q: Can I clear the background of a photo in Procreate?

A: While Procreate is primarily designed for digital painting and illustration, you can import photos and use the same background removal techniques. Just ensure the photo has sufficient resolution for optimal results.

Q: Will clearing the background affect the quality of my artwork?

A: Clearing the background in Procreate will not affect the quality of your artwork as long as you work on a duplicate layer and avoid making irreversible changes to the original artwork.

Q: Is it possible to bring back a deleted background in Procreate?

A: If you have deleted the background, you cannot bring it back within Procreate. However, you can import the original artwork or create a new background layer and add it manually.

Q: Can I use the clear background technique for animations in Procreate?

A: Absolutely! The background removal technique can be applied to individual frames in an animation to create transparency or isolate elements. Procreate’s animation assist feature makes it even easier to work with animations.

Q: Are there any recommended brushes or settings for background removal in Procreate?

A: The brush choice depends on your art style and preferences. However, using a hard-edged brush with low opacity or flow can help refine the edges while working on the background removal process.

Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is based on personal experience and online sources. Results may vary depending on individual preferences and the complexity of the artwork. Always make sure to backup your artwork before making any changes.

Related video of How to Clear Background on Procreate: A Detailed Step-by-Step Guide

Previous Uncover Solidworks Education Edition Pricing Secrets: A Comprehensive Guide
Next Ultimate Guide: Unlocking Solidworks Certification Course Levels

Check Also

How to Insert Circle in Procreate: Mastering the Perfect Shape

A Fun and Friendly Guide for the Whole Family to Create Amazing Art Are you …