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How to Change Opacity in Procreate | Beginner’s Guide

How to Change Opacity in Procreate | Beginner’s Guide

With Procreate, you can create beautiful digital illustrations thanks to the powerful functionality of the app at your fingertips. The Apple iPad has many exclusive apps available to download, and one of the most popular is Procreate.

The best thing about Procreate is that it is a feature-rich application at an affordable price. One of the main features available on Procreate is changing the opacity of your design elements. This is a great feature for adding depth and realism to your designs. 

But how do you change opacity in Procreate? This guide is a great place to find out. If you are just starting out with Procreate and need some guidance, this guide on how to use Procreate has all the information you need to create breathtaking designs in no time.

How does Opacity Work in Procreate


Opacity refers to the transparency of a layer. It ranges on a scale between 0 to 100, with the lowest (0) being full transparency and the highest (100) being no transparency or opaque. Transparency helps to make a layer see-through, while the opaque setting creates a solid effect.

In a nutshell, layers are elements stacked on top of each other. Understanding layers is useful to know when changing the opacity of a design element, but fortunately, it is a fairly easy concept to understand once you play around with Procreate.

Why and When to Change the Opacity


Changing the opacity is an awesome feature in Procreate and is common in digital design applications. Opacity adds depth to your design elements by changing the transparency of different layers. Working with opacity is an important differentiator for digital design. Below are some popular uses for opacity in design.

Opacity Helps to Create Shadows

Opacity can help create shadows behind the focus element. You can do this by copying and pasting an element and lowering the transparency of the copy. Then you can insert the lower transparency copy at the back of the main component, and a nice shadow effect will appear.

Shadows are a great way to introduce depth to your design. Depth enhances a design by adding a sense of realism, which is more captivating than a flat design.

Opacity Helps Create Layered Elements

Opacity can also create unique effects by stacking elements with differing transparency. The combination of these elements creates a layered image that enhances your design by introducing depth.

This is a creative technique, and the sky is the limit. We recommend experimenting with the opacity to get a feel for the effects it can have on your design elements.

Opacity Brings Attention to Certain Elements

Changing the opacity of an element can minimize or enhance its strength and is useful for creating a particular effect. If you want an element to be strong and stand out, it should have a higher opacity than the other elements.

This effect can bring attention to the opaque element and is noticeable in any marketing campaign where products are in focus.

Adding Transparency to Fonts

Making use of transparency in fonts is an excellent way to create a certain outcome with your design. If you want the specific text to capture the attention of the audience, higher opacity can highlight the keywords in your design.

In the case where a design has a visually striking background, it is useful to lower the opacity of the font to blend the text with the background.

Tip: An important rule of thumb in graphic design is to use varying layers of transparency in your designs. This creates a more visually appealing design by creating depth and is part of a key design principle of digital arts

How to Change the Opacity of a Layer in Procreate


Step 1: Choosing a Layer

Changing opacity in Procreate is quite simple. Choosing a layer is the first step, and you can find the setting in the top right of the screen; there is an icon second to the left. It resembles two squares. When you click on this icon, you can choose a layer. You can select a layer by enabling or disabling the checkmark on the right side of a layer with a light tap of your finger.

Step 2: Changing Opacity With the Slider

Changing the opacity of a layer is straightforward. First, open the layers icon, and the opacity slider will appear under the layers. It is as simple as choosing a layer and then moving the slider to the right or left.

As you move the slider, you can see the changes in real-time. If you move the slider to the right, the opacity will increase. The default opacity of an element is 100% percent, which means there is no transparency present in the element.

Moving the slider to the left decreases the opacity and makes the element more transparent. You can then see the desired transparency for your design element and change it accordingly until it creates a visually pleasing effect.

Final Thoughts on Changing Opacity on Procreate

Now that you know how to change the opacity of your design elements, you have a valuable new skill in your arsenal. You can use this feature to add more depth to your already fantastic designs.

It is best to familiarize yourself with instances in which changing the opacity will enhance your designs. You will develop a natural feel for when it is best to change the opacity of design elements the more you use opacity in Procreate.

Now that you have learned how to implement opacity in your designs, it is time to put it to the test. We recommend playing around with different designs and just enjoying the process. Once you’ve got opacity down, have a look at the 20 best brushes on Procreate for some more handy tips and tricks.

If you are curious about the amazing functionality of Procreate, head over to our Pixelsmith Creative Marketplace. It is a platform where you can sell your digital masterpieces and have a look at what other creatives have created with Procreate.

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Matt is about 80% nerd, 10% writer, 10% animal lover. His love for PC’s started at the tender age of 4 and his love for animation and motion graphics fairly soon after. You can normally find him behind a computer screen or playing with his dog Rusty.

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Co-Owner of Pixelsmithstudios.
Specialising in creating content for digital platforms
Working fulltime in marketing & Advertising
Always meeting new talent