Title : How To Group Layers In Procreate
Date: 11 Jul 23, Auth: Robert S.

The Ultimate Step-by-Step Guide to Grouping Layers in Procreate

The digital creative universe has grown exponentially with several design applications such as Procreate offering a wide array of tools and possibilities. As artists and designers dive deeper, they often grapple with the challenge of managing numerous layers in their artwork, which can become a daunting task. Mastering the art of efficiently grouping layers in Procreate can help creatives keep their work orderly, streamlined, and more manageable.

Grouping layers is an essential technique in Procreate that can immensely help digital artists optimize their work process. It allows users to order similar layers into one stack, making it easier to control and manipulate multiple layers simultaneously. It is a key organizational feature that increases efficiency and can potentially take your design skills to the next level.

This article is your step-by-step manual on how to proficiently assemble layers in Procreate. Whether you're a beginning digital artist still trying to get the hang of this popular art application or an experienced illustrator seeking to improve your workflow, this guide will provide you with valuable insights. Prepare to transform your creative process and produce outstanding digital artworks.

Comprehending the Significance of Layer Grouping in Procreate

When working with Procreate, a digital illustration app, artists often have to deal with multiple layers in their artwork. As the complexity of the artwork increases, so does the number of layers. The process of layer management can, therefore, become quite overwhelming. This is where the significance of grouping layers in Procreate comes into play.

Efficiency of Organization

Grouping layers brings a new level of organization to your workspace. Instead of having to sift through a large collection of layers to find the one you need, grouped layers allow you to navigate through your design easily. It’s a neat method to compartmentalize different aspects or stages of your illustration in a stack, making layers more accessible.

Maintaining Consistency

Another useful aspect of grouping layers in Procreate is the ability it provides to maintain uniformity in your designs. You can modify or apply adjustments, effects, or filters to the entire group of layers simultaneously, ensuring consistency throughout the design.

Enhanced Control

Working with layer groups gives artists enhanced control over their work. They can lock, hide, or even adjust the opacity of a group of layers all at once without affecting the rest of the design. Grouping also allows artists to experiment freely with layers within a group, allowing more artistic freedom and creative exploration.

Thus, understanding the benefits and importance of grouping layers in digital illustration software like Procreate can significantly improve your efficiency and artistry as a digital artist.

Commencing the Layer Grouping Journey in Procreate: Familiarising Yourself with the User Interface

The first stride towards mastering layer grouping in Procreate starts with something fundamental — understanding the distinctive control elements in Procreate's user tier. Procreate offers an impactful yet straightforward design that caters to artists' differing requirements.

The toolbar is the centrepiece of this creative powerhouse, where pivotal actions such as adding and managing layers take place. It's found at the top of your interface, granting speedy access to essential tools. In order, the toolbar hosts the Gallery button, the Adjustments tab, Selections, Layers, and Actions.

A crucial component found on the toolbar is the Layers Pane. The Layers Pane embodies the heart of our discussion - layer organization in Procreate. Here, users can create, rename, group and delete layers. One can also adjust transparency or transform a layer from this panel. This pane stays inconspicuous until you tap the Layers button, revealing a quadrant filled with potential greatness.

Color docks are located on the top right-hand side of your screen. The artistic palette comes in two forms; the Disc, offering hue and saturation controls, and the Classic, where colors can be adjusted by RGB sliders.

The brushes tool, depending on your orientation, is situated on either side of your interface. The brushes library presents a vast array of options, deemed unmissable for the modern digital artist.

Similarly, the smudge and erase tools tap into the brushes library, allowing users to customize them to create a bespoke artistic toolset.

Before we dive into layer grouping, take some time to explore these fundamental features to familiarize yourself with Procreate’s user interface. It's the first step to becoming proficient at a very handy feature of this powerful design app.

Step Two: Starting to Generate New Layers on Procreate

Sowing the seeds of creativity entails introducing additional layers on Procreate, a crucial prologue to the symphony of creating comprehensive digital artwork. These layers act like transparent sheets overlapping one another, providing space to independently work on elements of your design without disturbing the rest.

