How to Remove Background in Procreate: A Fun and Friendly Guide

A Creative Solution to Background Removal in Procreate

Are you tired of struggling with removing backgrounds in Procreate? Look no further! In this article, we will guide you through the process of removing backgrounds in Procreate in a fun and friendly manner. Whether you are a digital artist, designer, or hobbyist, our step-by-step tutorial will help you achieve seamless results. So, let’s dive right in and unlock the power of background removal in Procreate!


Before we jump into the tutorials, let’s familiarize ourselves with the concept of background removal in Procreate. Removing the background from an image allows you to isolate the subject, making it easier to create stunning compositions and designs. Procreate, a popular digital art app, offers various tools and techniques to achieve this. In the following sections, we will explore these methods and provide you with a comprehensive guide to background removal.

Why is Background Removal Important?

Background removal is an essential skill for digital artists and designers. It opens up endless possibilities for creating captivating artwork, whether it’s for personal projects or professional commissions. By separating the subject from its background, you can easily apply different backgrounds, create collages, or use the isolated element in various designs. With Procreate’s intuitive tools, you can achieve clean and precise background removal that will take your artwork to the next level.

The Magic of Alpha Lock

One of the most powerful features in Procreate for background removal is the Alpha Lock. This magical function allows you to lock the transparency of a layer and make changes only within the existing pixels. By utilizing Alpha Lock strategically, you can easily remove the background without affecting the subject. This technique is particularly useful when working with complex shapes and intricate details.

The Step-by-Step Guide to Background Removal

Now, let’s dive into the step-by-step tutorial to remove backgrounds in Procreate:

Step 1: Import Your Image

The first step is to import the image you want to remove the background from. You can do this by tapping the “+” icon on the top right corner of the canvas, then selecting “Import” and choosing the desired image from your device.

Pro Tip: Choosing the Right Image

When selecting an image for background removal, it’s essential to choose one with a well-defined subject and a distinct background. Images with clean edges and high contrast between the subject and the background will yield better results. Experiment with different images to find the perfect balance for your artwork.

Step 2: Create a New Layer

Create a new layer by tapping the layers icon on the top right corner of the screen, then selecting the “+” icon. This new layer will be used to isolate the subject from the background.

Pro Tip: Naming Your Layers

Organize your layers by giving them descriptive names. This will make it easier to navigate and manage your artwork, especially when working on complex projects. Renaming the layer to “Subject” or “Background Layer” can help you stay organized throughout the editing process.

Step 3: Use the Selection Tool

Select the subject using the selection tool of your choice. Procreate offers various selection tools, such as the freehand, automatic, or geometric selection. Choose the tool that best suits your image and carefully trace around the subject.

Pro Tip: Zooming In for Precision

Zoom in on your image to get a closer look at the edges and details of the subject. This will help you make more precise selections, especially when working with intricate elements. Pinch your fingers on the screen to zoom in and out, allowing you to focus on specific areas of the image.

Step 4: Refine the Selection

Refine the selection by using the selection tools’ adjustment options. You can add or subtract areas from the selection to ensure accuracy. Take your time with this step, as a precise selection will yield better results.

Pro Tip: Feathering the Selection

When dealing with subjects that have soft or blurry edges, consider feathering the selection to create a smoother transition between the subject and the background. Procreate offers a “Feather” option in the selection tool’s adjustments, allowing you to control the softness of the edges.

Step 5: Apply Alpha Lock

Once you are satisfied with the selection, tap on the layer with the subject to activate it. Then, tap on the layer’s thumbnail and select “Alpha Lock” from the menu that appears. This will lock the transparency of the layer.

Pro Tip: Understanding Alpha Lock

Alpha Lock is a game-changer when it comes to background removal in Procreate. It enables you to work exclusively within the existing pixels of a layer and prevents you from accidentally modifying the subject. With Alpha Lock activated, you can confidently erase the background without worrying about affecting the subject itself.

Step 6: Remove the Background

Select a brush of your choice and start erasing the background. Since you have activated Alpha Lock, the changes will only affect the areas outside the subject. Take your time and pay attention to details, ensuring a clean and precise removal.

Pro Tip: Using Different Brush Opacities

Experiment with different brush opacities to achieve more subtle and nuanced background removal. Lowering the opacity of the brush will result in a gradual transition between the subject and the background, creating a more seamless final image.

Step 7: Finishing Touches

Once you have removed the background, you can make any necessary adjustments and add finishing touches to your image. Experiment with different backgrounds, colors, or effects to enhance your artwork further.

Pro Tip: Adding Shadows and Highlights

To make your subject blend naturally with the new background, consider adding shadows and highlights. Use the brush tool with a low opacity to carefully paint shadows and highlights on a separate layer. This will add depth and dimension to your composition, making it appear more realistic.

Table: Complete Guide to Background Removal in Procreate

Step Description
Step 1 Import your image
Step 2 Create a new layer
Step 3 Use the selection tool
Step 4 Refine the selection
Step 5 Apply Alpha Lock
Step 6 Remove the background
Step 7 Finishing touches

How to Remove Background in Procreate – FAQ

FAQ 1: Can I only remove solid color backgrounds in Procreate?

“No, Procreate offers various selection tools and brush options that allow you to remove backgrounds with different complexities. From solid colors to intricate patterns, you can achieve precise background removal in Procreate.”

FAQ 2: Can I undo a background removal in Procreate?

“Yes, Procreate provides an unlimited undo and redo functionality. If you make a mistake while removing the background, simply tap the undo button on the top toolbar to revert the changes.”

FAQ 3: Is it possible to save the subject with its transparent background in Procreate?

“Absolutely! Procreate supports exporting images with transparent backgrounds. Once you have removed the background, you can export your artwork as a PNG file, preserving the transparency for further use.”

FAQ 4: Are there any shortcuts to speed up the background removal process in Procreate?

“Yes, Procreate offers various shortcuts and gestures to streamline your workflow. Familiarize yourself with popular gestures like two-finger tap for undo, three-finger tap for redo, and three-finger swipe to access additional functionalities.”

FAQ 5: Can I use background removal techniques in Procreate for photo editing?

“Definitely! Procreate’s powerful tools make it suitable for both digital art and photo editing. You can effectively remove backgrounds from photos, allowing you to create stunning compositions or add new backgrounds with ease.”

FAQ 6: Does Procreate provide automatic background removal options?

“While Procreate doesn’t offer automatic background removal features, it provides intuitive selection tools that simplify the process. With a bit of practice, you’ll master the art of background removal in no time!”

FAQ 7: Can I adjust the opacity of the subject layer in Procreate?

“Yes, Procreate allows you to adjust the opacity of each layer, including the layer with the isolated subject. This provides flexibility for blending the subject seamlessly with other elements in your artwork.”


Now that you’ve learned the ins and outs of removing backgrounds in Procreate, it’s time to unleash your creativity! With the step-by-step tutorial, handy tips, and powerful techniques discussed in this article, you can take your artwork to new heights. Experiment, practice, and embrace the endless possibilities that background removal in Procreate offers. So, grab your digital pen and let your imagination run wild!


The information provided in this article is based on personal experience and research. Results may vary depending on individual skills and software versions. Always ensure you have proper backups of your artwork before making any significant changes.

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