CLIP STUDIO PAINT: Software/app for creating comics and manga

Start creating your comic today with the best drawing software for comics and manga!

Drawing performance that professionals love

Pen touch feels as natural as hand drawing

Advanced pen pressure detection for natural, realistic-looking pen strokes. Clip Studio Paint has a wide range of settings to create art in your style, from correction functions to remove blurring and disarray to recreating the pen pressure variance at the ends of lines just like those drawn with a real pen.

Line correction that suppresses shaky lines Line correction
Brush settings that add flourishes to the beginning and end of strokes Starting and ending

Draw complex areas with just one stroke!

Clip Studio Paint's decoration tools make it easier to draw complex areas such as small repeating items and patterns such frills, chains, and plants.

Draw backgrounds quickly Draw backgrounds quickly
Various coloring brushes A range of brushes for painting in color

Draw vectors that can be processed and edited freely

Lines drawn on vector layers do not decline in quality when the size is changed, and you can also change the thickness of drawn lines. Other handy functions include pinching lines and erasing content drawn outside the lines.

Change line weight as you work Adjust thickness of drawn lines
Erase up to intersections Erase lines up to intersections

Quick, neat coloring

The advanced coloring functions allow you to color small areas left over after filling and close gaps in the line so that the fill color doesn’t go outside the lines.

"Close and Fill” closes gaps when filling with color Close gap
Paint small unfilled areas Fill leftover
[Gradient] tool Gradients
Easily color with gradients using the contour line paint tool Contour line paint

In complete harmony with the Apple Pencil

A Clip Studio Paint app for the iPad is also available. The powerful Clip Studio Paint drawing engine uses the maximum capability of the Apple Pencil to provide the best drawing touch so you can carry out your entire workflow on the iPad alone. Now you can enjoy a superior drawing experience anywhere you go. In addition to the Apple Pencil, other styluses with pen pressure capability include the Wacom Bamboo Sketch (iPad version) and Wacom Bamboo Fineline 3 (iPad version).

Create comics and manga anywhere with the iPad Draw comics anywhere with the iPad

Packed with unique specialist technology for creating comics and manga

Draw backgrounds and effects using rulers

Clip Studio Paint has advanced functions to help you draw small items, backgrounds, and effect lines for your work.
Make more realistic comics and manga by drawing freehand with perspective rulers that allow you to easily create backgrounds with perspective, symmetrical rulers that allow you to draw symmetrical shapes around a line or multiple points (such as two- or three-point symmetry) as well as the concentric circle ruler, radial line ruler, and parallel line ruler.

Quickly create effect lines with rulers and automatic tools Use rulers to draw precise, clean lines
Draw backgrounds and shapes in seconds with the symmetrical ruler Create perspective lines and symmetrical lines

Automatically create effect lines

Use the sub tools designed for action lines and speed lines to automatically create complicated effect lines.

The [Saturated line] sub tool for drawing action lines Draw radial lines around a fixed center
[Stream line] sub tool Create speed lines in a fixed direction

Use 3D drawing figures as a foundation layer

You can pose 3D drawing figures and use them as a foundation layer for your work. The stiffness and movable range of the joints are based on the actual structure of the human body, allowing you to create natural, unforced poses intuitively using the mouse. You can also import pre-made pose files. It is possible to change the body shape and proportions of the default drawing figures.

Draw difficult poses with 3D models Draw with 3D models
Freely change the body type and proportion of the 3D models Change the body shape freely

Unlimited tones

Tones are an essential part of manga, and Clip Studio Paint has plenty of tone functions for you to use. You can add or remove areas as necessary and even freely adjust the tones after applying them. You can change the tone pattern or distort tones along the curved lines of the body. Many materials are available for you to use as pattern tones.

Paste tones as if drawing with a pen Paste screentones that look as if they were drawn by pen
Transform tones to fit perspective and models Transform your creations along a contour

Over 10,000 free materials!

You can download free materials from Clip Studio ASSETS to help you make your comic or manga. You can also share your original materials with the world.

Access more than 10,000 free materials using Clip Studio ASSETS

Balloons and drawn text

Clip Studio Paint makes it easy to draw speech balloons. You can also easily enter text and make adjustments such as adding balloon tails. Drawn text such as sound effects can be drawn to suit the style of your work using pens and brushes. Meanwhile, the iPad version includes fonts optimized for comic creation.

