NOTE: Brushes are compatible with Manga Studio 5 only.
I’ve been using Manga Studio for comic style work since the app was localized and brought to American audiences by SmithMicro in 2006. I’ve always pushed the boundaries of what was primarily an inking app, creating brushes that took the limitations of Manga Studio’s brush engine and smacked them against the wall. I like to make art apps bleed and Manga Studio has been my target of choice.
I’ve taken lessons learned from creating brushes in Painter, Manga Studio, Photoshop, and SAI and applied them to this set for Manga Studio 5. These newest brushes reflect seven years of obsessive, masochistic iteration on making the best drawing tools possible.
They’re easily the best brushes I’ve ever made and I can’t wait for you to get hands on them.
The Painterly brushes are great for mass work or for coloring underneath comic style lineart. They create soft edged, blending strokes with light pressure and totally opaque, dense areas of hard edged color with hard strokes. Creating soft or hard edges to create emphasis in a painting is as easy as varying pressure with your stylus. One tool to do it all – no separate blenders.
The pencilling tools include shading brushes, layout pencils, and sketching tools of varying hardness replicating analog style effects and workflows.
The inking tools include a brush that iterates upon my Manga Studio 4 organic inking brush to make the most clean, but analog-looking, inking marks I’ve achieved digitally. Two additional inking nibs of varied firmness round out the toolset.
I think there are many who’ve yet to try Manga Studio 5. As a long time Manga Studio user, allow me to explain what Manga Studio 5 is and isn’t by way of comparing it to what has come before.
Do you use Paint Tool SAI? Do you like its lightweight, snappy brush system that outstrips Photoshop’s but lament SAI’s lack of updates and general state of abandonware or lack of Mac support? Do you use Painter but curse the gods whenever it crashes to desktop during your tenth iterative save? Does Painter’s general buginess lead you to Photoshop only to remind you of how limited Photoshop is when it comes to painting and blending colors naturally?
Manga Studio 5 takes the already best-in-class inking engine found in 4 and pairs it with painting tools that rival Painter and SAI’s with stability akin to Photoshop.
It’s 64bit and native on OSX and Windows, unlike SAI. It’s stable, unlike Painter. It inks and paints well out of the box, unlike Photoshop.
Long story made slightly less long – it’s my favorite app of the bunch. I can pencil, ink, and paint in a single app instead of the Frankensteinian hodge-podge I resorted to before. No longer do I need to pencil and ink in Manga Studio and color in Photoshop or Painter as a second step.
If you use any of the above apps on a daily basis, you should really try it out. I seldom fire up any of those other apps after. The kicker? It’s a fraction of the cost of the big players.