Digital Coloring in Manga Studio

Digital Coloring in Manga Studio

The last step to accomplish perfection. After sketching and inking our illustration, we are ready to begin the coloring in Manga Studio. With this last step we will finish our work. In this post I will review the essentials of the Painting Tools. Let’s begin!

The following text is a transcript from the video above. You can go ahead and watch it. It will be easier to understand and it will take only a few minutes of your time. But if you are old school and prefer to do all the reading, feel free to do so!

 

Paint Bucket

When coloring an illustration in Manga Studio, starting with the Paint Bucket is a must do. This tool has been designed to help increase the coloring process greatly, thanks to its four working modes: Refer Edited Layer Only, Refer Other Layers, Close and Fill and Paint Unfilled Area.

Modes of the Paint Bucket

Modes of the Paint Bucket

The first thing to know about the Paint Bucket tool is that it can only work in Raster Layers. The Paint Bucket fills the area that is surrounded by black ink with the selected color. If the ink has a gap, the paint will flow out coloring everything else.

The Close Gap option will estimate the separation of the gaps between ink lines to determine the area to color. If the Paint Bucket is not working as we would expect, we should try redrawing the ink, or raising or lowering this parameter.

To fix the problem of overflowing paint, we must reduce the settings of the Close Gap option to the minimum

To fix the problem of overflowing paint, we must reduce the settings of the Close Gap option to the minimum

Refer edited Layer Only is the basic Paint Bucket mode, and it will use the information of just one layer to work. To work with this tool, we would have to Rasterize our Ink layer to be able to use the Bucket. Then, we would select the color, and we would start clicking the parts we want it to fill. This is not desirable, because we would have the Ink and Paint in the same Layer, and we would lose the Vector Quality of the Ink. For that reason, is best to use the Refer to other Layer option instead.

Referring modes for the Paint Bucket

Referring modes for the Paint Bucket

This option will take into consideration all the visible layers of the document as if they were one. Thanks to this, we can keep the Vector Layers untouched, and we can add the Paint in a separated layer.

The option that makes this possible is the Multiple Referring slider. We can change the referring options at any time to a Single Reference Layer, a Selected Layer or to the Layers inside the same folder.

The Tool Close and Fill works as a lazo selection tool, and it will fill with color all the area we surround with the lazo. This tool has an extra option of Target Color, that as a default will color only the transparent pixels. This option can be changed to a great number of options as well.

When we are done coloring the mayor areas of the illustration, we can polish things up with the Paint Unfilled Area Brush. This will clean up the parts that the Paint Bucket could not detect.

We can change the Target Color of the Close and Fill tool in Manga Studio to adapt it to our needs

We can change the Target Color of the Close and Fill tool in Manga Studio to adapt it to our needs

The Paint Unfilled area works like a brush, and it colors the unpainted gaps left by the Paint Bucket

The Paint Unfilled area works like a brush, and it colors the unpainted gaps left by the Paint Bucket

 

Brush

In Manga Studio there are many types of brush, that are designed to imitate real world painting techniques. They can work both for Raster or Vector Layers, and they have various options to be edited and adjusted.

The best way to understand them is to experiment with them and try changing their settings and seeing what they do.

Brush options to achieve realistic effects in Manga Studio / Clip Studio Paint

Brush options to achieve realistic effects in Manga Studio / Clip Studio Paint

One setting worth highlighting is the Color Stretch. Since these brushes are designed to imitate real world painting tools, they use this option to stretch the color of the paint of the canvas when we give a new stroke over a painted part.

Another interesting tool is the Watery brush, that has a Border of Watercolor option, that simulates the effect of the dried watercolor on paper.

These brushes are best used when we want to color an illustration simulating real materials and techniques, or to blend colors with one another.

 

Airbrush

The Airbrush reminds us of the soft brush in Photoshop, and its perfect to make soft gradations of color. Its shape is blurred and it often presents a mild transparency due to the low brush density applied to it.

Types of Airbrush in Manga Studio / Clip Studio Paint

Types of Airbrush in Manga Studio / Clip Studio Paint

Difference between the Stronger and Soft Airbrushes

Difference between the Stronger and Soft Airbrushes

Stronger and Soft are almost the same tool, with the difference that Stronger has the brush size setting linked to the tablet pressure, allowing it make thinner and more condensed strokes than with the Soft brush.

Spray, Tone Scraping, Blurred Spray and Droplet are good for simulating real Airbrush painting, such as drops of paint and such.

From the Airbrush Panel, Highlight and Shadow must be pointed out, since they are the equivalent of the Highlight and Shadow tools in Photoshop. The reason why they behave like this is because of their Combine Mode, that is set to “Add” for the Highlights, and “Linear Burn” for the Shadows. We can achieve these same effects with any other Airbrush tool, since they all have a Combine Mode option.

The Combine mode set to Add will turn any brush into a Highlight tool

The Combine mode set to Add will turn any brush into a Highlight tool

Colored illustration in Manga Studio b Sayuri Matsumoto

T hank you for reading the post all the way through! If you liked the contents don’t keep it to yourself… Tell your friends! Thanks to your support I can create amazing projects. Check them out in my web or in my social media and tell me what you think!

See you there!

 

Sayuri
Sayuri
murasaki@sama-sama-studio.com

I am an illustrator and a comic artist. I like to do character designs and play the harp.

4 Comments
  • Jo Yelland
    Posted at 16:36h, 15 January Reply

    Really helpful – I’ve just started using this program for pixel art and am really impressed with its’ flexibility and value! Thank you for the great tutorials 🙂

    • Sayuri
      Sayuri
      Posted at 08:55h, 18 January Reply

      Thank you for your kindness Jo.
      I agree that this software is amazing! I hope you will make great art and drawings with it 😀
      Feel free to post here links to your work if you wish to share it with us!

  • Micah Buzan
    Posted at 04:53h, 22 November Reply

    I was trying to paint with vectors and thinking the program was buggy because it wouldn’t paint. I didn’t realize I could create a new raster later to paint.

    Really helpful and to-the-point tutorial, thank you!

    – Micah Buzan

    • Sayuri
      Sayuri
      Posted at 03:03h, 03 December Reply

      Thank you for your kind words Micah. You are welcome! I am so glad my post helped 🙂

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