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Manga Studio / Clip Studio Paint

edited March 2016 in The Toolbox
I figured it'd be handy to pull discussion about Manga Studio into one place.
@JasonAQuest - I absolutely love lettering in Manga Studio. The text treatments are fairly limited but it makes up for it in ease of balloon-making. Drag-and-drop tails plus super easy connection of balloons to each other. Love. It.
I'm finding it tantalizing.  Tantalus (as students of Greek myth will recall) was cursed to have delicious fruit hanging above him, which was withdrawn every time he reached for it. 

I love that MS has pre-built balloon shapes that fall between a mathematical ellipse and a rounded rectangle (something Illustrator cannot comprehend).  But is there a way to automatically select "Ellipse C", other than keeping the big Materials window open and pulling it from there, or going thru a bunch of clicky-clicky each time I add some text?

I was overjoyed when I saw the "match text" option, but disappointed when I saw that... it usually doesn't.  At least not by western conventions, instead leaving huge amounts of white space, especially at the top and bottom. 

The balloon tails are wonderful... except that they don't seem to work if I try to make them using a stylus instead of a mouse... except occasionally it works and I have no idea why.

And undo doesn't work consistently while walking thru any of this.

The balloon-joining is nice, but only after I googled an explanation of how to do it: not very intuitive.
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Comments

  • I love that MS has pre-built balloon shapes that fall between a
    mathematical ellipse and a rounded rectangle (something Illustrator
    cannot comprehend).  But is there a way to automatically select "Ellipse
    C", other than keeping the big Materials window open and pulling it
    from there, or going thru a bunch of clicky-clicky each time I add some
    text?
    Don't know about that, but you can make the clicky-clicky easier by selecting Elipse C, maybe shaping it into what's most likely the shape you'll want to start with and then hit "register this dialog balloon in Materials". It will then appear namelessly at the top of the list, saving you the scrolling. (If it doesn't, sort the list alphabetically. That should do it.)

    Don't do that too often unless you find a way to name the new balloons, though.

    What i don't like about the lettering function is that I can't adjust the letter width. Spacing an all, fine. But no luck so far with the letters themselves. Also, the italics are way too extreme for my taste. I'd like to be able to adjust that. Oh, and I'd like to save more than one default lettering so I can switch baclk and forth more easily.

    I think that's it for now.
  • edited September 2012
    I love that MS has pre-built balloon shapes that fall between a mathematical ellipse and a rounded rectangle (something Illustrator cannot comprehend).
    Creating a balloon like that is actually pretty easy in Illustrator, as detailed in the 'balloons' section on my blog: http://clintflickerlettering.blogspot.co.uk/2010/10/lettering-in-adobe-illustrator-four.html

    MangaStudio's typographic controls, however, are just horrible. Absolute deal-breaker for me (I actually walked away from lettering Madefire's digital comics due to their insistence that they be lettered using their proprietary authoring tool which offers less typographic control than Word).

    Cheers

    Jim
  • Yeah, I know how to do it in Illustrator, but I get sick of doing something that a computer should be able to figure out for itself.  Computers are good at rote, repetitive actions... I am not.  Requiring me to perform the exact same sequence of precision poking and dragging of tiny boxes, for every single balloon... is a flaw.
  • Make the balloon once (or a couple of slightly different ones) -- leave 'em on the artboard at the side and ALT-drag when you need them to create a copy. I have exactly two balloons for all normal dialogue and I just scale 'em to fit.
  • i have manga studio, but don't use it. found it impossible to control with my intuos. maybe when i get a cintiq i'll figure it out.

  • edited September 2012
    @JimCampbell Any tips on joining and/or overlapping balloons in Illustrator? It's so easy in Manga Studio - just drop them into a text folder together and boom. If I can't get something just right in MS I usually end up going to Photoshop to add it in anyway. As much as I love the ease of lettering in Manga Studio, if I could get close to that ease and gain the huge amount of text control in Illustrator then I'd switch. (Especially since I signed up or the Adobe subscription.)
  • @anthonyperuzzo - I've never had trouble using Manga Studio with my Intuos, but I mostly use it with my TabletPC.  It's much better suited to use with a screen-you-draw-on than Photoshop is, because it has on-screen buttons for the functions you'll use all the time (zoom, undo, save, cut/copy/paste).

    @GregCarter - Joining balloons in AI is actually pretty easy: select the shapes you want joined, go to the Pathfinder tab, and click on the "add to shape area" button (the first one).  You can still manipulate the individual components of the compound shape using the white-arrow tool.
  • @JasonAQuest Thanks! I'm going to install Illustrator and try it out tonight. 

    Well, I still like doing screen tones in Manga Studio. I like that you can select an area and drag and drop them in. Or you can use the brushes/pens/markers to apply tones. Also that it includes way more of them than I'll hopefully ever need. 
  • @JimCampbell  Re: using pre-existing balloons.