Quickly draw speech balloons Quickly create speech balloons for comics
Pens suited for sound effects Pens that are perfect for adding sound effects

Smoothly create complex frame borders

You can create frame borders easily using the frame border tool and frame border cutting tool. Frame borders can be created simply by dragging, and you can create bleed frames and frame borders in complicated shapes.
You can create a frame border folder for each frame and use these folders to manage images and materials.

Draw frames in seconds Easily create comic frames

Automatically convert photos to manga style

Clip Studio Paint converts photos to manga style by adding outlines and shading with tones.
You can convert the outline and tones to separate layers using [LT conversion of layer], making it easy for you to improve the quality by modifying the lines, changing the tone settings, and erasing parts.

Convert images to manga and pop art style images Transform into comic or pop art style

Draw backgrounds and objects by converting 3D data

You can draw backgrounds and objects at the desired angle by automatically converting 3D models to lines and tones.
This allows you to create even better comics and manga than when simply converting image data.

Use 3D models as backgrounds for comics and manga Use 3D materials for comic backgrounds

All the management functions you need to create your comic or manga

Multi-page management

You can manage comic or manga files made of multiple pages. The Story window allows you to add and rearrange pages and change the page format between a spread and single pages.

Manage multi-page comics and manga in one file Manage multi-page comics in a single program
Double-spread page support Suitable for two-spread comics

Check your finished work in the 3D preview

You can check 3D preview of your multi-page work to see what your comics will look like when it is printed and bound.

See a 3D preview of your bound comic or manga Preview your printed comic in 3D

Export functions advanced enough for commercial comics and manga

Import and export files in Photoshop format

Clip Studio Paint is compatible with Photoshop, and data can be exchanged between the two programs. You can import PSD and PSB files to Clip Studio Paint and save Clip Studio Paint files in PSD or PSB format without losing the layer structure.

Smooth data coordination with other software Compatible with other drawing software

Import and export in CMYK format for printing

Data can be imported and exported in CMYK format for printing in addition to the RGB format used for digital purposes. This allows you to display your work as it will be seen when it is printed, without needing to use another tool.

Both RGB and print-friendly CMYK support Supports CMYK color for printing

Export in e-book format

You can export your work files in EPUB and Kindle e-book formats.
You can also publish your work as an e-comic in the Amazon Kindle store using Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing.
* This function is unavailable for the iPad version.

Read your comic or manga on tablets and smartphones as an e-book Read your comic as an e-book
Publish your manga to popular platforms such as ePub and Kindle Publish your comic or cartoon on major platforms

Export in PDF format

The iPad app supports PDF file export.
Create multi-page works and export them to PDF to share as a single file.
* PDF file import is unavailable.

Export multi-page comics and manga Export your multi-page comic as a PDF
 

Learn how to use Clip Studio Paint with our tutorial videos!

On our official Clip Studio YouTube channel, we release videos (with subtitles) explaining how to use the software and its many great features to create your own comics.

Customizable UI to make your work easier

Auto actions allow you to perform multiple operations at once

Operations that you perform frequently or repeatedly can be registered as auto actions and performed with one click so that you can work more efficiently.

Auto actions perform complicated operations with one click Perform complicated actions in just one click

Customize the layout and switch the interface according to your needs

You can customize the layout by placing certain palettes together or on their own so that you can use them more easily. You can save layouts created for a particular style or purpose (such as for comics or for illustrations) as a workspace along with shortcuts and command bar settings so that you can switch to these drawing conditions at any time. You can download workspaces from CLIP STUDIO ASSETS and upload your original workspaces.

Freely change the screen layout Arrange your screen layout as you like
Change interface colors Change the color of the interface

These are just a few of the features in Clip Studio Paint that make it fun and easy to create your comic or manga.
Download the trial version to see just how easy it is to draw in this program that even professionals swear by!

