How to transfer a file from Procreate to Illustrator (2023)

Knowing how to transfer Procreate to Illustrator will help your drawing not lose image quality.

Procreate is an innovative, award-winning iPad app that combines the efficiency and flexibility of digital graphics with the look and feel of traditional paper drawing tools.

Illustrator, on the other hand, is the gold standard in graphic design allowing artists to create crisp vector graphics for logos, fonts, comics, patterns, and more.

Combined, these tools are powerful and efficient tools in any graphic designer's arsenal.

They allow you to create drawings as if they were on paper and give you the power of vector format.

Looking to convert your Procreate drawing into a large-scale format?

This is the best way to do it.

This article will help you bring your drawing from Procreate to Illustrator and give you some tips and tricks to maximize these tools.



Take your drawing in Procreate, open it up in Illustrator, and use the image trace tool to convert your image to a vector.

Sounds pretty simple, right?

Essentially yes, but the charm (and power) of using Procreate for most artists is the ability to create the look and feel of traditional hand-drawn designs, which can include different textures and gradients.

If your drawing has these differently textured elements, there are a few more steps you'll need to take to preservethese details in Illustrator.

Let's see a step by step guide on how to simply transferyour Procreate file in Illustrator to convert it to a vector.

From there, we'll also go into more detail on how to adjust the stroke of the image from there.

Finally, we'll cover file formats and image tracking.

Procreate and Illustrator file formats

Your drawing in Procreate is saved in a ".procreate" file format, which saves all the layers and data on the canvas.

You can also export your drawing to JPEG, PNG, TIFF, BMP, PDF, and Adobe Photoshop PSD formats.

However, most of these file formats are necessarilyrasters or bitmaps, which is a "dot matrix data structure" on a rectangular grid of pixels.

To understand this, zoom in on an image until you see each square with different colors that make up the image.

Each square is a pixel and the more pixels you have per square inch, the higher the resolution of your image.

These file formats are limited because they may lose quality when you enlarge or resize them.

The advantage of Illustrator is working with vector graphics made up of points, lines, and curves that use math saved in an “.ai” file.

(Video) Convert Procreate Drawing to VECTOR in ILLUSTRATOR

These points, lines, and curves are assigned to a Cartesian coordinate system.

This coordinate system allows vector graphics to be infinitely scaled up or down without losing quality or appearing pixelated.

So your lines and curves will always be smooth with vector graphics, making Illustrator a crowd favorite for wide-format printing.

Illustrator can also export to all of the different raster image formats mentioned above, and these formats retain their vector quality: AI, EPS, SVG, and PDF.

Transfer your file from Procreate to Illustrator

Once you have the desired design or image in Procreate, save it as a TIFF file to preserve all the color information and clarity of the lines.

Click the screwdriver icon in the upper left corner, click share, and choose TIFF as the file format.

If you're working on a MacBook or iMac, you can choose to send the file to your computer.

If not, you can save it and email it to yourself and access it on your computer where Illustrator is installed.

After you get your TIFF file from Procreate, open Adobe Illustrator and create a new file with the desired dimensions.

In Illustrator, click on the file and from the dropdown choose a location and browse for your TIFF files.

Drag and drop your file onto your canvas in Illustrator.

With your Procreate drawing transferred to Illustrator, you can now use Image Trace to convert it to a vector and take advantage of Illustrator's many tools to enhance and expand your image.

Using image tracing to convert to vector

First, let's assume your drawing is monochrome and saved with only one layer in Procreate.

Click select your image in Illustrator, then the object, and select Image Trace from the drop-down menu to start the image tracing process.

Sometimes the tracking process works better if you click embed before starting the image tracking process.

Depending on the amount of texture in your drawing, when you click Image Trace, you may notice that you may lose some detail.

You can adjust the tracking process in the advanced settings in the Image Tracking menu by adjusting noise, tracking threshold, corners, and paths.

These options to adjust the tracking of your imagewill be discussed in the next sections.

For now, let's assume you're happy with the result of your image stroke.

You can leave the image file as is and change the color as you like.

Check the ignore white option if you want the white parts of your drawing to be transparent.

You can stop here and save your file, but if you want to edit or modify parts of the drawing, click expand to make it a full vector file..

With a complete vector file, you can adjust shapes or different parts of your drawing as you see fit.

If you are completely satisfied with the results, you can save it as AI, EPS, SVG or PDF and it will be easily scalable to large formats.