    Man, I keep telling myself to do that, and yet... I swear I rebuild the wheel every time I make an issue.  I swear I'll take your advice and make 2 or 3 stock service balloons that I can scale and manipulate as needed.  Lately, I've been so lazy that I just use the oval / circle marquee tool.  I've been known to manipulate dialog just to make it constantly fit the oval.  Hahah!
  • @JasonAQuest Thanks! I'm going to install Illustrator and try it out tonight.
    @JimCampbell Any tips on joining and/or overlapping balloons in Illustrator?

    I don't want to de-rail this thread any further -- Manga Studio is a great package and it needs a dedicated discussion -- but I will just direct anyone wanting to letter in Illustrator, or thinking of doing so, to the following tutorial pages on my blog:

    1: Preparing Your Script

    2: Setting Up Your Document

    3: Setting Type


    4: Basic Balloons & Captions

    5: Non-Standard Balloons


    6: Sound Effects


    If anyone wants any further expansion on those, rather than drive this thread further off-topic, please feel free to use the comments section of the relevant blog entry, or start a thread here. The mere mention of lettering is usually enough to summon me.

    Cheers

    Jim


  • Thanks! 

    We now return you to your regularly scheduled Manga Studio discussion already in progress. 
  • Looking into custom "brush" resources for Manga Studio. Any particular recommendations?
  • EX4 on sale for $99 on amazon.com.

    Doesn't appear to be discounted on the UK site, however.
  • EX4 on sale for $99 on amazon.com.

    Doesn't appear to be discounted on the UK site, however.
    Not a problem. Just subscribe to Smith Micro's mailing list or twitter of Facebook thing. They have sales like that every other month or so. World-wide.
  • Hmm. I thought I was subscribed… not that it matters to me -- I've got a copy. :-)
  • PEOPLE!
    Manga Studio EX4 will be on sale for only $29.99 this Friday from Smith Micro. That's 90 PERCENT OFF. If you're not subscribed to their email newsletter, you might want to do it now.
  • At that price I'm tempted to buy it again! :O)
  • Same here.  I never used my previous incarnation, but I've heard really good things about EX4. . . .
  • it may be time to go up to EX from debut.
  • Either upgrade is worth $30, especially if you have any interest in working in color.

    Sign up here: http://my.smithmicro.com/deals/email_list.html
  • Yeah, I'm a hardcore Photoshop guy, but at that price, I don't think I have any excuse not to buy it and try it.

    Then again, I'm a sucker, and have bought every useful piece of SM software that goes on sale, and haven't opened half of them. No wonder my computer is so slow!
  • I've said it before, but…

    The 'snap to perspective ruler' feature of EX would probably be worth a couple of hundred bucks on its own. I know every fucker just builds their backgrounds in SketchUp these days, but I like drawing a nice two- and three-point perspective and this takes a lot of the grind out of doing it.
  • I'm not sure if these are one-time-use or what, but if you missed getting the e-mail for the sale, these are the links in mine, for Windows and OS X.  Download only, expires midnight tonight Somewhere Standard Time.
  • got it this afternoon, gonna play around and see what the big differences are vs. debut tonight.
  • Big differences for me: perspective rulers and the ability to save custom brush/pen settings.
  • They extended the sale for the whole weekend! Bought it, waiting on the download now, then will play around with it next week. :)
  • I've said it before, but…

    The 'snap to perspective ruler' feature of EX would probably be worth a couple of hundred bucks on its own. I know every fucker just builds their backgrounds in SketchUp these days, but I like drawing a nice two- and three-point perspective and this takes a lot of the grind out of doing it.
    Huh. THAT I will have to try. I'm trying to be less reliant on building 3-D sets, but I do most of my penciling digitally and Photoshop, as you know, just isn't helpful for setting up perspective rules.
  • Okay. I think today will be the day where I actually sit down and try to seriously learn this program. I'm going to do a few tutorials and hopefully start getting over my fear of the program. I'm extremely old school with my comic-production, pencil, ink and colour (if it's in colour) in Photoshop then do the final layout in InDesign and then output for print production.
    I think the biggest thing for me to try to get my head around is, what category does Manga Studio fall into? Is it a photo-manipulation program (like Photoshop), is it a drawing program (like Illustrator), is it a Page Assembly program (like InDesign) or is it all of these programs wrapped into a single powerful program? I think once I know what it is I'll know the limitations and how to use it properly.
  • It's a drawing program. It's very specifically for the layout/pencil/ink part of the process. The lack of a dedicated CMYK mode (amongst other things) mitigates in Photoshop's favour, and the lettering tools are such that I don't think Illustrator has much to fear.

    But for inking, in particular, it comes closest to pen-and-paper of any of the things I've tried (Photoshop, Illustrator, Painter).
  • Although MS isn't really much good for manipulating photos (the support for color is too basic), it is fundamentally Photoshop-like in the sense that it's primarily about working in pixels, which Illustrator and InDesign are not.  I includes elements of all three, but leaves out the parts of each that aren't relevant to making comics.

    If I had to give a 100-foot overview of it, I'd say it's like Photoshop with the non-drawing features stripped out, but also capable of handling multipage documents.
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