Let's delve into the procedure of generating new layers in Procreate:

    1. To kick off, hit the '+' button based at the top right of the 'Layers Panel'. This action instantially gives birth to a new layer.
    2. In case of working with an active artwork, select 'Add' from the layer menu, followed by 'Create Layer' to incorporate a fresh layer.
    3. If you aim to integrate a layer above or below an existing one, select the layer and click on 'Create Layer' option. This would place the new layer in your desired position.

While generating layers might appear trivial, it is an essential step in keeping your digital workspace organized. Layers pave way for a smooth, flexible and error-free designing process, giving you the liberty to experiment without enduring the fear of ruining your masterpiece.

Remember: Procreate offers a limited number of layers, contingent on the resolution of your canvas. Use these layers judiciously to make the most of this powerful tool and create spellbinding artwork!

Diving Deeper Into Procreate's Layer Options

In the third phase of mastering layer organization in Procreate, it is essential to grasp the variety of options associated with layers. Procreate provides a myriad of features that can help you take complete control and maximize your layers' function.

The Layer Panel

The layer panel in Procreate is your control center for all layer-related activities. You can find it in the top right corner of the interface. Tapping on the layers button, distinctive with a stack of squares, will pull out the layer panel.

        1. Layer Visibility: Each layer is equipped with a check mark that toggles the visibility of the layer. You can click to hide or unhide your layers, aiding in focusing on individual elements during the designing process.
        2. Layer Opacity: Located next to the check mark, a slide bar lets you adjust the opacity of your layer. This enables you to make certain design elements more or less prominent in your artwork.
        3. Layer Modes: More commonly referred to as blend modes, these options allow you to modify how your layer interacts with the layers below it. It's a valuable tool for experts who aim to create more advanced, professional-grade designs.

Beyond these options, the layer panel also offers additional capabilities such as renaming layers for better organization, duplicating layers and deleting unwanted layers.

Remember, layers are the backbone of any digital artwork in Procreate. Understanding the dynamic options available for each layer becomes crucial when handling complex designs where distinct elements must coexist harmoniously.

The Fourth Step: Choosing Multiple Layers in the Procreate Art Application

The ability to select multiple layers is an essential tool in Procreate, which aids in organizing and editing your artwork. Simultaneously selecting multiple layers allows you to move, transform, and apply various effects to all selected layers at once.

Performing this action is straightforward. Begin by tapping on the layer you wish to start with, without sliding it. Then, without lifting your finger or stylus from the screen, tap on any other layers you wish to select with a second finger. This way, you can choose as many layers as you want to include in your selection.

Alternatively, you can activate the 'Select Multiple' option. Simply tap on the word 'Select' at the top of the layers panel. This will switch Procreate into a mass selection mode, where you can easily add or remove layers from your selection by tapping on them. Once you're content with the selected layers, tap 'Done' to finish.

An important note, when multiple layers are selected, any action performed will affect all layers simultaneously. For example, you can group them, move them together, or apply the same adjustments to all chosen layers simultaneously. This functionality makes managing complex artworks much easier.

Also, remember that any changes made to a layer while it is selected will remain even after you deselect it. However, you can always undo these changes using the handy 'Undo' option.

In summary, selecting multiple layers in Procreate is a powerful feature that can save you time and help you maintain consistency throughout your artwork.

Step Five: Guided Approach to Layer Grouping in Procreate

After successfully creating layers and understanding their significance, the next crucial step is grouping them together. Grouping layers can be a lifesaver when working on complicated artwork with numerous layers. It helps to maintain a tidy and well-organized workspace. Follow these steps for an organized, smoother workflow in Procreate.

Conducting Layer Grouping in Procreate

Select the layers you want to group by swiping right on each of them. Then, tap on the 'group' button that's located in the upper-right corner of the layer panel. After you've done this, you will notice your selected layers are now nestled inside a group. You can now manipulate these layers as a collective unit, moving, transforming, or applying settings en masse. This makes managing complex projects a breeze.

        • Swipe right on one layer after another to select the ones you wish to group together. You'll observe a blue highlight on the selected layers.
        • Once you've selected all your preferred layers, press the 'group' button that's found in the top-right corner of the screen. The group button appears once you select more than one item.
        • A new 'group' section would be created in your layer panel, with all your chosen layers inside it, neatly tucked away.
        • You can easily rename the group by double-tapping on the word 'group' and typing in a much more suitable name that aligns with the contents of the group.

