How To Change Opacity In Procreate

Ever since the app was first released in 2011 for iPad devices, Procreate has been helping digital artists to achieve their creative dreams with just a touch screen and an Apple Pencil, or even just their finger! 

It offers a sense of control and precision that is unparalleled by any other applications on the app store, and is commonly used by many professional artists day to day to create products you may have seen yourself! 

However, as with any digital platform that offers precise control and plenty of options, there is something of a learning curve that is necessary to master it.

How To Change Opacity In Procreate

Though Procreate is a decidedly user-friendly art platform, it still takes some getting used to, and many important functions are annoyingly hidden away.

One very important function that can help artists to improve their line work or to create really interesting effects is the opacity tool.

However, the opacity tool is largely hidden away, and many people go a long time not knowing where it is hidden. 

That’s probably why you’re here, right? Don’t worry, because we are here to help make it all a lot easier for you. Read on below to find out how you can change the opacity in Procreate!

How Do You Change The Opacity In Procreate?

Procreate is an ever-evolving art platform that continues to receive multiple frequent updates to help it run more smoothly and to add new features or to tweak existing features. This means that certain functions have been moved around over the years.

If you are using the latest version of Procreate, then you might have noticed that there is no dedicated ‘opacity’ button to allow you to change it. This might lead many to assume that you simply cannot adjust the opacity, but you definitely still can.

In order to do it, simply open up your Layers tab in the top right of the canvas screen. On the canvas tab, you will see a list of the layers that you have made in your current piece.

Select the layer that you want to change the opacity of and tap it with two fingers simultaneously. 

Once you perform that action a slider will display towards the top of your canvas that displays the opacity percentage. You can slide it around to adjust the capacity by simply swiping your finger across the screen. 

Once you have chosen the perfect opacity, simply tap on the ‘Adjustments’ button at the top of the canvas that should currently be glowing with a blue color.

You can also undo any changes you make to opacity by tapping anywhere on the canvas while using the opacity slider after which you will be met with a number of options.

Are There Any Other Methods To Change Layer Opacity?

Yes. There is one other way to access the opacity slider. Find the layer that you want to change the opacity of and then click the small ‘N’ button on that layer. When you do, you will be met with a number of options, including ‘Darken’, ‘Color Burn’, and ‘Linear Burn’. 

Above those options will be a smaller opacity slider that you can also use to access opacity.

This is a great method for anyone who has trouble with using gestures on their iPad, and who wishes for a more traditional control method.

Can You Change The Opacity In Procreate To A Specific Number?

Whenever you use the opacity slider on Procreate, just above the slider itself is a percentage number that gives you an exact level of opacity that your layer is currently at. Unfortunately, you cannot tap on the number to type in a very specific value, which could be annoying for some.

However, you can achieve greater opacity accuracy by slowly pulling your finger downward as you swipe your finger across the canvas to change the opacity.

As you do this, you will notice that the slider begins to move a bit slower, this is because you have changed the ‘scrubbing’ speed, which allows you to slow down the slider to achieve an exact number so that you can exercise greater control over your art.

Where Was The Opacity Button Originally?

Before a recent update, the ‘Opacity’ button used to be housed within the ‘Adjustments’ menu, which could be accessed by tapping the ‘magic wand’ icon towards the top left of the canvas screen. 

Many users were surprised, one day, after the update, to find that their trusty ‘opacity’ button had moved away and become invisible. It was a controversial choice at the time to hide the button behind a gesture, but it has since proven to be a faster way to access the function.

What Is The Opacity Function Used For?

The opacity function is generally used by artists to help make certain layers of their art appear translucent. This can be great for finishing up a piece, as it can give certain layers a slightly ghosty and cloudy look. 

Opacity can also be used to create color tones for a piece. Say an artist painted a portrait of a person and then decided that they wanted to give that painting a slightly purple hue. 

They could fill a layer up with a shade of purple of their choice and then lower the opacity down slightly. This would create a purple hue that would affect all other colors on the canvas.

Opacity can also be useful when sketching out an image and learning certain things such as anatomy. Say an artist wanted to draw a full-body figure.

They could outline it quickly on one layer, to get the skeleton of the image down, and then lower the opacity of that layer to then draw a more detailed image over the top of it. 

This is incredibly useful for digital artists who are still very much learning things such as anatomy, or who want to outline an image before they get stuck in!

Can You Change The Opacity Of Multiple Layers At The Same Time In Procreate?

Unfortunately, you cannot yet alter the opacity of multiple layers at the same time. If you were to select multiple layers and then press two fingers onto one layer, then you would simply instead change the opacity of that one layer. 

It is unclear whether Procreate might add the function to alter the opacity of multiple layers in the future, but it would be reasonable to expect it to happen eventually. 

For now, in order to ensure that the layers you want to affect have the same level of opacity, it is best to keep a note of the opacity level of every layer you are editing. 

You can do this by tracking the percentage number as you adjust the slider. Make sure to also adjust your scrubbing speed so that you can keep your numbers accurate and leveled. 


Though it may be hidden away, the opacity function is still very much there for you to play around with.

Though it was controversial to hide the function beneath a gesture, it has proven to be very effective in helping artists to speed up their workflow, as it becomes second nature to tap each layer with two fingers to change the opacity. 

Frequently Asked Questions:

Is There A Gradient Brush In Procreate?

Unfortunately, there is not currently a gradient brush currently included within Procreate’s standard set of brushes. However, there are plenty of fan-made brushes available online that you can download and install right into the application for use. 

How Do You Gradient Text In Procreate?

Unfortunately, there is no gradient tool within Procreate’s basic toolset. However, if you want to change the gradient of any text you put on your canvas, you can easily do so by using a clipping mask to clip a gradient layer onto a text layer.

What Does Clipping Mask Do Procreate?

The clipping mask causes a layer’s contents to only show up on top of any contents found in the layer that it is clipped onto. This can be a great way to add effects and extra elements to specific layers.

Michael Moore

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