Clip Studio Paint supports several comic awards by publishers and editorial divisions

Akita Publishing’s Weekly Shonen Champion: Joint Newcomer Manga Award NEXT CHAMPION / COAMIX: Comic Zenon Manga Award / Futabasha’s Action: Kamikaze Award / Hakusensha’s Monthly LaLa: LaLa Manga Artist Scout Course, LaLa Manga Grand Prix / Ichijinsha: REX Manga Award / NTT Solmare: Comic Seymour Mainichi Manga Award / KADOKAWA’s Shonen Ace: Kadokawa Manga Newcomer Award / Kodansha’s Weekly Shonen Magazine: Magazine Newcomer Manga Award / Monthly Hero’s: Hero’s Manga Award / NHN comico: National Student Manga Competition / Shinchosha: Shinchosha Manga Award / Shogakukan: Newcomer Comic Award / Shueisha: Young Jump Newcomer Manga Award (Shinman Award) / Shusuisha: Newcomer Manga Grand Prix / Square Enix: Gangan Monthly Comic Award

How to Start Making Your First Comic

What You Need to Start Digitally Creating Your Comic

You’ll need a computer, pen tablet, and software to digitally create your comic.

Computer

Make sure you choose a computer with the necessary system requirements for the software you want to use. Although computers with large memories and high CPU tend to be more expensive, they are much better for creating art. Choosing a display with a resolution of WXGA (1280 x 768) or better will ensure you have enough space to draw. You can even use a notebook PC to draw comics if the system requirements are met.
We recommend that you use a tablet PC with touch capabilities. With these, you can control the screen with your fingers and draw directly on the screen. If you choose a model with pen pressure sensitivity, you can use special-purpose pens to draw in different ways using pen pressure. You also don’t need to purchase a pen tablet.

Pen Tablet

Pen tablets are input devices that connect to your computer. When you draw on the tablet with the pen, you can operate the computer. As well as usual mouse operations, you can also draw lines with the pen. If you choose software with pen pressure sensitivity, you can create art that reflects the pen pressure. One expensive variety is screen tablets, which allow you to draw directly on the tablet screen.

Software

If you draw a comic traditionally, you need paper, pencils, pens, brushes, ink, and rulers. When drawing digitally, you don’t need these materials! You can use software to create comics using the same kind of techniques as these materials.
Clip Studio Paint includes fully customizable pen, pencil, and brush tools. You can choose your favorite settings to draw your preferred style of lines. The software also includes a wide variety of screentones for comics and manga. You can use this software for both black-and-white and color comics, making it perfect for print comics, web comics, comic strips, and manga.

Making a Comic

This is the traditional process of creating a comic on paper.

Storyboard

Before starting on the draft of your comic, create the storyboard. At the storyboarding stage, you draw rough sketches and decide on the story flow and composition. You can make simple pencil sketches for the storyboard.
Usually, this is done on separate paper than the actual comic, but if you work digitally, you can draw this directly in the comic document.

Draft

While referring to the storyboard, draw a draft of your comic in pencil on the comic paper.
When drawing digitally, you can use different layers and draw the sketch by tracing over parts of the storyboard. Layers act like transparent film, so they are very useful when stacked up. You can also add frames and text at this stage if working digitally, and it is easy to adjust these at later stages. Clip Studio Paint has dedicated tools for frames and speech balloons, so you don’t need to use a ruler.

Inking

Here, you draw the line art by inking over the draft in pen. Once the inking is complete, erase the pencil draft with an eraser. When drawing digitally, you can add new layers for the inking and draw with the pen tool. In Clip Studio Paint, you can easily use the Eraser tool to edit lines drawn with the pen tool. You can hide the draft and storyboard by turning layer visibility off. You also don’t need to wait for the ink to dry.

Coloring

After drawing the line art, use brushes or markers to add color. Make sure you wait for the painting tools and ink to dry, then layer up darker areas or highlights. However, when you want to use the brush strokes to blend colors, you need to color before the tools dry. If you fail, you will need to start from the beginning again.
When creating a comic digitally, you can select the area you want to paint and simply click to fill in the area. You can also use the settings to blend colors or add brush stroke effects, so it’s easy to build up the colors. Even if you fail, you can undo the last step and try again in different ways. Once you’ve finished painting, you can use Tonal Correction tools to adjust the color of the whole piece.

Traditional
Digital

Ask the Professionals

How long have you been drawing comics?

How long have the professionals been drawing comics? We asked some professional comic artists who use Clip Studio Paint.

