Manga Studio: Getting Started

By Rio

Manga Studio is for the comic and manga artists who are interested in creating their own comic books. It includes everything a comic book artist would need from automated pages, balloons, panels and even tones. Drawings may also be directly done in Manga Studio or imported and operates much like other professional graphic programs even with its support of graphic tablets. The following tutorial will teach you how to get started on using Manga Studio and on your way to creating on your own comic creations.

I. Getting Started

Upon opening Manga Studio, you will be greeted with the following scene shown below which I will call the “Work Area” or “Workspace”. This area comprises, from the top, the menu bar and the tool bar and floating windows called palettes.

The palettes you should see, from the left, are the Tools Palette, the [Hand] Tools Options, Layer Properties and Tones. These may or may not be on the workspace and if they aren’t, they can be called back to the workspace by clicking on Window on the menu bar and then on whatever bar or palette you want shown. If a palette window option is grayed out, that means that it is only available when a page is opened.

Speaking of pages, let’s go and open one up...

II. Setting Up a Page

Getting a new page up on the screen is an easy task. All you have to do is click on File, New, and then either Story or Page. New Story will generate multiple pages while New Page will only produce one.

Hitting on either will bring up another window which will ask you for details on the page you want to create. The default is A4 but you can change it to any other available sizes or customize it to your needs. Hit OK when you’re satisfied with the settings.

Note: Image depicted below is from New Page. New Story will provide additional options such as which way the pages will be read. (i.e. left-to-right or right-to-left)

III. What They Do: Tools & Palettes

When you opened the new page or story, you should have also been greeted with several new window palettes, namely, Navigator, Layer and Layer Properties. Before I begin explaining what these are for, move them around the workspace so you can actually see the page and work without hindrance. Maximize the window that houses the page you will be working with for a better view.

Tools Palette
This window houses all the graphic tools that you need from pencils, brushes, lettering, eraser, lines, boxes, and so forth. By clicking on the icon of the tool, it will turn it on. Some tools have a small triangle on the lower-right. Click on that to see more tools grouped underneath.

Tools Options
If a certain tool selected in the Tools Palette has any other features that you can customize, it is shown here. For example, if you choose Pencil or Brush, you can set the width of the tool (i.e. how thick a line it will produce), among other things.

Easy access to tones that can help make your comic pop by providing mood, shading, backgrounds, and other effects. If you’re just beginning on a new page, you can close or minimize this.

This is an easy way to move around your page from zooming in, zooming out, or moving from one part of your page to another. Just place your mouse over the thumbnail of your page and “drag and drop” to the place you want to go to.

An easy way to keep track of what you’ve done without having to think about it! You can undo or redo moves that you have done using the arrow buttons within the palette.

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