This grouping technique not only keeps your artwork organized, but it allows for easier layer management and efficiency in editing. You can now swiftly move, scale, or transform the entire group rather than just one layer at a time, which saves substantial time.

Moreover, specific effects can be applied to the group as a whole. For instance, you can change the group's opacity or blend mode for the whole group without individually adjusting each layer. This option opens up a realm of artistic possibilities with just a few simple steps.

Step Six: How to Label and Arrange Your Grouped Layers

Now that you've effectively grouped your layers in Procreate, the next significant stage is to allocate relevant names to your layer groups and arrange them properly. This additional step significantly impacts your overall productivity and will assist you in effortlessly locating specific layers during your work process.

Naming Your Layer Groups

Designating appropriate titles to your layer groups not only help you quickly identify them but also assist in providing a clear picture of what each group contains. To assign a group a new name, simply double-tap on the layer group, causing a keyboard to appear. Enter your preferred name for the group and hit 'Done'. It is advisable to choose names that are descriptive and succinctly capture the content or purpose of the layer group.

Organizing Your Layer Groups

Upon correctly titling your layer groups, proper organization is equally as essential. Optimally sorting your layer groups helps to streamline your workflow, as it significantly reduces the time spent searching for specific groups. Arrange your layer groups in a manner that mirrors the structure of your artwork or project. Procreate provides a drag-and-drop feature for rearranging layer groups. Just tap, hold and drag a layer group to change its order in the layers panel.

Note: Procreate doesn't limit the number of layers you can put into a group, so you may find yourself with rather large groups. In such a situation, neat organization can aid in quickly locating specific layers.

To sum up, successful operation in Procreate doesn't solely depend on your capability to create and manipulate artwork but also in efficiently managing your workspace. Adopting appropriate naming conventions and organization techniques for your groups of layers is a major stride towards achieving this.

Step Seven: How to Handle Organized Layers on Procreate

In the seventh step of this tutorial, we will examine how to effectively manage your organized layers on Procreate. After you have grouped your layers, it's essential to understand how to manage them, particularly if you're working on a complex project with numerous elements.

One of the significant advantages of grouping layers in Procreate is the ability to apply the same effect or adjustment across multiple layers within that group. For instance, if you want to change the opacity or blend mode for a set of layers, you merely need to apply the changes to the group as a whole, instead of making adjustments one by one.

Moving or rearranging layered groups

To rearrange layer groups, tap and hold onto the group that you would like to move. Then, simply drag and drop it to your preferred location within the layers panel. This convenient feature allows you to easily control the visual hierarchy of your artwork, by moving entire groups of layers up or down in your composition.

If you want to move the entire group of layers on your canvas, with the group selected, use the ‘Move Tool’, located at the top of your screen.

Moreover, Procreate enables you to duplicate or delete layered groups swiftly. To do this, swipe left on the layer group in your layers panel, and then hit either "Duplicate" or "Delete". Alternatively, you can use the layer actions menu for these functions.

        1. Collapsing and Expanding Groups: To reduce clutter within your layers panel, Procreate allows you to collapse and expand your layer groups. This feature can be beneficial when you're dealing with several groups. Simply tap on the arrow next to the group's name to collapse or expand it.
        2. Merging Groups: If you want to merge your grouped layers into a single layer, swipe left on the group in the layers panel, and then tap on "Combine". Beware, though, this action is irreversible, and the original layers within the group cannot be retrieved after the merging process.

Efficiently managing your group layers in Procreate can significantly streamline your workflow and make your digital artistic endeavors more enjoyable and less daunting. Remember, the more you practice, the more proficient you will become at using these features.

Mastering Grouped Layers in Procreate: Expert Suggestions

Arranging layers in categories within the Procreate digital design tool can significantly ameliorate your design workflow. Here, we are going to delve deeper into advanced tips for maneuvering these arranged layers more effectively. Let's unearth the expert tricks for this digital drawing app.

