Join Doug Hills for an in-depth discussion in this video Painting, blending, and airbrushing, part of Manga Studio Essential Training.
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- A new feature was added to the Manga Studio series with version five. We can now paint in the program. And this opened up a whole new way to add color to our work beyond simple cell shading. So I'd like to show you how I like to paint in this program. And we're gonna start again like we did with the cell shading video, with our background and our flats. And from here, we actually have two options. We can either add a brand new raster layer on top of the flats or, and I'm going to do this, I'm going to unlock this temporarily, and I'm going to duplicate my flats. And now, I have a second layer of flats.
I'm going to lock this, going to rename this, and while I'm at it, I'm going to add one more layer right after the flats, because I want to bump up the look of the backgrounds here. Right now, they're set to basic blue, but I want to go and really make these pop. And I'm going to introduce you to the Gradient Tool in the process. Now, the Gradient Tool is located over here, right underneath the Fill Tool. I make my selection, I'm going to work on panel two here to start. And now, I'm going to go to the Gradient Tool.
And you can see we have several options to choose from as far as the type of gradient we want. And I could always just set my foreground and background colors to the colors that I want, and do a foreground to transparent or foreground to background gradient. But I happen to like these two presets for my sky, and the daytime sky in particular for this panel. And now I'm going to make sure that when I make my selection that it is a circular gradient as opposed to a linear gradient, which is usually the default setting when doing a gradient.
So I'm going to click the wrench icon and then check on the Subtool Detail window the Gradient. And right now, it is set to Straight line. I'm going to set it to Circle, although I could also set it to Ellipse if I wanted. And close this. And now I'm just going to create a giant circle and boom, that looks awesome. And now I'm going to do the same thing later on in the process when I start working on the skies for panel one and panel four. But what I really want to do is get in to the heart of the matter and just talk about painting, because that's the really cool thing here.
So I'm going to zoom in, and I'm going to click on the Painting layer. And I'm going to select my paintbrush. Now there are a variety of paintbrushes to choose from. We have a series of watercolor brushes of all sorts of different types. We have India ink brushes, so you can create like say, a dry brush effect or darker bleed effect. But what I'm going to be doing on this painting is use the two Oil paint subtools. Oil paint and Oil paint flat brush. I don't normally use the Color change, but it just changes the color of the area you're painting, and I don't need to do that, so I'm going to use, to start, the flat brush.
My painting settings are set, so I'll just come in and start working on the cab here. I'm just going to switch to the Eyedropper Tool, select the cab color, come over here to my color wheel. Pick a different, darker color for the shadows, switch to my oil paint flat brush, just start painting. Now you're noticing I have fairly hard lines here. If I wanted to kind of make this a little softer, I take advantage of the blend tools that are in the program. And this is also something new to version five of Manga Studio. We have a variety of blend tools to choose from.
Blend, Blur, Finger tip, if I do that, it kind of creates a streaking effect. Don't want to do those. We have a Blur by fiber, which creates a texture blur, which doesn't look good on the cab, so I'm going to undo that. And Soothing watercolor. And I'm going to actually just stick with the Blend, have my brush size set and the color stretching, so that's very little and I just soften this up a little bit to create a soft curve to the bumper. And then just go back to the Paint tool, clean up the edges.
I've been saying, having a flat is great as a reference, and this is exactly why. If I select the Magic Wand tool, and then come down to my flats, make a selection, I've now selected that entire flat area. If I had the painting, you can still see the original flats. And because I set up my color flats with alias lines, so I have that jagged stair step line, it means I have a very sharp, no chance of ghosting or residual lines being left over and then all I have to do is go back to my painting layer, clear up my mistake and just start fresh.
Now we have a variety of air brushes to choose from, Stronger, Soft, Highlight, Shadow. But what I'm going to use is Spray. And this is a cool trick I learned to add some texture to the foliage of a tree. This builds up the light, or something like the light is coming from the top down. So we want the light up here. I'll grab a darker color for underneath, and maybe a little bit of both. The Airbrush tool can also work for creating cool special effects. I'm going to create one more raster layer.
I'm going to place this above the Colors folder. I'm going to double-click and I'm going to call this SFX, because I'm going to use it to make the laser beam here really pop out in this scene. Switch to the Airbrush tool, and I'm going to select Soft. Kind of a halo effect. And then, I'm going to pick a different color, and reduce the size a little bit. And if you're noticing that the airbrushing is not only going over the flats, it's also going over some of the inks.
That's kind of the effect I'm going for here, because I want to have this cool, glowing effect. So as you can tell, I could spend quite a few hours working on this, and if I remember correctly, this took me about two or three hours to get from this to this. And that's really what it comes down to when painting, it's like I get to experiment and have fun and just let things evolve and grow naturally and come from what was these flat colors to something really cool like this.
- Creating a new comic page in Manga Studio
- Adding and adjusting layers
- Penciling roughs
- Using the Direct Draw tool
- Using rulers
- Inking pages
- Coloring pages
- Adding effects
- Drawing vector artwork
- Creating stories
- Customizing Manga Studio