Procreate vs Clip Studio – Which Is Better?

Are you an artist? There are many drawing software programs you can use. For PC, the king is unarguably Adobe Photoshop. How about if you need an app for drawing and illustrating on mobile and tablet?

Well, there are still many options to choose from among which you have Clip Studio and Procreate. These two apps are popular among mobile artists with their pros and cons.

If you’re at a crossroads, trying to choose the better art studio between Procreate and Clip Studio, it’s a good thing you’re on this page.

Here, I’ll be reviewing and comparing Procreate vs Clip Studio side by side to help you make that decision.

What Is Procreate?

Procreate is a mobile art studio that lets you sketch, paint, and draw. The app comes with creative tools and unique features that both beginners and professional artists can use.

Some of these include the brush library with over 200 handcrafted brushes, complete color control with color companion & color harmony, power moves that make the app super convenient for touch displays, and extra special FX to name a few.

The art studio is currently only available for iPad users and the current version requires at least iPadOS 14.4. If you own an iPhone, you can still make use of the Procreate Pocket version.

Check out the best apps like Procreate.

What Is Clip Studio?

Clip Studio is described as an artist’s software for drawing and painting. The app is useful for concept art & painting, character art & drawing, animation, comics & manga, and illustrations among others.

Clip Studio comes with thousands of customizable brushes for artists. About a thousand more new brushes are added to the brush set every month. The app has tools exclusive to each of its main features.

You can install Clip Studio on almost all major device platforms. It supports Windows, Chromebook, and macOS for desktop and iPad, iPhone, and Android for mobile. Notably, Clip Studio features an exclusive version for Samsung Galaxy users.

Now, we’ll be discussing Procreate and Clip Studio features side by side and deciding a winner for each feature.

Functionality

Procreate

Procreate was designed to help artists work faster with fewer distractions on their iPad and iPhones. As a result, the app features a minimal interface with intuitive gestures for swift operation.

For example, you can touch to paint or erase, pinch to zoom, pinch twist to rotate, quick pinch to fit to screen, and double-tap with two fingers to undo.

Not only gestures, but you can also operate the Procreate art studio app using your Apple Pencil and Keyboard shortcuts. The app also features a quick menu and a copy-paste menu.

To make accessibility even faster, Procreate for iPad comes with a widget that you can add to your Home Screen.

Also Read: Best Krita Alternatives

Clip Studio

Clip Studio functions are exclusive to the different features. In other words, there are unique features for Concept Art & Painting, Character Art, Illustration for Design, Animation, Comics, Manga, and Webtoons.

The app comes with a flexible interface that’s customizable on all device types. However, the interface does feature lots of options and palettes, especially on the desktop versions.

There’s the menu bar, toolbox, command bar, canvas display, layer property palette, and timeline palette to name a few. Hence, Clip Studio is similar to photoshop in many ways.

The app supports touch gestures and also digital pens and pencils for touch displays.

Verdict

Both platforms are for drawing and illustration; hence, they have similar functions. However, Procreate takes the crown here with the minimal interface.

Performance

Procreate

Procreate is a raster graphics (bitmap) processing app. This means with procreate, you’re working with pixels and this is why the app can support numerous illustration tools and effects.

In terms of performance, Procreate is very fast. A major reason is due to the Valkyrie engine it uses. The engine is optimized to work seamlessly with Apple’s Metal architecture which Procreate exclusively supports.

In addition, Procreate takes advantage of Apple’s promotion technology to process painting at up to 120 frames per second. Undoubtedly, it’s one of the faster art and drawing apps you can use.

Clip Studio

Clip Studio supports different operating systems so the performance depends on what device you’re using. For instance, the speed on Clip Studio for Windows is different from that on Android mobile.

The app, however, primarily works as a vector editor. Hence, you don’t work with pixels on Clip Studio. You can only work with pixels when you rasterize a vector layer. Rasterizing converts the vector illustration into a bitmap.

Also, Clip Studio features two different versions – Clip Studio Paint EX and Clip Studio Paint Pro. You get more performance and features with the EX version than the Pro version.

Verdict

Procreate beats Clip Studio in terms of performance. This is, however, mainly because it’s exclusive to iPad/iPhone.

