Manga Stu­dio 5.0.5

We take a look at Smith Mi­cro’s lat­est ad­di­tions and re­vi­sions to its comic cre­ation tool

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We take a look at Smith Mi­cro’s lat­est ad­di­tions and re­vi­sions to its ca­pa­ble comic cre­ation tool.

The trans­form fil­ters are bril­liant for psy­che­delic ef­fects or sub­tly al­ter­ing ob­jects

Manga Stu­dio neatly com­bines a pow­er­ful but user-friendly drawing pack­age with es­sen­tial comic book tools, such as the abil­ity to plan pan­els and add speech bub­bles. While there hasn’t been a full up­date since our re­view back in is­sue 102, pub­lisher Smith Mi­cro has been de­liv­er­ing in­cre­men­tal up­dates.

The lat­est brings the soft­ware up to ver­sion 5.0.5, which is a free up­date if you have ei­ther the stan­dard edi­tion or the more ex­pen­sive EX ver­sion, which has pro fea­tures that make it eas­ier to cre­ate mul­ti­ple page comic books. One of the most sig­nif­i­cant new ad­di­tions is trans­form fil­ters, such as pinch, fish­eye lens, wave and whirlpool. Th­ese will be familiar to users of Pho­to­shop, and are as bril­liant for cre­at­ing psy­che­delic ef­fects as for sub­tly al­ter­ing ob­jects or small parts of an im­age.

In the EX ver­sion the story edi­tor can edit lines in batches rather than one at a time, so that you can get an over­view of your whole story and keep ev­ery­thing flow­ing nicely. This is also per­fect for when your writer gets back to you with a grand re­vi­sion of that story you’re work­ing on. The EX ver­sion also adds com­mon bind­ing pro­cesses, com­plete with pre­sets, for when you fi­nally take the fin­ished ar­ti­cle to the prin­ters.

Manga-spe­cific in­tro­duc­tions have in­cluded LT con­ver­sion of lay­ers, which re­sults in the familiar line and dot fill of the art­form while pre­serv­ing finer de­tails in back­grounds. This works with both 2D back­grounds and those cre­ated us­ing the 3D tools in Manga Stu­dio 5, and it can be used with images im­ported from your com­puter. Fi­nally, font pre­views make it easy to choose the right type­faces for the job.

The learn­ing curve is a lit­tle too steep if you’re com­ing from Pho­to­shop, and get­ting it to run full-screen is a faff. But this is a sin­gu­lar piece of soft­ware, and we’re ea­ger for the next in­stal­ment.

Comipa’s Elle high­lights Manga

Stu­dio’s wa­ter­colour brushes.

Takuya Rawr’s Di­vin­ity proves that Manga Stu­dio isn’t just for cre­at­ing line art.

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