How to Make a Photo Transparent in Procreate: An Easy Tutorial

A Quick and Fun Way to Achieve Transparency in Your Procreate Images

Have you ever wondered how to make a photo transparent in Procreate? Whether you’re a professional artist or just someone who loves playing around with digital art, knowing how to create transparent layers can take your designs to the next level. In this article, we’ll guide you through a step-by-step tutorial on how to achieve transparency in your Procreate images. Let’s dive in!

If you’ve ever wanted to make certain parts of your photo see-through or blend images seamlessly together, creating transparency is the way to go. By mastering the technique of making a photo transparent in Procreate, you can unlock endless creative possibilities that will elevate your digital art to new heights. So, grab your iPad, open up Procreate, and get ready to learn!


When it comes to digital art, transparency can be a powerful tool in creating visually appealing designs. Whether you want to overlay images, create unique effects, or incorporate transparency into your artwork, Procreate offers a variety of features and tools to make it happen. By understanding the process of making a photo transparent, you can unlock a whole new level of creativity.

In this tutorial, we’ll cover the basics of working with layers in Procreate, explore different techniques to achieve transparency, and provide useful tips and tricks to enhance your designs. So, grab your iPad and stylus, and let’s get started on this exciting journey!

Part 1: Understanding Layers and Opacity

Before we dive into making a photo transparent, it’s essential to understand the concept of layers and opacity in Procreate. Layers act as transparent sheets stacked on top of each other, allowing you to edit different elements separately without affecting the rest of the artwork. Opacity, on the other hand, determines how transparent or opaque a layer appears.

By adjusting the opacity of a layer, you can control how much it obscures or reveals the layers beneath it. This is the key to achieving transparency in Procreate. Understanding these fundamental concepts will help you navigate the process of making a photo transparent with ease.

Part 2: Importing and Preparing Your Photo

Before we start making our photo transparent, we need to import it into Procreate and make a few preparations. Here’s a step-by-step guide:

Step 1: Create a New Canvas

To start, open Procreate on your iPad. Tap the “+” icon in the top right corner to create a new canvas. You can choose the desired dimensions and resolution for your artwork, depending on your preference and intended use.

Step 2: Import Your Photo

Tap on the wrench icon in the top left corner to access the Actions menu. Select “Add” and choose the photo you want to make transparent from your device’s gallery. Procreate supports various image file formats, so you can import photos captured with your iPad’s camera or from other sources.

Step 3: Adjust the Photo Size and Position

Once your photo is imported, you can resize and reposition it on the canvas. Pinch in or out with two fingers to adjust the size, and use a single finger to drag the photo to the desired position. Take your time to position the photo exactly where you want it, as this will be the foundation for the transparency effect.

Step 4: Confirm and Begin Editing

Tap “Done” in the top right corner to confirm the changes and start editing your photo. Now that our photo is ready, let’s move on to the next step.

Part 3: Creating a Transparent Layer

By adding a transparent layer on top of your photo, you can start to achieve the desired transparency effect. Here’s how you can do it:

Step 1: Add a New Layer

To add a new layer, tap the “+” icon in the top right corner. The new layer will appear on top of your photo layer. By working on separate layers, you can make adjustments without affecting the original photo.

Step 2: Adjust the Layer Opacity

Now, adjust the opacity of the new layer to your desired level. Tap the layer to select it, and then use the Opacity slider to control the transparency. Dragging the slider to the left will decrease the opacity, making the layer more transparent, while moving it to the right will increase opacity, making the layer less transparent.

Experiment with different opacity values to find the perfect balance for your design. Depending on the effect you want to achieve, you may choose to have a subtle transparency or a more pronounced see-through effect.

Step 3: Apply Brushstrokes and Effects

With the transparent layer selected, you can now start applying brushstrokes or effects to enhance your image. Procreate offers a wide range of brushes and tools that allow you to be creative and add unique elements to your artwork.

Choose a brush from the Brush Library by tapping the brush icon in the top right corner. You can explore different brush categories, such as pencils, inks, paints, or even create your own custom brushes. Select a brush that suits your vision and start experimenting with different strokes and techniques.

Step 4: Experiment with Blend Modes

If you want to take your transparency effect to the next level, try experimenting with different blend modes for the transparent layer. Blend modes determine how the pixels on one layer interact with the pixels on the layers beneath it, resulting in various visual effects.

To change the blend mode, tap the N symbol beside the layer name and choose a blend mode from the dropdown menu. Each blend mode produces a different result, so don’t be afraid to try different options and see which one works best for your artwork.

