Since I’ve gotten ahead of myself in the work department I thought I’d take this opportunity to do a few tasks I had been putting off, one of which is designing a business card. I’d like this business card to do double duty, as in I can have them at cons and I can also use them professionally. Here are the front and back of my first design attempt.
I chose this particular illustration because I feel the colors are most striking and also I feel it is one of my stronger pieces. So does anyone have any thoughts or opinions on this design before I commit to printing? One thing to keep in mind, these are full bleed so the trim will bring in the edges a bit. I’m also considering paying a little more to make this have rounded edges, but we’ll see…I can’t go crazy since I think maybe I’d like to make some bookmarks too.
Import your 2D Sketchup background and adjust it as you see fit. Of course as it is with importing images, you are not able to erase directly on the layer. To be able to further edit and erase beyond the scaling and rotation tool you will need to add a layer mask. Go ahead and select the area where you want the image to show up. I selected the whole panel above with the polyline tool.
Once selected, go to your layers menu and look for Layer Mask, and chose Mask Out of Selection. Alternately you can also do the inverse of this and mask inside the selection, but for my purposes this worked best.
As you can see, by adding the layer mask suddenly all of the background image that was outside the panel disappeared. Technically it is still there, but it is just masked from view. So if you decide maybe you need to scale or rotate it more you are free to do so without hassle. Also now that you have applied the layer mask you can select it in the layers and “erase” by masking out any areas you don’t want to show, like for example I will want to erase the chair back behind the figure and so on.
It took me a while to figure out I could do this, so I thought I’d share to help those who are just learning MS5. Hopefully it will save you time and frustration, especially since you don’t have to rasterize your BGs anymore!
I thought I’d do a quick tutorial on this since it wasn’t obvious to me at first how to go about this since the outline text option is no longer present in the text tool properties in Manga Studio 5 anymore. So, the first thing you need to do is make some text. I’ve put my text on a gray tone background to see the outline better.
Next up, make sure your text layer is selected or active, and you will see a layer properties tab just like the one above that is circled. It is here you will be able to outline and add other effects as you like.
Under the effects sub heading you will see a button that has a little dot outlined in white, this modifies the edge of EVERYTHING in a single layer. So, click Edge and…..
Options for the edge and it’s thickness should pop-up. Chose whatever color you need and then chose the width of the outline. Now you should have a perfectly outlined bit of text. Hope this helps!
To begin I would like to preface this and say I am using the EX version of Manga Studio, and whereas I do believe it to be mostly the same to the regular version, there is the off chance something might be a little different, so please keep that in mind while reading.
Ok, so first off you will need to create a new document in Manga Studio 4 and paste the object you wish to import onto the page. In this instance I am importing a double word balloon which is no longer part of MS5. I went ahead and made it much larger than I think I will need it because things can always be scaled smaller, and if you make your material too small and try to resize it up, there will be a quality loss. Lastly, save this document, and then we will be moving over to MS5.
So the next thing you want to do is to import the image. It’s best if you do this on a new blank document, but it’s not required.
After you import the material, the next step is to register it as a material, which you can find in the Edit menu tree.
When you click register as a material you will get this dialogue box which allows you to name the material and specify a variety of properties, which I will briefly go through. So second, after naming your material is Paste Operation. Personally I like to set things to be scaled up or down and I like to adjust after pasting, which I feel gives you the most amount of freedom and will give you greater use out of your material. Below that you will want to select your overlay which is where it will paste in the document in terms of LAYERS. This is pretty self explanatory and here in this example, since I am registering a word balloon, naturally I chose that for my overlay. Finally you need to choose a location in your materials folder tree to store your new material and select some tags. Again, pretty self explanatory. I put the word balloon material in with my other word balloons and I chose tags that I thought I would remember and probably search by if I was having trouble finding my material again. DO use the tags, they will save you grief if your materials folders become very large and you wind up wasting time trying to find an old buried material you imported X amount of months previously.