José Luis Ágreda (Spain)

Soon in my career as a pro artist I started coloring digitally, maybe in 1998. But I didn’t create all of my work on the computer until I got a pen display tablet in 2011. And Manga Studio in 2012!

Rafchu (France)

I'm drawing digital comics since 2012 and used to make analog work before. I created the digital comics publishing website Spunch Comics (http://www.spunchcomics.com) with two artist friends, Nikoneda and Mosqi, in 2012. Lately I am getting interested in the vertical scroll format of the ''webtoon'' type. Last winter, I trained for 2 months in Busan, South Korea, with professionnals to learn webtoon technics. I am presently working on my project in this format.

Lolita Aldea (Spain)

I started drawing comics digitally around 2010. I began to work digitally because I was frustrated to see that after scanning my drawings the digitized image was nothing like the original one. So at this point I had two options: buy a better scanner or a tablet. So I bought a Wacom Intuos and since then almost all my work has been digital.

David Lopez (Spain)

I switched to digital on September 5, 2013, when my Cintiq arrived. At that moment, the final look I wanted could only be achieved digitally, I wanted to add midtones and effects that were impossible to get with pen and paper, not to mention the fabulous control of the final look that this new tool gave me. Since then I’ve been opening my mental process to the infinite possibilities that the digital art opens.

Masahiro Anbe

I've been drawing for fun since I was in elementary school, but I first started to post my works seriously when I was about 20.
I started drawing digitally around the 18th volume of Squid Girl.

Daromeon

I've been drawing comics in my notebooks since I was in elementary school, but I started to seriously think about publishing them around the time I entered university.
My first digital drawings were on Windows 95 computer using a mouse.

Siro

I started creating comics in 2012, but I've been drawing digitally for much longer, since 2001...!

Akira Sugito

I finished my first work after I was 20, and then I went full digital for my first serialized comic.

Asato Mizu

I started creating my own comic seriously around 2003. I actually started as an assistant.
I've always used digital painting software for everything after inking, but after the first few issues of my serialized comic, I moved to a full digital process including inking. I only do my storyboards on paper.

Tachibana Higuchi

I started drawing comics seriously after I graduated high school, and I started drawing digitally after I finished Gakuen Alice.

Ryo Hirao

I started drawing in elementary school, imitating comics I'd seen, but I didn't start to seriously draw until I bought Comic Studio EX (Manga Studio).
I've always drawn illustrations digitally, but I started drawing comics because of Manga Studio.

Robinson Haruhara

I've been drawing since I can remember. I think I've wanted to create comics professionally since I was about 13.

Shotaro Tokuno

I'm 33 now, and I've been drawing digitally since high school. I went full digital, including line art, when I was around 20.
The pressure sensitivity of pen tablets has increased a lot, so there are a lot more possibilities for digital art.
The first comic I drew was "Komorebi no Kuni", a full-color comic that was serialized when I was 24.
I didn't originally aim to be a comic artist, but I liked drawing, so I wanted to make a living as an illustrator. I'd never created a story, so I didn't think I was capable of making a comic.
I drew my first comic after it was suggested to me by an editor who had seen my illustrations in a fanzine. I didn't have any preparation stage of practicing with comics beforehand, so I started off without any idea what I was doing. I'm actually so embarrassed to look at it now. I never thought I'd be drawing comics for almost a decade.

Hekiru Hikawa

I started creating comics when I was hit with the sudden urge to start drawing at 21. I switched to digital around 2011 between the end of Pani Poni and the start of Candy Pop Nightmare.

Rei Hiroe

I've been making fanzines since I was 19 years old, and I switched to making them digitally in 2013. This was during the 10th volume of "Black Lagoon".

Messages of encouragement

Here are some words of encouragement and advice from professional comic artists to aspiring comic artists.

José Luis Ágreda (Spain)

When I started drawing comics fully digital, I thought it was going to be just a time saver, and it certainly was, but it was much more, it was a creative opportunity. I used to say that digital ink made me a braver artist, allowing me to try new things and become more innovative. Thanks to the Ctrl+Z for letting us have mistakes freely. It’s a common place to talk about constant work, but work is the basis of improvement. Nothing comes from being lazy, so draw without stopping to come closer to what you want to achieve.