Part 4: Fine-Tuning Your Transparent Photo

Now that you’ve created a transparent layer and added brushstrokes or effects, it’s time to fine-tune your transparent photo. Here are some additional techniques you can explore:

Adjusting the Opacity of the Photo Layer

Aside from the transparent layer, you also have control over the opacity of the photo layer itself. By adjusting the opacity of the photo layer, you can create a more subtle or pronounced transparency effect.

To adjust the opacity of the photo layer, tap on the photo layer in the Layers panel. Use the Opacity slider to decrease or increase the layer’s opacity, depending on the desired effect. This allows you to find the perfect balance between the transparency of the overlaying layer and the visibility of the photo beneath it.

Using Alpha Lock for Precise Editing

If you want to make precise edits to your transparent layer without affecting the rest of the artwork, you can take advantage of the Alpha Lock feature in Procreate. Alpha Lock allows you to lock the transparency of a layer, enabling you to paint or apply effects only on existing visible pixels.

To activate Alpha Lock, simply swipe right with two fingers on the transparent layer in the Layers panel. Once enabled, you’ll see a checkerboard pattern on the layer thumbnail, indicating that the transparency is locked. This feature is particularly useful when you want to add details or make adjustments to specific areas of your transparent layer while keeping the rest intact.

Using Clipping Masks for Layered Effects

Clipping masks are another powerful tool in Procreate that you can use to create layered effects with transparency. A clipping mask allows you to apply an effect or a brushstroke only to the area of the layer directly beneath it, creating interesting compositions and visual depth.

To create a clipping mask, tap on the layer you want to use as a mask and select “Clipping Mask” from the options that appear. This will make the layer above act as a mask for the layer below it, limiting the visibility of the upper layer to the shape of the layer below. You can then paint or apply effects on the upper layer, knowing that they will only be visible within the boundaries of the layer beneath.

Adding Additional Layers and Elements

Don’t limit yourself to just one transparent layer! Procreate allows you to add as many layers as you need to achieve your desired effect. Experiment with adding more transparent layers, each with its own opacity, blend mode, and brushstrokes.

Furthermore, you can also incorporate other elements into your artwork, such as text or illustrations. By adding text or drawings on separate layers, you can create dynamic compositions and combine transparency with other design elements. The possibilities are endless, so don’t be afraid to let your imagination run wild!

Part 5: Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

1. Can I make multiple layers transparent in Procreate?

“Absolutely! Procreate allows you to add multiple transparent layers and adjust their opacity individually. This gives you the flexibility to achieve complex transparency effects in your artwork.”

2. Can I remove the transparent effect later?

“Yes, you can easily remove the transparent effect by adjusting the opacity of the transparent layer or deleting the layer altogether. Procreate offers non-destructive editing, so you can always go back and make changes to your design.”

3. Is Procreate only available for iPad?

“Yes, Procreate is exclusively available for iPad and takes full advantage of its advanced hardware and touch capabilities. However, there are other software options for achieving transparency on different devices.”

4. Can I export my transparent artwork to other applications?

“Definitely! Procreate allows you to export your artwork in various file formats, including transparent PNG. This makes it easy to use your designs in other applications or share them with others.”

5. Are there any advanced techniques for working with transparency in Procreate?

“Absolutely! Procreate offers advanced features like alpha lock and clipping masks that can take your transparency game to the next level. Experiment with these techniques to create stunning effects!”

6. Are there any limitations to working with transparency in Procreate?

“While Procreate provides a robust set of tools for working with transparency, it’s important to note that extremely complex designs with numerous layers may impact the app’s performance. Keep your designs optimized for a smooth experience.”

7. Can I combine transparency with other effects in Procreate?

“Absolutely! Transparency works seamlessly with other effects and features in Procreate. Feel free to experiment and combine transparency with brushes, blend modes, and more to create unique and captivating artwork!”

Part 6: Conclusion

Now that you’ve learned how to make a photo transparent in Procreate, it’s time to unleash your creativity and explore the endless possibilities this powerful tool offers. With its intuitive interface and a wide range of features, Procreate empowers artists of all skill levels to create stunning digital artwork. So, grab your stylus, follow our step-by-step tutorial, and let your imagination soar!

Remember, practice makes perfect, so don’t be afraid to experiment and try new techniques. Embrace transparency in your designs and let it bring a touch of magic to your digital artwork. Happy creating!

Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is based on online sources and personal experience. The techniques described may vary depending on the version of Procreate and the device used. Please refer to the official Procreate documentation for the most accurate instructions.

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