From my ace student at Emerson College Graphic Novels Program, Sally Scott:
First off I want to make it clear that I by no means am an expert. All that I have learned so far comes from other tutorials and playing with the software. There is so much to this program that I haven’t tried yet. This tutorial doesn’t even scratch the surface! I hope that I will be able to answer any questions you may have. There are many online resources, Google is my go to search engine.
I currently use a Wacom Cintiq 22 HD graphics tablet. I’m also a PC person, so those will be the type of keyboard shortcuts I use. I’m pretty sure Andy can tell you the Mac counter parts.
My studio area, this is where all the magic happens. Let’s open this bad boy up!
For those that are familiar with programs like Photoshop, GIMP, and Paint, this is a common sight. I have labeled areas thus far:
A. Menu Bar
B. Beginner’s Assistant – gives an overview of tools and other materials
C. Color Palette
D. Layer Properties Palette – shows all options available for a type of layer.
E. Layers – Lists all layers in the image
F. Tools – Different types of editing tools
To make a new page FILE >NEW >PAGE
The new page menu will come up. Here you can customize your page anyway you’d like.
The blue lines indicate the bleed and trim areas of the paper.
Pencils, here are some lines made with the pencils tool. You can see in the beginner’s assistant on the right, a little box that has a pencil in it. There are some slide bars that can change the size of the pencil and a list of types of pencils you can choose from. I like the soft one best; it gives a nice smooth line with a slight gradation in the stroke.
Markers, I use the marker if there are any large areas that need to be filled in with black or any other color.
Pens! The pen tool is one of my favorites. It works in a similar fashion as a real pen without the mess. There are several varieties to choose from.
Importing an image file. Like other editing software, Manga Studio can import other image files onto their own layer. I find this helpful if I have already created a pencil drawing that I want to ink or color digitally. I can transfer my drawing into the computer via scanner or use my iphone to photograph it and then email the jpg to myself.
FILE >IMPORT >IMAGE FILE
Once you have chosen your file click ok and it will be transferred. The properties window will show up and you can make any changes. Here we can see that my image needs to be scaled smaller. I click on one of the corners and while holding the shift key down, drag the image until it is the size I want it. Then I click ok in the properties window.
To start from scratch I make a new layer. LAYER >NEW LAYER, I’m going to label it sketch. I’m also going to add a panel. On the right in the beginner’s assistant, there are some different types of tabs. Click on the one that says panel and all sorts of panel options come up. Manga Studio does a lot of work for the artist with pre-made templates; you can also create your own.
I just want one square panel, so I click and drag it to my canvas.
I can change the size of my panel by using the object selector tool. I click on two corners of the panel while holding the shift key and then drag the top down with my mouse.
I can also cut my panel in two or more by using the panel ruler cutter.
On to sketching! I’ve started drawing and I like the hand, but feel that the arm is too long. Using my polygon lasso tool, I make a box around the hand to select it. Below the marching ants there is a little tool bar. This shows all of the options that can be performed on a selection.
A. Clear Selection
B. Expand Selection
C. Reduce Selection
D. Delete Inside Selection
E. Delete Outside Selection
F. Cut and Paste
G. Copy and Paste
H. Move and Transform
I. Fill Selection with Foreground Color
J. New Tone
I want to move the hand to the right so I click on the move and transform option.
016 – A red box will appear around the selection and I can move it to the right.
I want to rotate my drawing to emphasize my character being off balance. EDIT >MOVE AND TRANSFORM >ROTATE
I can also change the opacity of my layer, so that when I start inking I can see my lines better.
Now I’m going to zoom in so I can see where my pen needs to move better. I can do this two ways, the zoom tool (magnifying glass) in the tool bar, or underneath the menu bar there is a little plus sign next to a little minus sign. (Plus equals bigger, minus equals smaller)
I can also hide layers, to see my parts of my work more clearly. The sketch often looks very different from the inking.
Inking complete, it’s a good idea to zoom out every once in a while to see the drawing as a whole.
The paint bucket tool can be used to fill in large areas quickly. Just be sure the area is closed (no gaps) or it will bleed into other areas.
Toning! Manga Studio has a huge library of screen tones to add depth to your work. In the beginner’s assistant click the tab labeled tone. That will open the library. To make things easier to find the tones have been placed in categories based on their design. Nature will have tones such as trees, flowers, and mountains.
I want a smoky, burnt tone, to add a sinister feeling to the scene. I click on the one I want and drag it into the panel. If I had a selection, I could use the new tone option. Sometimes the tone doesn’t fit the selection, so I use the drag and drop method to see the tone as a whole, and then be able to edit it as needed. My tone is automatically placed on its own layer.
I have selected an area of tone and deleted the rest outside of the selection. Now I can transform it to fit my panel.
I can also choose to rasterize the layer so I can add other effects to it.
Manga Studio gives the option of keeping the original layer. In case I choose not to change anything or make a mistake.
Using my lasso tool, I select around my figure,
create a new layer above the tone,
and fill it with white.
Now I’m going to tone the figure using the pen tool. Make sure that the tone option is selected in the color palette, or else you’ll have the ink option.
Now I start blocking in my shadows
based on where my light source is.
Lets add a word balloon. In the beginner’s assistant menu click on the character tab to bring up different balloons to choose from. Because my character is screaming, I picked an exclamation one. I drag and drop my selection to the canvas. My properties window will open and I can now customize the balloon.
In the character settings tab in the properties menu, I can change aspects of my dialog, such as size, orientation, font, etc.
In the Dialog Settings tab, I can change aspects of my balloon, such as adding a straight or curved tail, the color and line width.
Eventually I have my final piece. Ta da!