A quick informative video on the highlights of the process is

(Video) How to Convert Procreate Drawing to Vector

Here is a simple step by step hand lettering drawn in Procreate and then converted to vector in Illustratorhere.

Preserve your drawing textures with advanced image tracking settings

Procreate's best feature lies in its ability to simulate traditional drawing tools like pencils and brushes.

This allows artists to effortlessly add textures, gradients, and different elements to their drawings.

You can adjust image tracking to retain these details when you have thesedifferent textureson the drawing you want to transfer to Illustrator.

Once you have your file in Illustrator, click Image Trace and access the Image Trace menu to open the tools you can use to adjust your drawing.

Again, assuming you have a monochrome drawing, you can preserve these textures by following these steps.

advanced settings

Threshold allows you to adjust the details in your image trace to a smaller value, providing less information.

Noise wraps the boundary around an area specified in pixels that is ignored during tracking.

A higher value indicates less noise.

For example, in painting, when you draw a line with a brush on a canvas and run out of paint on the bristles, the color starts to "fade" or your solid line becomes "jagged."

The small dots and dashes in the detail of this gradient from a solid stroke to a jagged or dashed line are details that can be lost in a higher noise threshold image Stroke.

You may need to play around with these settings if you intend to keep these different textures in your Procreate image.

Another setting is paths, which control the distance between the original shape (in pixels) and the path shape.

A lower value creates a looser path fit, and a higher value will produce a tighter path fit.

Continuing with the example of a brush with a higher path setting, Image Trace will follow your stroke more closely.

Think of it like cutting out a shape, say a square, out of paper, closely following a drawn guideline.

The square is your original drawing, and if you set a high path threshold, it will fully crop the image of the square following the guides.

If the path threshold is low, you may end up with imperfect clipping of your square.

Another adjustment you can make is to use the corner limit/

A higher Corner Threshold value will provide more corners in the image trace.

Play around with the levels of these advanced settings to see how you can pull off the different textures.

Tools within image tracking

There are many other tools in Image Trace that you can play with.

The ones mentioned above can be the most useful for tracing your drawings to convert them into vectors.

The settings you choose will depend on the style of your drawing and the amount of detail you need to transfer as a vector in Illustrator.

To bepageabout Illustrator's Image Trace tool describes all the features of Image Trace in detail.

(Video) How I turn My Procreate Drawings Into Vector Graphics Using Adobe Illustrator

The page also describes several presets you can use to further tune image tracking to your preferences.

layer tracking

If your Procreate drawing has more elements, details, and colors, you can use layers to your advantage..

Layers will allow you to separate your Procreate drawing by element, transfer it to Illustrator, and create a vector for each.

The tips shared above for preserving or extracting drawing details will apply to each of the transferred layers.

When you transfer and then run image tracing for each single-layer TIFF file in your Procreate drawing in Illustrator, simply reposition them on their same layers as needed.

To do this for each element, click on the layers toolbox and click add a new layer.

Give this layer a name that corresponds to the element in your drawing so you don't get confused later.

For example, if you have a layer of leaves in your drawing, call them "leaves".

Open your TIFF file containing your leaves and place them on your "leaves" layer in Illustrator and then run Image Trace.

In the same Illustrator file, create a new layer corresponding to another element in your Procreate drawing, place the following TIFF file on the new layer, and run another Image Trace.

Repeat these steps to transfer all the different elements, textures, and colors of your drawing from Procreate to Illustrator.

More about layers

Using layers is recommended so that you can easily recreate different colors, textures, and elements from your Procreate to Illustrator.

Layers will also allow you more flexibility to manipulate the design to your liking.

This is useful if, for example, you intend to use your Procreate drawing as the basis for patterns and designs in Illustrator.

Creating a vector of each of your design elements will allow you to easily adjust and edit them in Illustrator.

Let's say you have a nice sketch of some fish and coral that you want to create into a nice pattern to print on a shower curtain or bedspread.

You can transfer all your fish as one layer to Illustrator and then run Image Trace on this layer.

So all your corals will be in another layer or maybe the bubbles in your water in another.

When each of these elements in your drawing is converted to a separate vector in Illustrator, you can recolor, resize, reposition, and/or duplicate as you like.

It gives you the freedom to manipulate these elements in Illustrator before remixing them with the rest of the design.