Drawing & Illustration Tools

Procreate

Procreate boasts of having the world’s largest library of brushes. The library of over 200 handcrafted brushes also features natural and organic pencils.

Furthermore, since the app is exclusively for iOS/iPadOS, it’s optimized for Apple Pencil so drawing is even more precise.

Notably, Procreate comes built-in with a brush creation app – Brush Studio. Hence, away from the 200 brush library, you can create your own brushes.

You can define how they look, react, and behave; not to mention you can also customize every brush in the library. Procreate also lets you import drawing brushes from Photoshop.

Clip Studio

As a very flexible drawing app, Clip Studio lets you draw exactly how you want with customizable brushes and a powerful brush engine.

You’ll find about every type of brush in the clip studio library from delicate brushes, to thick ones and even texture brushes.

Clip Studio was primarily designed for hand-drawing. For this, it features a Wizard for customizing digital pens and pencils which makes drawing and illustrating smooth.

For instance, you can customize your pen’s weight, texture, and analog. With Clip Studio, you can also import and use Photoshop dual brushes.

Verdict

As a vector editor, Clip Studio works better for drawing and illustrations than Procreate. Make no mistake, Procreate is still very good at both.

Animation

Procreate

Procreate supports Time-Lapse and Animation for creating moving art. The advantage of using Procreate is that animation is very easy.

Procreate Animation Assist feature already has built-in animations. You just need to select and customize characters & settings and arrange your storyline.

The built-in animations are available in 4K so you get the highest quality. With Onion Skins, you can easily identify which frame is ahead of the other and the Private Layer option lets you hide reference layers.

Furthermore, the animator features a visual timeline and supports instant playback. You can share your animations in a variety of formats.

Clip Studio

Animation is one of the key features of Clip Studio. You can draw and create animations using similar tools for drawing and painting.

However, you’ll have to draw multiple frames for animation. More specifically, you have to draw frames between keyframes. This is not very difficult thanks to the light tanks function.

You can add as many animation frames as you want easily using the Onion Skin function. The function highlights previous and following frames.

There are many options to expiry with Clip Studio too. Notably, you can export your entire animation as an image sequence.

Verdict

Both platforms are great for animating. However, Procreate makes animation easier with Animation Assist. Clip Studio requires that you draw frames between keyframes which may take time.

Filters & Effects

Procreate

From the Procreate interface, there are the Adjustment and Filters options for setting filters and effects. You either apply layer filters or pencil filters. With layer the filter option, the filters and adjustments you make affect the entire image/layer.

On the other hand, you can apply filters to specific parts of your image by painting using pencil filters. However, you can only use pencil filters with an original Apple pencil; it doesn’t work with pencil gestures. Procreate features other effects like glitch, halftone, liquify, and chromatic aberration.

Clip Studio

There are six main options in the Clip Studio filter menu. They include blur, sharpen, effect, render, distort, and correct line. If you’re a regular illustrator or artist, you should know what each of these filters will do when applied.

Notably, the filters also have different sub-filters. For example, under blur, there’s the Radiation blur, Motion blur, and Gaussian blur. Furthermore, Clip Studio features editing effects like Artistic, Mosaic, and Remove JPG noise.

As a vector editing software, Clip Studio filters affect an entire layer by default.

Verdict

There’s nothing much to differentiate Clip Studio and Procreate in terms of filters and effects. Hence, it’s a draw.

Color Management

Procreate

With Procreate, you get full-color control over your drawings and illustrations. The app features industry-leading color selection options and also tools to manipulate colors.

Notably, there’s the Color Companion panel which you can set anywhere on your screen for quick reach; even in front of your canvas. There’s also the Gradient Map, a library of professionally created color gradients you can apply with one click.

You can customize the gradients or create yours from scratch and save them. Other options you get include ColorDrop, HSB, curves, and color balance.

Clip Studio

From Clip Studio’s color palette option, you have access to a color wheel palette, color slider palette, color set palette, intermediate color palette, approximate color palette, and color history palette.

As a result, you have full control over the colors you use. The color history palette is an interesting one as it logs all colors you previously used. Your drawing history is kept even if you close the Clip Studio art; you alone can clear it.

