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How to create and upload patterns for print on demand using only Procreate

If you love the look of analog illustrations but don't want to give up the practicality of digital art, you need to try the drawing app, Procreate. With Procreate, you can retire your computer and take a complete art studio wherever you go. And on top of that, you can still upload your creations to your Colab55 Studio, straight from your iPad.

A lot of people already use Procreate to draw but still transfer the elements to the computer when creating patterns, not knowing that you can do the entire process on the iPad itself! With the help of templates, you can export the artwork in the right size and add it to products in Colab55. This makes it super easy to keep your Studio always up to date.

In this post you will learn how to set up the templates correctly, create an all-over print in Procreate and add the artworks to your products - without even touching the computer.

Creating Templates

Follow the step by step in the image and the tutorial below to create your templates in Procreate:

  • Inside the gallery, click the + sign to open the new canvas menu. Then click on the black rectangle to create a custom canvas. Let's start by creating the template for Posters, Cards and Towels.

  • In dimensions, put the specifications according to the template you’d like to create, which in this case, must be 3000 x 4300 pixels at 300DPI

  • Under Color Profile, make sure the RGB option is selected.

  • You’ve probably seen a time lapse on instagram, those accelerated videos showing the entire process of a drawing, from sketch to final art. Procreate creates time lapses automatically and they are super cool to share. In this tab, you can choose the quality of this video.

  • Finally, in canvas properties, you can hide the background. This step is optional as you can also do this within the canvas by clicking on layers.

Tip: You recent artboards appear in the predefined list, under the "New Artboard'' menu. Naming it will make it easier to find the next time you need it.

  • Hit the create button and you're done! Here's your template for Posters, Cards and Towels. Don't forget to change the name of the file, to keep everything organized. Click on "Untitled Illustration"and switch to "Posters, Cards & Towels - TEMPLATE".

Now just repeat this process and create a new screen for each product, following the Upload Guide. The only change you will need to make are the dimensions and names of each screen, depending on the product you choose.

After creating a new screen for each product, select each one and click on stack. Now all templates are gathered in a folder, keeping the gallery organized, and your files ready for when you need them. Rename the folder as "Templates POD''.

Pretty easy, isn't it? Each time you create a new artwork for your shop, simply duplicate this folder and add the art to the templates..

How to make an all-over pattern in Procreate

  • Create a new canvas by clicking + inside the gallery. Under dimensions, write 5000 x 5000 pixels. Keep the DPI at 300.

  • Draw 2 main elements for your pattern, each on its own layer, taking up about ¼ of the canvas. Also draw some secondary elements to complement your design.

  • Duplicate this screen to keep your original file intact. You can use these elements when creating prints for t-shirts or stickers, for example. Rename your files: Flowers - Elements and Flowers - Repetition.

  • Within the Repeat file, hide all layers except for one of the main elements. Create a new layer below it and fill it with a contrasting color. Decrease the opacity, and select the 2 layers by dragging to the right side and click to group. Duplicate this group.

Making the repeat

  • Make sure that the adjustment tool is activated under Transform in the lower menu. Drag one group to the right and the other to the left. Don't forget to zoom in to check if the solid colors are perfectly aligned, with no space between them (if there'’ any space in between, your elements won't fit perfectly). Erase the layers with solid colors and combine the 2 layers of the main element.

  • Repeat the same for the next main element, but this time, instead of moving it horizontally, move the groups vertically. Again, erase the layers with solid colors and match the 2 sides of the element

  • Turn off snapping and distribute the secondary elements across the screen. Remember that if you place any of them outside the edge of the canvas, you need to repeat the step with the solid layer (if you position it on the left, you need the other half on the right; if you position it on the upper limit, you need the other half on the bottom) . You can also create a new layer and draw new elements if you need to, or duplicate and reflect existing ones.

Your repeat is ready! Now let's test it out:

  • Group all the elements together and duplicate that group as it's always good to have a copy with the layers separated, in case you need to go back and change anything. You can hide this group, it's only there as a precaution.

  • Flatten the other group. This is your rapport, the part of the pattern that repeats itself.

  • In transform, turn the "adjustment" back on and decrease the size of the rapport to ¼ of the screen size (the guidelines indicate when it is the exact size).

  • Then duplicate and drag to the side, and then down until it fills the screen.

  • Take a close look at all the elements, to make sure everything matches perfectly.

  • After you make sure your pattern is O.K., click on Actions > Copy Screen. After that, just open one of the template screens and click Actions > Paste. When the canvas is filled with the pattern, save the image in png or jpg and upload it to your print on demand website.


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