Another way to see how to work with layers is to separate by color.

For example, in a drawing of a flower pot, you can put all green leaves on one layer, all pink, or all yellow.

Once transferred to Illustrator and each element is a vector, you can quickly choose between different shades or create a pattern using various combinations.

To bearticlehas a more detailed description of how you can transfer your design from Procreate to Illustrator while keeping the different elements.

Tips for transferring different elements using one layer

If you find working with layers too tedious, but want to transfer the different elements of your drawing to an Illustrator file, there is an easy solution.


You just need to separate each element of your design and save it as a single TIFF image file.

Place this file in Illustrator and follow the image tracing steps above up to the expand step.

Be sure to check "ignore whitespace" in the options to make the background transparent.

This will create a separate vector for each element in your Procreate TIFF drawing on a single layer.

From here you can simply select each element, go into isolated mode and make your edits and adjustments, or arrange each element on separate layers in your Illustrator file.

To do this, just click on the element, cut it or copy it to a new layer.

more tips

If you already have a design in Procreate on different layers, you can drag elements of your design to different parts of the canvas and save it as a single image.

For example, if you have a bike design in Procreate with each part of the bike on different layers, separate these elements so they don't "overlap".

Save a copy of your final design in its original layout before doing this so you can come back to it for reference.

You can do this by copying the design, placing it on another layer in Procreate, and juggling the layer view as "hidden" by checking the checkbox on the right hand side.

When you have your "dissected bike" image ready, save it as a TIFF, place it in Illustrator, and perform the image tracing steps.

You should get a separate vector for each part of your bike. You can easily edit, scale or recolor before putting the drawing back together.

Manual tracking for fine adjustment

Finally, if you have details in your Procreate drawing that don't trace well in Illustrator after you transfer the file, you can manually determine each feature with the Pen Tool.

Imagine the traditional way of drawing images using tracing paper, but digitally and with more precision.

To do this, once you have your Procreate drawing image in Illustrator, change the opacity of that layer and add a new layer on top of it.

You can zoom in on this new layer to see all the details that Image Trace missed and manually trace it with the Pen Tool in Illustrator.

In Illustrator, it's easy to add these details to the rest of the image using the Pathfinder toolbox and shape mode features such as join or intersect.

For more details, thistutorialhas a detailed guide to manually tracing images in Illustrator.

final thoughts

If you're an artist who works best with traditional drawing tools, but still wants the functionality and flexibility of vectors, then Procreate - Illustrator's one-two-hit combination is perfect for you.

Instead of using Illustrator's often intimidating tools to create your drawing, you can simply draw them on an iPad using Procreate.

From there, you can transfer your drawing from Procreate to Illustrator to convert it into a vector graphic and take advantage of infinite scalability for large-scale formats or easily create patterns and combinations.

Transferring your design between the two apps is just the first step.

If you are a serious graphic artist, you canUEIntegrate these tools into your workflow and create beautiful digital designs effortlessly and more efficiently than ever before.

For other interesting items, check out the list below.

The 10 Best Graphics Tablets for Your Digital Art Take your digital art process to the next level

(Video) How to move Procreate files to Adobe Photoshop or Illustrator


How to transfer a file from Procreate to Illustrator? ›

You'll need to export your black outline from Procreate to Adobe Illustrator. The best way to do this is by tapping Actions (wrench) > Share > Share Image > PNG or TIFF. Both PNG and TIFF formats allow for transparency, meaning your file will keep only the outline.

How do I save a Procreate file as an AI? ›

Click on 'File' from your main menu and choose 'Save as'. Pick a name for your artwork and make sure the format is . ai (this will keep the file in vector format). That's it, we're done!

How do I download a vector file from Procreate? ›

This will make the file completely scalable.
  5. SAVE AS SVG. ...
Aug 23, 2020

Can you convert Procreate files? ›

Export your artwork as a native . procreate file or a layered Adobe® Photoshop® PSD. You can also export as a handy PDF, a versatile JPEG, a PNG with transparency, or a high-quality TIFF.

How do I send a Procreate file to edit? ›

To share Procreate images with layers, click on the share button and scroll down to the “Share Layers” option. Within there, choose either a Procreate file, PNG files, or a or PDF and complete your export to your desired location.