With the intermediate color palette and approximate color palette, you get professional color suggestions.

Verdict

No digital drawing and illustration app will have hundreds to thousands of users without efficient color management. Both platforms give you 100% control over your colors.

Advanced Features

Procreate

Procreate does come with some advanced features. A user favorite is 3D painting. With 3D painting, you can edit directly into 3D models and create AR arts.

Like normal 2D painting, it supports interface, gestures, and layers. Also, Procreate comes with a built-in Lighting Studio for properly customizing your art environment.

Another advanced feature is FacePaint, you can paint directly into your photos and videos. With QuickShape, you’ll get a perfect shape every time you attempt to draw one. Furthermore, there’s Drawing Assist for streamlining.

Clip Studio

You get most of Clip Studio’s advanced features with the Clip Studio Ex version. For example, while you can only create single-page illustrations and comics with the Clip Studio Pro version, you can create multi-page comics with the Ex version.

Furthermore, the Ex version lets you work with unlimited frames, unlike the Pro version that’s limited to 24 frames. In addition, you will only create dot shading and lines from images and 3D models if you have the Ex version.

Verdict

Comparing the functionalities, you get more advanced tools with Procreate than with Clip Studio.

Supported Files

Procreate

Files you create using Procreate are saved in the .procreate file format. In other words, Procreate has a native file format and you can’t open the file with any other app. The advantage of working with .procreate files is that they are very fast.

Aside from .procreate, Procreate lets you import PSD, JPEG, PNG, GIF, TIFF, PDF, MP4, OBJ, USDZ, and HEVC file formats. For exporting, the supported file formats include PDF, PNG, MP4, and HEVC. Notably, you can export 3D files as OBJ or USDZ files.

Clip Studio

.clip is Clip Studio’s native file format. There’s also the .lip format for Clip Studio Paint files. The platform lets you import files from different programs. Some popular ones include JPEG, PNG, TIFF, BMP, PSD, IPV, KAKO, and PSB to name a few.

You can save or export your works in different formats as well. The supported formats includes’ Clip Studio’s native formats .clip & .lip, JPEG, PNG, TIFF, PSD, and PSB. Clip Studio still supports more file formats aside from the ones listed.

Verdict

The winner here is Clip Studio as it supports more formats than Procreate.

Compatibility

Procreate

As mentioned earlier, Procreate is only available for iPad. The Procreate Pocket for iPhone is a somewhat mini version. The app is currently in its 5.2.5 version and requires at least iPadOS 14.4 to work.

In other words, you can’t use Procreate if you use the 12.9 or 11-inch iPad Pro, from 1st to 5th generation, and older iPads. Similarly, you need a compatible Apple Pencil to use Procreate. Fortunately, most old Apple Pencils will work with most recent iPads.

Clip Studio

Clip Studio is a multi-platform art studio. The app is available for Windows, macOS, iPad, iPhone, Android, Samsung Galaxy, and Chromebook.

For Windows, you need a 64-bit operating system running on Windows 8 or a more recent version. Similarly, you need at least macOS 10.14 to use Clip Studio. The app supports iPadOS and iOS version 14 upward.

Verdict

Supporting only iPad and iPhone is Procreate major cons. In terms of compatibility, it doesn’t come close to Clip Studio which supports iPad, iPhone, Android, Windows, Chromebook, and macOS.

Customer Support

Procreate

On the Procreate support portal, you can access the user handbook. The handbook contains everything you need to know about Procreate and how to use it.

If you wish to speak with a member of the Procreate team, simply complete the contact form and they’ll reach out to you. Aside from the support portal, there’s an FAQ, Education section, stories, and the Procreate community where users can share experiences.

Clip Studio

As a Clip Studio user, you can learn more about using the tool via the tutorials page. Clip Studio also features other online resources like FAQ to help users find answers.

Users can communicate and help each other via the Clip Studio community. You can chat with the Clip Studio team directly when you log in.

Verdict

There’s nothing to separate Clip Studio and Procreate in terms of customer support. Both platforms provide their users with all the help they need.

Pricing

Procreate Pricing

Procreate is a premium art studio app but it doesn’t require subscriptions. You only pay a one-time fee to buy the app. The prices include:

  • Procreate For iPad: $10 one-time payment
  • Procreate Pocket For iPhone: $5 one-time payment

You have to pay directly from the Apple Store before you can download the apps.

