Converting a photo to line art with Procreate

Procreate is a very powerful tool, but some of the useful features are missing when compared to a behemoth like Photoshop. One in, particular, is line art conversion of a photo. Yet, there is a way to get close.

To be clear, this technique will get you close, but not as close as Photoshop will. I'll show an example at the end for comparisons sake.

Now, to do this, there are actually a couple of different approaches, but I liked this one the best, so step by step:

Step 1: Import Image

Under the Actions (wrench) menu, select "Add" and then "Insert Photo":

Select the photo you want (I fit mine to canvas, up to you) and import. At this point, I named the layer Photo for reference purposes. You can also import a photo into a new project through the Gallery menu.

Step 2: Duplicate "Photo" layer

So, now duplicate this layer and name it Inverted.

Step 3: Invert the "Inverted" layer using Curves

Under the Adjustments (magic wand) icon, select Curves and then reverse the slope of the curve.

You can play with these values to tweak the end result or work with specific colours impact the behaviour of the next steps.

Step 4: Duplicate the Inverted layer

Duplicate Inverted and name it Grayscale

Step 5: Desaturate the Grayscale layer

Under Adjustments, select "Hue, Saturation, Brightness" and slide the "Saturation" scale all the way to the left.

Step 6: Duplicate the Grayscale layer

Duplicate Grayscale and label it Lineart. We're almost there!

Step 7: Change the blend mode

In the Layers menu, select the 'N' and in the menu, select "Difference" and then "Divide" (this will make the layer entirely white).

Step 8: Blur to reveal

With the Lineart layer selected, go to Adjustments and select Gaussian Blur. Slide until you're satisfied with the result.

For comparison sake, here's the output from Photoshop using find edges filter:

Clearly Photoshop produces a sharper outcome, but as you experiment with this workflow in Procreate, you'll find some settings that work best for your purpose.