How to transfer an Illustrator file from an iPad to the computer? ›

Go to Publish and export, Quick export as Ai, and choose the method. Illustrator can also open PDF and SVG format. Also, if you are connected to Creative Cloud, you can open Cloud Documents created in Illustrator on the iPad. Click on the home icon in desktop Illustrator to see your Illustrator cloud (.

How do I convert a drawing from Procreate to SVG? ›

Export options
  1. File > Export > Export as.
  2. Give your file a name and select “SVG” from format dropdown.
  3. Make sure “use artboards” is deselected.
Mar 21, 2019

Can I open a Procreate file in Illustrator? ›

Procreate is an amazing digital drawing tool! But if you're a die-hard vector fan (like me) that loves Adobe Illustrator, you might be wondering how you could use Procreates' raster artwork in your workflow and still maintain the vector-based flexibility. The great news is, you can!

Can I transfer Procreate files to PC? ›

There are several ways to do this: On a Mac: Airdrop the file from your iPad to your Mac. On a PC: I use a PC, and I've found that Google Drive is the easiest option for file transfer. You can save the file on your drive from your iPad, and then open it on your PC.

What format can Procreate export? ›

File Types for Export

You can also share them as PDF, PNG Files, Animated GIF, Animated PNG, Animated MP4, MP4 and HEVC. 3D Painting files can also be exported as USDZ and OBJ.

Can I use Adobe Illustrator on iPad? ›

Illustrator on the iPad works intuitively with your Apple Pencil so you can design on the go from anywhere, even offline - it's never been easier to take your creativity to new places. Design with precision, as naturally as you would with pen and paper.

What is the best way to convert AI file? ›

Converting AIs to PDFs online with ease.
  1. Open your favorite web browser and navigate to the Acrobat online tool.
  2. Drag and drop the file you want to convert into the converter frame. ...
  3. Set the conversion settings to your preferences.
  4. Once the conversion is complete, download your new file.

Can you copy and paste in Illustrator for iPad? ›

With the Shape Selected > Tap on the Duplicate Icon on the contextual Widget > then head to the layer panel and drag the copy that you just created to the new layer! 2. With the Shape Selected > Go to edit menu and tap on the copy > from the layer panel, go to the new layer > Go to edit menu and tap on the paste!

How do I transfer files from Photoshop to Illustrator on iPad? ›

If you mean from PS to AI on iPad for both apps yes you can. Just go to Import and open in Illustrator, navigate to where ever you saved the Photoshop file and open it. You'll have to decide between Converting layers to objects or Flattening layers, other than that you can definitely open across apps on the iPad.

Can procreate make vector files? ›

Can You Create Vectors in Procreate? The short answer is no, you cannot natively create vectors. This is because Procreate is a raster-based program that uses pixels rather than mathematical equations like vector graphics.

Can you convert a PNG to AI? ›

Here's how to convert inside Illustrator: Using Illustrator, open the PNG file you wish to convert. Select 'Object' then 'Image Trace' then 'Make' Your PNG will now be editable within Illustrator and can be saved as AI.

How do I import a PNG into Illustrator? ›

Placing Images in Illustrator

Open the Illustrator document into which you want to place the artwork. From the menu bar, choose File > Place, and navigate to the file you want to place. Click Place.

Is there a way to move drawings from Procreate to another device? ›

iCloud Sync

Click on Settings on your old iPad > tap your Apple ID > choose iCloud > choose the Procreate files you want to transfer > click on it to turn it on one by one.

Can you digitize drawing with Procreate? ›

Procreate makes the digitizing process feel natural; with the stylus, it tracks the amounts of pressure applied and the angle it's used at, mimicking the feel of true pen and paper. *For an in-depth breakdown on the Procreate app, look through this handy guide.

What is the difference between PNG and SVG? ›

While PNGs are capable of handling very high resolutions, they're not infinitely expandable. On the other hand, SVG files are vector-based — built from a complex mathematical network of lines, dots, shapes, and algorithms. They can expand to any size without losing their resolution.

Is there free version of Adobe Illustrator? ›

No, Illustrator is available only as part of a Creative Cloud membership. Start by downloading the 7-day free trial. You can choose a Single App plan with Illustrator only or a plan that includes more apps.

Is there a vector program like Procreate? ›

A Match Made in Heaven

They have one major distinction, however: Vectornator is a vector-based tool, while Procreate is pixel-based. Vectornator is one of the most intuitive vector graphic tools out there. And because we believe in an efficient workflow, it's built to work with and support other apps.

