Colour Holds in Manga Studio

A colour hold is when the line art of a comic is actually coloured – often used as a way to enhance fire, or glass or various other types of material (though more often seen in animation).

Photoshop has a few ways to handle this, and what I’ve done in Manga Studio is figured out the same method that I use in PS. Happily I’ve been able to implement it as an action.

Now, before I show you this, let me say: Manga Studio is a pain to colour with. It’s nearly there. And, in fact, is probably fine for lots of quick/screen only stuff. But really probably useless for finished work in comics. Photoshop still has that crown.

So, that out of the way – here’s what this action does:

Convert a lineart layer to colour (this will be our coloured art for the lineart). Create a mask from the black art on THIS layer – this will cover the coloured art, allowing only colours through that we need to be show. And rap the whole thing in a single folder called “Colour Hold”.

Here’s the action.

(My recommendation is to duplicate the line art layer BEFORE running the action).

Here’s what held coloured art looks like. (i’ve coloured batman’s lines on his mask deep blue and the lines on his face a darker brown).


PJActions – this is a zip file of a CAF file (Manga Studio Actions) and needs uncompressed.

Unfortunately there seems no easy way to export a single action from MS, so, instead, this is an entire set of actions that I use frequently.

If you turn on your action menu (press f12) and select “Import Set” this will import all of the actions into a new set called “PJ Actions” set. Hopefully you may find one or two of the other actions useful.


Author: PJ

PJ is a Belfast based comic artist, and has been for some time.

1 thought on “Colour Holds in Manga Studio”

Comments are closed.