        • Order of layers: While arranging layers as per different elements or sections of the design is beneficial, considering the order of the layers within the group is also essential. Layers are organized from top to bottom. The topmost layer obscures the ones below it, while the bottommost ones work as a foundation. Your understanding of this order can be leveraged to make changes to only specific sections of your design.
        • Using Alpha Lock: The 'Alpha Lock' feature lets you draw only on the existing design of the layer, making it a potent application in complicated design subjects. For instance, shading and detailing expertise can be managed essentially with Alpha Lock. Emphasizing your subject of design, keep in mind this feature can work miracles with your art effectively without affecting other designed areas.
        • Merging Grouped Layers: If you are satisfied with your design in the layers of a group and want to free up some space for new layers, consider merging the layers. This action will combine all the layers into one, but remember, the merge is permanent and can't be undone. So, it's advisable to duplicate the layers or the group before merging.
        • Layer Opacity: Enhance your designs by controlling the opacity and blending modes of your layers. You can vary the opacity for intricate shading or lighting effects, resulting in realistic looking designs. The blending mode can be used to increase or decrease the hardening of the edges and effectively blend colors of separate layers.

Procreate, with its functionality of grouping layers, offers a convenient and faster approach to digital designing. Grasping these advanced techniques will edge your designing skills and broaden your creativity. Start exploring these features and let your designs reflect your refined skills.

Pitfalls and Solutions While Organizing Layers in Procreate

Maintaining an organized workflow is crucial when working with digital art software like Procreate. A significant aspect of this organization are layers, but there are common errors artists often make while organizing these layers.

Frequent Errors and Their Solutions

Loss of Elements:

One of the most common mistakes is not noticing the unintentional loss of elements while moving layers around. To avoid this, ensure to lock the layer before moving it.

Imprecise Positioning:

At times, artists wrongly position layers which can lead to improper alignment with respect to other elements. To avoid this, use the snapping and reference grid options to accurately position your layers.

Excessive Merging:

Another common error is unnecessarily merging multiple layers. This can lead to a loss of flexibility and difficulty in making changes later. It's better to group layers rather than merging them. This keeps things tidy and provides better control over individual elements.


Keeping your workspace tidy is essential for a smooth workflow, so ungrouped or disorganized layers can slow you down. A good practice is to group related layers as soon as you create them. Also remember to name your groups clearly to simplify navigation.

Overlooking Layer Modes:

Misusing or disregarding layer modes can dramatically affect your final output. Gaining a proper understanding of layer modes - like blend mode, alpha lock mode, and mask layer - can greatly enhance your artwork’s quality.

Understanding these common mistakes and how to avoid them can help you use Procreate's layers efficiently, leading to a smoother digital drawing experience. Remember that organizing your layers frequently and efficiently is the key to a simplified, streamlined workflow.

Final Thoughts: Enhancing Your Artistic Workflow with Organized Layers in Procreate

Understanding how to effectively use layers and their groupings can have a profound influence on your workflow in Procreate. The potential to manage diverse elements, whether they're discrete strokes, textures or shapes, becomes drastically more feasible and organized. Not only does it refine your process, it also makes the design space less cluttered, offering a more streamlined, enjoyable experience.

Layer groupings provide the means to navigate through a complex project with ease. Utilize the merge and select multiple functionalities to form a group of layers. With a cohesive group, you have the flexibility to apply transformations, adjust characteristics or alter visibility settings to numerous layers simultaneously, which can save a considerable amount of time.

        • It's easier to isolate sections of your project for targeted alterations instead of painstakingly selecting individual layers.
        • Layer groups promote efficient layer management, minimizing the potential for misplaced or lost work.
        • By implementing groups, you can reduce unnecessary cognitive load, allowing you to focus mainly on the creative aspects of your project.

The use of layer grouping in Procreate enables you to become more organized, thus skilfully handling intricate projects with numerous layers. Fine tuning your method with these tactics promotes an improved, efficient Procreate experience, ultimately leading to more professional and powerful results in your artistic endeavours.

Without Layer Groups With Layer Groups
Efficiency Low High
Organization Poor Excellent
Design Space Cluttered Clean
Navigation Confusing Simple

In conclusion, integrating the tool of layer grouping into your Procreate workflow can optimize your artistic process, making it more streamlined, organized, and efficient. It's a powerful way to take your digital artistry to the next level.