Is Adobe Illustrator like Procreate? ›

Procreate and Illustrator are packed with unique features that differ from each other. Despite being design software, the two are far from identical. Procreate is ideally used to create digital art. Illustrator, on the other hand, is used to create illustrations and designs beyond art.

Why is Adobe Illustrator better than Procreate? ›

Procreate is renowned for being the best app to create hand-drawn, original artwork for many different purposes. Adobe Illustrator is a more sophisticated design program that is geared towards more practical artwork that may be used more specifically for logos and illustrations.

What software can open Procreate files? ›

You can open and edit a PROCREATE file with Savage Procreate and Procreate Pocket (iOS). Procreate is available for iPad, while Procreate Pocket is available for iPhone. You can also open a PROCREATE file with Prospect, a Procreate viewer app for Mac.

Can I open SVG in Illustrator? ›

You can view an SVG file in any web browser, edit it in Adobe Illustrator, or convert it to another file format in Adobe Photoshop.

Why can't i export Procreate files? ›

That can happen if you have very little available storage space on the iPad. Could this be a factor, even though it's a 3rd gen Pro? Check in iPad Settings > General > About. Check in Files app > On My iPad > Procreate to see if there are files in there - if so, they're duplicates and taking up extra space.

Can you transfer Procreate files to USB? ›

You'll have to send the file from Procreate to a file management app like Documents 5 or FileMaster and then from there send it to your usb storage app.

Will deleting Procreate keep my drawings? ›

Yes, deleting Procreate will delete all your artwork, as well as your custom brushes, swatches and settings. Before you do anything like that, you need to back things up. And you should also be making regular backups of your work off the iPad anyway, to safeguard against unexpected issues like this.

How do I export an image from Procreate without losing quality? ›

To export high resolution images from Procreate, make sure your canvas size and DPI are what you need them to be from the very beginning. Once you're finished with your art, export it as a PNG file for the highest resolution image. If printing your work, make sure not to stray too far from your Procreate canvas size.

Should I save Procreate as PNG or JPEG? ›

PNG is a good choice for storing line drawings, text, and iconic graphics at a small file size. By converting a PNG file to JPEG you can save a lot of space, most of the time between 50-70%, which might be ideal if you are dealing with dozens or hundreds of images.

Is Procreate better than Photoshop for digital art? ›

The Procreate app is also the best choice for digital illustration and iPad design. However, Photoshop is overall the more robust and advanced program of the two. Photoshop works better than Procreate when it comes to a grid structure; however, Procreate is better for sketching and creating on the go.

Are Procreate files compatible with Illustrator? ›

Not only can Procreate add a new dimension to your work, it's proven to be a great partner to Illustrator resulting in an authentic hand-drawn quality in less time.

Can you use AI files in Procreate? ›

Make sure your ai file is set up with pixels as units, and that the artboard you will export the png from is a large enough size that the png you output has got the right pixel size for the size board you have set up in procreate.

Can you use AI on Procreate? ›

Since I usually can't generate an idea for a drawing from my head, I found that using AI to make a uniquely created image was a huge advantage to help me get started! In the screenshot above from Procreate, you can see how I inserted my AI drawing into Layer 1.

What files can Adobe Illustrator import? ›

To open an AI file in Illustrator, choose File > Open and select the file from your computer. Ensure that your file has the . AI extension. You can also open PDF, EPS, and SVG files.

Can Procreate files be converted to Photoshop? ›

To transfer, simply go to your settings (the wrench), click on Share, and select your file type. Then select where you would like to save or send this file. Now I can open the . PSD file in Photoshop and finish with textures and embellishments!

Do architects use Procreate? ›

Renowned architect and digital artist Ehab Alhariri creates architectural sketches in Procreate that perfectly fit the needs and the budget of his clients.

Is there Adobe Illustrator for iPad? ›

Illustrator on the iPad works intuitively with your Apple Pencil so you can design on the go from anywhere, even offline - it's never been easier to take your creativity to new places. Design with precision, as naturally as you would with pen and paper.

Is Procreate more like Photoshop or Illustrator? ›

Photoshop—with its near infinite selection of brushes, excels at Raster art, while Illustrator is built around Vector designs. Procreate, on the other hand, is currently Raster only. Given that Procreate is really built around doing illustration and creating realistic brush strokes and textures, this makes sense.


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