Rafchu (France)

Young makers, hang in there! It takes time to build a solid fanbase; patience and perseverance are the keys! Daily practice and drawing are necessary to improve and sharing your work on social media with other artists is also important. Focus on your story and your characters instead of fame and tactics because only sincere artists manage to reach a wide audience!

Lolita Aldea (Spain)

Draw every day and just try that your new drawings are a little better that the ones you did before. Learn all you can, from anatomy to color theory to any other subject you may need to draw and don't be afraid to try new challenges. Share your work and learn from other artists. And above all other things... don't give up!

David Lopez (Spain)

Don’t lose sight of why you make comics, it’s because you have fun, because you need to tell your stories. Making comics takes a lot of time and sacrifices. There will come times when you’ll feel tired and frustrated. It is at those moments that you must remember that you are doing what you like the most in the world.

Masahiro Anbe

Right now, thanks to Clip Studio Paint, I could create an entire comic just by myself. It's good that I'm able to push myself without any hesitation.

Daromeon

For aspiring comic artists, I think it's important to finish your work, then show a lot of people and see what they think.
You shouldn't spend too much time before finishing it.
Behave as if you're a professional with deadlines, and set yourself a limited time to finish the work with your current abilities. Try to gain as much experience as you can.

Siro

It's very difficult to create a comic, but it's a rare and exciting world where you can bring to life your own story, pictures, characters, and points of view. Definitely give it a shot!

Akira Sugito

It takes a lot of effort to create a comic, but I think that the joy of expressing what you find interesting or good to readers is so much bigger than any difficulties. Keep on drawing!

Asato Mizu

Above all, try drawing lots of different things. I think you can find interesting things in this way.

Tachibana Higuchi

If you're drawing digitally, it's important to look after your eyes. Also, if you want to create comics for a living, you need to build up your physical strength.
These things become more important the longer you draw.

Ryo Hirao

With Clip Studio Paint EX, I can draw comics or illustrations without any difficulties. I only need the one program.
If you're interested but not quite sure, I definitely recommend getting the software and trying it out first. Then you can decide what you want to do from there. But first, you need to take the leap! Have fun!

Robinson Haruhara

To start off, you should have fun and draw whatever wild ideas you like, without thinking too hard about "creating a comic".

Shotaro Tokuno

When you draw comics, you can create your own characters and world view, and build a story exactly as you like. It might seem obvious, but I think that's really interesting. Everyone has had moments where they read a comic and think it would be better if it had more of certain elements or if the story was slightly different. But as the director of your own comic, you're free to make it however you like.
Even when I've already decided the overarching story, I write the story each month while thinking about what I want to happen next.
However, it’s really hard to pin down what it is you like, as these things can be vague or imprecise. It's important to look at a lot of art and find out what you enjoy. As you look at more art, you might find that your own taste or art style changes. This is another interesting thing about being an artist.

Hekiru Hikawa

Your interests and the things you like become your motivation and ideas for creating comics. So go ahead and get lost in your interests!

Rei Hiroe

When it comes to making comics, obviously the writing stage is difficult, but it's also tough to hear negative feedback from readers or customers. Try not to let it get you down and keep doing your best.

What’s the Difference Between American Comics and Japanese Manga?

Broadly speaking, the difference is the reading order. In American comics, the text is horizontal and the story is read from left to right. In Japanese manga, the text is vertical and the story is read from right to left. European and American comics are also left-bound, while Japanese manga are right-bound.
Most American comics are made for color printing, while Japanese manga tend to be black-and-white. This also influences the style and expression of the comic.
As well as lines and fill, Japanese manga also use black and white dots called “screentones” to express gradation and different colors.
The characters and backgrounds in American comics tend to be drawn realistically, whereas Japanese comics are more stylized. This is to make the images clearer in black-and-white. Japanese comics are also sometimes drawn in a realistic style, but each panel is well-designed so that it still appears clear in black-and-white. For example, the shapes and sizes of the panels are changed, or the details in each panel are adjusted to add more variation.
Another distinct feature of Japanese manga is the use of the background to express characters’ emotions. While American comics may use action lines in dramatic scenes, Japanese manga also use action lines to express emotions. This results in a more abstract effect than American comics, but it is a good method of expression in black-and-white.

Japanese manga reading order
Expressing characters’ emotions using the background
2

for Illustration

3

for Animation

 
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