Clip Studio Pricing

Clip Studio is premium but you can try the app free for a limited time, depending on the platform. After that, you either pay a one-time fee for desktop only or pay monthly subscriptions for desktop or mobile. The free trials include:

  • Android version: free for the first 3 months
  • Galaxy version: free for the first 6 months
  • iPhone version: free for 1 hour every day
  • iPad version: free for the first 3 months
  • Chromebook version: free for the first 3 months
  • Windows/macOS version: free for the first 3 months

For the paid pricing, Clip Studio offers different prices for different devices and different versions. The main pricing plans include:

Windows/macOS Buy Prices

  • Clip Studio Paint Pro: $49.99 one-time payment
  • Clip Studio Paint Ex: $219 one-time payment

Monthly Plans

For the monthly plans, the pricing depends not only on the app version but also on the number of devices you intend to use the app on. The plans include:

Clip Studio Paint Ex

  • Single device plan: $8.99 per month or $71.99 per year
  • Dual device plan: $12.49 per month or $99.99 per year
  • Premium Plan (4 devices): $14.99 per month or $117.99 per year
  • Smartphone-only Plan: $2.49 per month or $16.99 per year

Clip Studio Paint Ex

  • Single device plan: $4.49 per month or $24.99 per year
  • Dual device plan: $7.49 per month or $43.99 per year
  • Premium Plan (4 devices): $8.99 per month or $53.99 per year
  • Smartphone-only Plan: $0.99 per month or $6.49 per year

Verdict

While Clip Studio and Procreate are primarily premium apps, Procreate has more straightforward pricing than Clip Studio. You pay a one-time fee and you can use the app for life. Also, comparing Clip Studio and Procreate prices, Procreate is more affordable.

Similarities

  • Both apps are for art, drawing, painting
  • Both Procreate and Clip Studio are premium apps
  • Both apps support importing Photoshop brushes
  • With either Clip Studio or Procreate, you get support for animations
  • Both platforms support the import and export of different file formats
  • Clip Studio and Procreate feature native file formats

Differences

  • Clip Studio supports Windows, macOS, Chromebook, iPhone, iPad, and Android while Procreate only supports iPad and iPhone
  • Clip Studio offers limited free trials while Procreate doesn’t
  • Procreate requires one-time payment to purchase while Clip Studio offers both one-time payment to purchase (desktop only) and monthly subscriptions
  • Procreate is a raster editing app while Clip Studio is a vector editor although you can still rasterize layers
  • Clip Studio supports more files for import and export than Procreate

Pros & Cons

Procreate Pros

  • Affordable one-time payment
  • Minimal interface
  • Fast performance
  • For raster graphics
  • Large brush library
  • Built-in brush studio
  • Animation assist
  • Color management
  • Native file format

Procreate Cons

  • No free trial
  • Supports only iOS/iPhone

Clip Studio Pros

  • Free trial
  • For vector graphics
  • Customize brushes
  • Supports multiple operating systems and devices
  • More drawing and illustrating tools
  • Native file format

Clip Studio Cons

  • Complex pricing
  • Stacked interface

Conclusion – Procreate vs Clip Studio

The best app between Procreate and Clip Studio depends on what device you’re using and the functions you need. In terms of performance, however, Procreate beats Clip Studio.

The app is exclusive to iPad and iPhone so it’s able to leverage processing technologies exclusive to these Apple Devices. This is unlike Clip Studio which supports Android and also desktop devices.

If you need an app for processing vectors, you can’t use Procreate. On the other hand, Clip Studio is primarily a vector processing app with the option to rasterize layers.

Procreate is the best option if you need a digital painting app for your iPad or iPhone. If you use an Android, Windows, Chromebook, or macOS device, you should use Clip Studio instead.

About Author

Tom loves to write on technology, e-commerce & internet marketing. I started my first e-commerce company in college, designing and selling t-shirts for my campus bar crawl using print-on-demand. Having successfully established multiple 6 & 7-figure e-commerce businesses (in women’s fashion and hiking gear), I think I can share a tip or 2 to help you succeed.