So, after you have clicked ok, you can now go find your material tucked away in it’s proper folder. When you want to use it, simply click and drag it onto your document.
Annnd, when you import the old word balloons from MS4 they will work just like a word balloon should. You can add text, resize and add tails and everything like you normally would.
Well, that’s it for this little mini tutorial, though I do want to mention that when you first install MS5, all the materials don’t automatically install with the program (at least they didn’t for me and my physical copy) so you will have to install the materials folder that comes with your install program. A lot of the materials from MS4 are in the MS5 materials, but there are some that didn’t make it in. Anyway I hope you found this helpful!
I have been wanting to do some inking experiments for a while and I thought well why not ink my studies, so I did. I did all these inks quick and rough because one of the experiments I wanted to try was to see how a more gestural inking worked out for me. I think they have some charming points, and I may be on to something, but I’m going to experiment a bit more before deciding on a direction to take my comic inking.
So, now the Manga Studio 5 blabber. MS5′s ink pen tools have changed quite a lot since 4, and I will give you a brief rundown of some of the changes as well as my impressions. First of all you can now chose to ink with an anti-aliased brush of varying degrees on a raster layer, so you aren’t regaled to using only the non anti-aliased brush if you are doing anything but vector. Secondly there are some new pen “tips” and perhaps a name change for others.
The G-pen is still here and like in 4 you can tinker with jitter control and the brush is designed to stroke in and stroke out according to the pressure you apply. It doesn’t auto stroke in and out anymore regardless of the pressure you apply. I started the experiments above using a small G-pen of 8.3. With that small of size it’s more difficult to get much variation, but it does make a really beautiful thin line that lends itself to contour line very well. Actually I really really like it, especially pared with a more contour style inking like on the boots of the girl in the first image. However I guess it’s not very “manga style” but whatever. A much larger G-pen of around a 21-23 point size will be large enough to give you more line variation, but to be honest I thought the Mapping pen even did a better job of that…well as far as my hand goes anyway.
So, the Mapping pen. It’s a “new” pen in MS5, but really I suspect it’s just a renamed Maru pen, because it acts very similar. As with the G-pen it also strokes in and out according to your pressure, so if you stroke out as a fat line, that’s what it’s going to be. At smaller sizes like 8.3 the mapping pen is a little too thin for my tastes, but if you up it to around 21-23, then you can get a lot of variation from super thin to thick. You can see it’s variation in the last image above. You can also see in the last image above how the Mapping pen, at least according to my hand and the amount of pressure I am used to applying, the Mapping pen has better line weight variation, whereas the G-pen of the same size has little to no variation. For me, I will probably be using the Mapping pen unless I want a thin contour line, then I’d go with a small G-pen.
The turnip pen is a new pen to MS5. I don’t have any samples of it’s ink because I don’t care for it. It works a lot like the marker tool in that there is no stroke in or stroke out, and it does not really respond to pressure. The only difference I can see between it and the marker tool is it seems a little more refined. If anyone else has any info they’d like to share about the turnip pen, you are welcome to comment below.
There is a calligraphy pen now, and again I didn’t do any tests with it because it’s more of a specialized pen and I wouldn’t use it for inking figures. Like other program’s calligraphy pens, it’s an offset oval shape that creates a varying width line depending on which direction you draw with it. It also does not respond to pen pressure near as I can tell and does not have a stroke in/stroke out function.
Next comes the “For Effects Pen”, this pen actually works exactly like the old MS4 inking pens. It responds to pen pressure and it has that auto stroke in stroke out thing that happens regardless of the amount of pressure you are applying at the beginning or end. If you miss MS4′s old tools, then this one is for you.
And lastly there is a new Textured Pen. It works a lot like the G-pen and Mapping pen except that it’s edges are roughed up for a sort of distressed look. Pen pressure is there and no auto stroke in/out.
Well that’s it for my thoughts on Manga Studio 5′s pen tools. I actually work in EX5, so I hope all those pens are there for the regular 5 version. ^^; If not let me know so I can edit this.