(Last updated on February 3rd, 2023)
Procreate doesn’t have to be an application where you constantly have to redraw the same image. Mirroring can save you a lot of time when drawing in the program. This article will cover how to use the mirror function in Procreate and when it’s best to use it.
While drawing is intuitive enough in Procreate, there are times when it can be monotonous to redraw a familiar pattern. Rather than repeating the duplicate drawings, mirroring will simplify the process of reshaping and repeating your designs. It’s pretty similar to the ways you would mirror in Photoshop.
As with most functions in Procreate, there are familiar design processes that merely take some time to learn for a touch environment. Mirroring a design can be performed in more ways than one. Let’s address the different techniques you can use in the mobile application.
Mirroring in Procreate
Mirroring is the process of duplicating a design as a reflection, similar to seeing an object reflected in a mirror.
When you have a design you want to mirror, follow these steps:
- On the left side of the upper-menu bar, tap the arrow button. This action will open up a new menu bar at the bottom of the screen.
- From that new menu, click on “Freeform.”
- With Freefrom activated, you can now edit your design’s shape. Use the controls to mirror the design horizontally or vertically, depending on the desired mirroring effect.
The mirroring technique is very similar to mirror in Photoshop, with Freefrom essentially mimicking the Free Transform function. Use this technique with duplicated layers to create a mirroring pattern. It’s an excellent tool for creating reflections or patterns in your design.
Symmetry in Procreate
Now let’s say that you want to create a mirror effect but more intricate one. Suppose you’re trying to recreate those trippy patterns of a rug or create compelling flower-like designs. Procreate makes this need for symmetry easier to attain with Symmetry Tools to accomplish this task.
The Symmetry Tools differ from the freeform mirroring by giving you faster results. This means that while you’re drawing on one side of the screen, the same design can be mirrored on the other half. This can make mirroring not only easier but more fun to experiment with.
Here’s the step-by-step process on how to use Procreate’s Symmetry Tools:
- Find the wrench icon on the top toolbar and click it to open Settings. This will bring up a pop-up menu. With this menu open, tap on the canvas and then switch on the Drawing Guide button from the menu.
- Below the Drawing Guide button, there should be a button that says Edit Drawing Guide. Tap that button, and a drawing symmetry guide appear, starting with a vertical guide as its default. Thin lines should now be visible on your canvas as the guide.
- Customize the guide so that it fits your design ideas for Mirroring. The options included should be Isometric, 2D Grid, Perspective, and Symmetry. The right choice depends on your design. Isometric, for example, is an excellent choice for creating patterns and circles. Symmetry, however, is handy for keeping everything in your designs symmetrical.
Once you’ve found the correct settings, start drawing on your canvas to see how it functions with the symmetry guides. It can take some practice, so be patient in trying to find the right guide that suits your projects.
Mirrored or Rotational
The symmetry guides are somewhat unique in how they function. Mirror Symmetry flips and reflects your drawings within the guide area. But you don’t just have to settle for simple mirroring.
There’s also Rotational Symmetry which is different as it rotates rather than flips with its reflection. This can allow designs to go around an area rather than simply mirror. The Rotational Symmetry can be used vertically or horizontally and be toggled on and off in the symmetry settings.
Types of Designs To Create With Symmetry Tools
You can easily create many types of designs with the aid of symmetry tools. Here are just a few examples of what can be designed with them:
- Rug Designs: Rugs and carpets often have this reflected nature in the uniformity of the design. Creating these types of designs is easier with the help of symmetrical reflection doing more repetitious work for you.
- Website Wallpaper: Wallpaper images placed on websites often tend to have a repeating pattern to better accommodate specific monitors. When using symmetry, this repeated pattern can be easier to apply and find the right cut-off point.
- Package Design: Some packaging contains special designs that often repeat and have patterns. Some examples include the unique designs of Amazon Prime shipping tape or the bones on boxes from Chewy. The replication can be easily accomplished with some symmetry involved.