FAQ: How to group layers in procreate

What are layer groups in Procreate?

Layer groups in Procreate are an organizational tool that allow you to group layers together in a tidy and structured way. This makes your entire working process more efficient, especially if you are working on an artwork with multiple parts or elements.

How can layer groups streamline my art process in Procreate?

By using layer groups, you can easily manage complex artwork with multiple parts. You can move, transform, hide, and adjust all layers in a group at once which saves time. It eliminates the need to browse through numerous layers and thus streamlines your work process.

How do I create a layer group in Procreate?

First, open the Layers panel. Select multiple layers by swiping right on them. Then, click Group at the top of the Layers panel to group the selected layers together. Now, you have made a layer group.

Can I adjust all layers in a group at once?

Yes. You can apply adjustments to all layers in a group at once such as opacity, blend modes and effects. To do this, select the group in the layers and then apply the adjustments as you would do to any single layer.

How can I rename a layer group in Procreate?

To rename a layer group in Procreate, simply tap on the name of the layer group when you have it selected. This will bring up the text box allowing you to rename it.

Can I move a layer to a different group?

Yes. To move a layer to another group, hold down on the layer you want to move until it "lifts up". Then, drag it down to the new group and let go. The layer will now be a part of the new group.

How can I use Procreate on my iPad for digital art creation?

To use Procreate on your iPad for digital art creation, download the Procreate app from the App Store, open it, and start creating your artwork using various brushes and tools.

Can you explain how to merge layers in Procreate?

To merge layers in Procreate, first, open your Layers panel, select the layers you want to merge, and then click on the "Merge Down" icon, represented by two layers merging into one.

What are the steps to ungroup layers in Procreate?

To ungroup layers in Procreate, open your Layers panel, select the group you want to ungroup, and then click on the "Ungroup" icon, represented by two squares separating.

How do I create a new layer in Procreate for my artwork?

To create a new layer in Procreate, click on the "+" icon at the top right of the Layers panel, and a new, blank layer will be added to your canvas.

How can I lock a layer in Procreate to prevent accidental edits?

To lock a layer in Procreate, simply swipe right on the layer you want to lock in the Layers panel, and a padlock icon will appear, indicating that the layer is now locked.

Can you explain how to delete a layer in Procreate?

To delete a layer in Procreate, select the layer you want to remove in the Layers panel, then click on the "Delete" icon, represented by a trash bin, at the top left of the panel.

How do I group and ungroup layers in Procreate for better organization?

To group layers in Procreate, select the layers you want to group, click on the "New Group" icon at the top left of the Layers panel, and to ungroup, tap on the "Ungroup" icon.

What is the benefit of using layers in Procreate for digital art?

Using layers in Procreate allows you to work with multiple elements independently, making it easier to edit, move, and arrange various parts of your artwork.

How can I combine layers in Procreate to merge multiple elements?

To combine layers in Procreate, select the layers you want to merge, and then click on the "Merge Down" icon to combine them into one layer.

Can you explain how to duplicate a layer in Procreate?

To duplicate a layer in Procreate, select the layer you want to duplicate, then click on the "Duplicate" icon, represented by two sheets of paper, at the top right of the Layers panel.

How can I select a different layer in Procreate?

To select a different layer in Procreate, tap on the Layers icon, which looks like two stacked squares, and then choose the desired layer from the list of layers displayed.

Can you explain how to group layers in Procreate to organize my artwork?

To group layers in Procreate, first, select the layers you want to group by swiping right on each layer, then tap on the "New Group" icon, represented by a folder with a plus sign, to create a new group.

How do I move layers around in Procreate to rearrange my artwork?

To move layers around in Procreate, simply select the layer you want to move, then drag it to the desired position in the Layers panel.

What is the purpose of the background layer in Procreate?

The background layer in Procreate serves as the foundation of your artwork. It is the default layer upon which you can add and arrange other elements.

Can you explain how to create a group and drag layers into it in Procreate?

To create a group in Procreate, tap on the "New Group" icon, and a new group will be created. Then, drag the layers you want to include into the group to organize them together.