Saturday, 12 September 2015

me & manga studio 5

I thought I had it already but couldn't find it in applications (I bought Anime Studio Pro by mistake). So I invested yet another $80 in software to get Manga Studio 5. This was going to be my summer holiday project but I got a bit excited and jumped the gun.

I've posted this drawing here before but I made some changes in Manga Studio today - more shading and applying a texture to the board. Easy as - just select the area with the Magic Wand and drag the texture in. Which is cool if you want to apply the 'halftone' dots you see in comics. The background is an MS freebie. I am planning to do an original eventually. And I haven't finished the soles of the shoes - you can see the clouds through them.

You can import as a psd (with all layers preserved) - which supports my method of hand drawing and Live Tracing in Illustrator to colour in another program. The pencil is much better than PS and the brushes are really nice to use. You can rotate your work easily but I haven't figured out how to do that yet. The interface is a bit different to Illustrator and Photoshop, but similar enough so you can feel your way around until you get to some tutorials. For some reason it saves automatically as RGB which is a bit of a nuisance if you are doing stuff for print but it's easily fixed.

I think this is definitely the program for people who like drawing.


  1. Stock backgrounds, eh? Interesting. Looks good too.

    The Photoshop file format seems to have become a bit of a defacto standard, hasn't it?

    Easy rotation seems to have become a very popular feature in drawing applications in the last couple of years.

    What's so good about the pencil?

  2. Stock backgrounds are much better than I could do at this stage Alex. But I am now in the process of creating my own.

    Yes, it's great how these files are interchangeable. I am now using Manga Studio, Photoshop and Illustrator together.

    The pencil and the brush are just so much more intuitive. They behave a lot more like the real thing. And you get some stock choices which means I don't have to frig around with brush settings. Just very practical. I'm not big on creating and saving brushes so it works for me.

  3. I know what you mean about brushes. I love having a really good brush editor that lets me get in and modify everything and make some really interesting creations … BUT … I also love having a huge collection of really nice presets so that I don't have to.

    It's one of the main things MyPaint has going for it, in my opinion.

  4. I guess there are so many programs for digital drawing now and it's a matter of finding the one that suits you. I don't know about MyPaint.

    I should probbaly look into the open source programs but because I teach for the industry I need to be across the commerical versions. Have you checked out Affinity? They have a Photoshop equivalent and now one for Illustrator as well. It costs about $20 I think. Apparently they are excellent and look very much like Adobe programs.

  5. I hadn't even heard of Affinity. But looking at the website, they appear to be Mac only. No good to me, I'm afraid; I don't own one.

    The teaching thing is interesting to me, because it's something I hear people gripe about quite a bit in the open source community:
    1) Teachers teach students to use application-X because that's what the industry uses.
    2) Everyone in the industry uses application-X because it's the only thing they were ever taught.
    3) Monopoly.

    Personally, I go for open source because of the operating systems I use. Even when I run Windows, it's usually in a virtual machine. Also, I like being able to dig around in the code and tinker with the guts of an application.

  6. Yes it is a bit of a bind alright. But I need to keep my job so I work around it. I don't know enough about code to tinker.

    I didn't realise Affinity was just for Macs. That's a shame because I would love to be able to get something open source like that for the guys I tutor in prison. They make do with Photoshop Elements but they could do so much more if they had more comprehensive programs.

  7. Have you looked at recent versions of GIMP. I know it's still a long way off PhotoShop proper, but how does it do against Elements?

  8. I have heard GIMP is now quite good Alex. I haven't used it but my partner has.

    I have mentioned GIMP to the education staff at the prison, but the computers there are so old I think they would struggle anyway.