This is my final post on the subject, my apologies if you find it boring. It’s just that Procreate has issued an official statement, in which James Cuda (co-founder and CEO of Procreate) says that Kyle Lambert’s portrait of Morgan Freeman is genuine:
“He really is an amazing artist and our whole team is astounded to see Kyle set a new benchmark for what’s possible using ProcreateTM. In fact this portrait of Morgan Freeman is so realistic, so well crafted, many believe it’s a fake. This is testimony to the quality of Kyle’s ability. His work is so realistic, it’s practically indistinguishable from the reference photograph by Scott Gries.”
“The controversy prompted us to check the source file for ourselves, and after analysis we were able to verify that what we are seeing, is the real deal. The fact it was created with ProcreateTM on iPad is testament to the powerful combination of tools available to artists, without the massive price tag of a desktop workstation and software.”
This bugs the hell out of me, because the painting is fake. I’m not going to repeat myself, or post video’s on how he did it. But here’s a post on Reddit (by mrkite77) with the final proof, from fotoforensics.
If you look at the data from the final painting, you’ll see that the Document Ancestors lists the ID “xmp.did:FCF3354E1D2068119C8FF671883ADEBE”.
This is the ID of the original photo by Scott Gries, which you can check here. The ID of the photo is mentioned in the ancestors lists of Kyles painting. This means that the photo was pasted into the document at some point. But Kyle has stated that:
(…) at no stage was the original photograph on my iPad or inside the Procreate app. Procreate documents the entire painting process, so even if I wanted to import a photo layer it would have shown in the video export from the app.
So he lies.
And the second thing you can see at fotoforensics is that the Software History shows that the “painting” was created entirely on Photoshop CS5 and CS6 on a Mac.
This was never on an iPad. And thus, not created in Procreate. So that’s an even bigger lie.
Note that because the “painting” wasn’t created in Procreate but in Photoshop, he literally speaks the truth when he says that “at no stage was the original photograph on my iPad or inside the Procreate app”.
Why, why, why would Procreates CEO James Cuda claim - without giving any proof at all - that it’s created in Procreate? This smells like a very cheap marketing stunt.
Now, what do I care? Well, it cheapens real artists. I love art and I admire artists who create beautiful portraits, for example acostaimages, joaquimmeira, mademistakes. Or Sam Spratt. Or artists like Nikolai Lockertsen.
Procreate shouldn’t support or endorse fakers like Kyle. It should celebrate creativity and originality! You don’t need to create photorealistic artwork, just create something using your talents.
On the plus side: you can’t fake this easily with 53’s Paper.
Has this been debunked as fake?
At first I was suspicious because the Procreate UI never changes in the video except during the beginning when he’s fooling with the color picker. But realized he probably just overlayed the video Procreate records as you work on top of a static iPad screen.
Other than that you see the dude’s strokes happening as he draws and to my knowledge if he was tracing a photo on another layer that would show in the capture.
Not to mention his other iPad work and reputation seem fairly legit to me unless this is some sort of stunt to generate interest in Procreate after its recent 2.0 update.
There is a nice discussion on it on Reddit. The consensus, I think, is that it is indeed fake. His other work is okay, but not this photorealistic.
When you overlay his painting with the original photo, it’s an exact match, literally down to the pixel. There is no way it is possible to draw that precise. Even when you’re tracing a photo (which would indeed show up in a screen capture) you can’t trace every hair, every wrinkle pixel perfect the same as the original you’re tracing. And the video suggests that he’s not tracing, but painting from scratch.
The only way this could be done, is if you start with a photo and then paint over it, blurring out details. And then replay the video backwards.
And finally, there’s this nice explanation why it’s fake:
Here’s an idea. Imagine Fiftythree would acquire Procreate. You’d get a regular Paper and a new ProPaper. Regular Paper is for brainstorming, note taking, quick scribbles. ProPaper would have some of tools from Fiftythree (the nice watercolor and color mixer), but with all the settings from Procreate, like custom brushes, layers, opacity, etc.
Wacom plays nice with ipad air?
It does. Although it needs a little bit more pressure than on the older iPads. Here’s an official reaction from Wacom:
"It seems that the iPad Air touch sensor is a bit different than in previous iPads. Reports say that the glass is thinner (less layers) and probably there is a difference in the power to the touch sensor. This can require some more pressure with the pen to get any reaction independant of the Bluetooth connection. - We actually have already different nibs for the Bamboo Stylus Solo - firm and more soft - and the same nibs are used for the Creative Stylus. However, the nibs used there are already the softer version. We have to check, if an even softer version is possible."
This is only an issue if you already have a Wacom Creative Stylus and are used to it on an older iPad (3 or 4). If you then switch to an iPad Air, you might notice the difference.
I saw this post on the Procreate forum, referring to a post in which I compared different drawing apps:
Based on his explanation of procreate… Sebastian doesn’t know what he’s talking about.
If he thinks Paper’s brushes are ‘more realistic’ or that papers watercolor brushes act even remotely like actual watercolor, or don’t stamp a pattern) he’s really not very familiar with how these apps work.
I wouldn’t call 53 perfectionists, either. I’ld call them too lazy to Improve their app.
Seriously… What supposedly professional artist thinks Paper is superior to Procreate?
I like 53’s Paper. And I like Procreate. They are different apps, aimed at different users. But it’s not the tool that makes the artist, so suggesting that no “professional” artist uses a certain tool… That’s a bit silly. Or that you are a professional because you use certain tools… That’s even sillier. A marketing professor at my University used to say: “you can recognize an amateur by his expensive professional equipment”. A real pro can create masterpieces with nothing but a cheap paper and pencil. (And I’m a genuine amateur myself, I draw for fun.)
Procreate has got the all layer options and brush settings you see in a lot of (desktop) drawing apps. And they have managed to put all that in a beautiful iPad application. That’s really amazing. But for quick sketching, Paper is the better application, thanks to its smart user interface and tools that just work. And its watercolor tool is different, it has some smart color engine and dynamics that somehow isn’t just stamp based like Procreate’s brushes.
But… Procreate is improving its user interface, and has some smart gestures. And they’ve added some nice new features in the recent update. Procreate also supports different styli with pressure sensitivity. Nikko’s brushes are a great set and he makes amazing illustrations in Procreate, that would be impossible to create with Paper.
And I really miss pressure support in the current version of Paper. And $50 for a blend tool feels a bit… overpriced.
I keep switching applications and styli these days. Then again, I do the same with conventional tools, switching between pen & ink, Copic markers, pencil, watercolor… and between digital and conventional tools.