- Reflections: Use the symmetry tools to create simple of reflection of your object. Then separate that reflection into its own layer and play with the opacity and blending modes to better tune the fall-off of the reflections.
- Kaleidoscope: Replicating the iconic eye-pleasing toy or the trippy effects of a 1970s music video is easy with the mirroring and symmetry tools.
Mirroring Procreate Onto a Mac or PC
While working with the mirror functions in Procreate can work fine on your iPad or iPhone, you may like to try it out on your desktop computer. Thankfully, there is a way to do this with the help of AirDroid Cast. This feature is used for casting your mobile apps onto your desktop computer, be it a Mac or PC.
It should be noted that this feature doesn’t exactly install Procreate on your desktop. What it does is transfer your mobile device to the computer’s screen, similar to how you’d plug your laptop into a television. It’s a handy function if you find the screensize of the iPad or iPhone too limited and mirror your designs onto another screen.
Here’s how to go about casting from your mobile device to the computer:
- On your Mac or PC desktop computer, download and install the AirDroid Cast application. You can find it on the official website here: https://www.airdroid.com/download/airdroid-cast/
- After installing, open AirDroid Cast and ensure that the AirPlay Server is functioning. There should be a text at the bottom that says “AirPlay Server: Running.” If it’s running, you’ll have the option to turn your computer into an AirPlay receiver.
- Make sure your desktop computer and mobile device with Procreate is connected to the same Wi-Fi network.
- On your mobile device, find the Control Center panel and tap Screen Mirroring. You should then see your desktop computer listed as the screens to connect towards. Select that device and your computer should start casting your mobile screen.
This process essentially turns your iPad into a makeshift drawing tablet that connects to your computer monitor. Depending on the monitor you’re using, this can be an easier way to draw in Procreate. Going between the iPad and a larger screen can be handy for making sure you’re creating the most detailed of designs.
What does casting have to do with mirroring? Aside from the word association, this process can help you get used to drawing with symmetry functions. Using the AirDroid Cast can be a solid preparation for getting more accustomed to the mirror functions and how to work with them.
Tips and Tricks
- Layers Are Your Friend: Before getting deep into using the symmetry tools, try out a simple Freeform style mirroring. It could make the difference between a fast design and one that you end up spending too much time configuring.
- Get The Guides Right: Consider the type of design you’re working with and how the guides should appear. If you’re creating something like pixel artwork meant to replicate classic video games, it would make sense to have a thicker grid.
- Experiment: The symmetry tools are not as intuitive as the simple Freeform mirroring. It will take some time to find the right combination of guides and mirroring to get the desired effect. You may not even know what effect works until you try it out. Be patient and play around with the tools until you’re comfortable to tackle more complex designs.
Frequently Asked Questions
Procreate does have a symmetry tool for reflecting your drawings. Enabling the Drawing Guide can help create the right effect for creating automatic symmetry. The symmetry can either flip or rotate your design depending on the options you select.
A: Procreate does have a symmetry tool for reflecting your drawings. Enabling the Drawing Guide can help create the right effect for creating automatic symmetry. The symmetry can either flip or rotate your design depending on the options you select.
Layers can be mirrored through a combination of duplication and transformation. Start by duplicating the layer you want to mirror. Then select that duplicated layer and choose Freeform to use the transformation tools to flip the replicated design. This will create a mirror effect when placed next to your original layer.
In the same way that you can mirror your drawings with the symmetry tool, you can do the same thing with text as well. All you have to do is enable the symmetry tools and drawing guides to start creating text that will automatically be replicated.
The mirror mode in Procreate is sometimes referred to as Mirror Symmetry. It can be enabled by opening the settings and enabling the Drawing Guide and selecting Symmetry. You can then start designing as the designs are replicated and mirrored depending on the settings you select.
Mark McPherson has been working as a video editor and content writer for over ten years. His background started in animation and video editing before shifting into the realm of web development. He also branched out into content writing for various online publications. Mark is an expert in video editing, content writing, and 2D/3D animation.