Set­ting up in Clip Stu­dio Paint

Max­imise your workspace with Tan Hui Tian’s ad­vice.

ImagineFX: Sci-fi & Fantasy Art magazine - - Contents -

Clip Stu­dio Paint, for­merly known as Manga Stu­dio, is cre­ative soft­ware used for pro­duc­ing manga and comics. It comes in three dif­fer­ent ver­sions: De­but, Pro and EX. The most ex­pen­sive, EX, adds the ca­pa­bil­ity to as­sem­bling multi-page doc­u­ments, and is a worth­while up­grade for comic artists who don’t al­ready have desk­top pub­lish­ing soft­ware such as Adobe’s InDe­sign. You can learn more about the dif­fer­ent ver­sions by visit­ing www.clip­stu­dio.net. Un­like Pho­to­shop or Corel Painter, Clip Stu­dio Paint was built with manga art in mind. While not pos­sess­ing pow­er­ful scripts or re­al­is­tic paint­ing sim­u­la­tion, Clip Stu­dio Paint has ef­fec­tive draw­ing tools, in­clud­ing cus­tom stroke sta­bil­i­sa­tion, var­i­ous ruler modes (for ex­am­ple, per­spec­tive and sym­met­ri­cal), a built-in 3D model poser and more. Even if you’re not draw­ing manga scenes, Clip Stu­dio Paint can be help­ful in speed­ing up your work­flow.

I’m go­ing to fo­cus on the tech­ni­cal skills needed for il­lus­tra­tion specif­i­cally, and show you some pro­duc­tiv­ity tips that you can use from the get-go, to help you set up your can­vas and workspace.

1 Set­ting up your workspace

The de­fault workspace looks like the im­age shown here. Those fa­mil­iar with Pho­to­shop and the like will no­tice some sim­i­lar­i­ties. I find this setup too crowded and so I hide the right­most tabs (ev­ery­thing be­low the Nav­i­ga­tor and the Ma­te­rial tab) and drag out the Sub Tool and Color Wheel tabs on the left.

2 Cre­at­ing a new doc­u­ment

To cre­ate a new can­vas, press Ctrl+N or click File> New. You can name your file and ad­just the Pa­per colour in the pop-up win­dow. In­stead of typ­ing the height and width, you can choose from var­i­ous pre­sets for com­mon in­ter­na­tional pa­per sizes, found un­der the Post­card op­tion. In the Ex or Pro ver­sion, you can also set up pre-press guides such as bleed area. I pre­fer to set up my pa­per colour as a neu­tral mid-tone, so that it’s eas­ier to block in val­ues later.

3 Ex­plor­ing the tool­bar

The tool­bar is di­vided into three sub-groups: Move & Se­lect; Brushes & Erasers; and Paint, Line & Type. Of note are the Op­er­a­tion tool (trans­form im­age ma­te­ri­als/frame bor­ders, se­lect lay­ers, and op­er­ate 3D ma­te­ri­als and rulers); the Dec­o­ra­tion tool (stamp im­age pat­terns); and Con­tour Line Paint tool (for cre­at­ing a smooth gra­da­tion be­tween two coloured lines).

4 Us­ing the Color tabs

Sim­i­lar to Paint Tool SAI, Clip Stu­dio Paint comes with a Color Wheel, which is a much faster way of choos­ing colours than Pho­to­shop’s Color Picker. You can switch to HLS and HSV colour space with the coloured but­ton on the bot­tom right. Some­thing that sets Clip Stu­dio Paint apart from its com­peti­tors is the abil­ity to use trans­parency as a colour.

5 The Nav­i­ga­tor and In­for­ma­tion di­alogs

Per­haps the most over­looked tabs in most draw­ing pro­grams, the Nav­i­ga­tor and In­for­ma­tion di­alogs are use­ful in cer­tain sit­u­a­tions. If you need to draw or se­lect pre­cise frames in Clip Stu­dio Paint, the In­for­ma­tion dia­log dis­plays pixel-pre­cise in­for­ma­tion. Mean­while, the Nav­i­ga­tor dia­log en­ables you to check your work at a dis­tance.

Click this to show more op­tions. Change the colour space to HSV or HLS by click­ing the Color Wheel but­ton (bot­tom right). Ad­just your tool set­tings in the Tool Prop­erty panel. The short­cut to change brush size is [ and ]. Click this to hide the tool tab. Each folder in­di­cates dif­fer­ent types of ma­te­ri­als.

You can re­size the Tool tabs by drag­ging them out first.

Switch be­tween the cur­rent colour and trans­par­ent by press­ing C. You can edit and cre­ate new colour sets here. Keep the Color Wheel open for fast colour selec­tion. You can flip can­vas ori­en­ta­tion here, in­stead of typ­ing the val­ues man­u­ally. Print res­o­lu­tion is at least 300dpi. Take note of the units be­fore you cre­ate your can­vas.

The pre­view (and ac­tual) can­vases will re­main un­changed. Ro­tate the can­vas view by in­cre­ments of de­grees by us­ing the slid­ers.

You can change the or­der of the icons by drag­ging them. The Pen and Pen­cil share a short­cut (P), and the rest (apart from Eraser and Color mix­ing) use B. The Op­er­a­tion tool en­ables you to trans­form or ro­tate im­age el­e­ments, se­lect lay­ers and more.

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