Manga Studio 5: Pencils

I’m gonna try and do a bunch of micro blog posts showing off one or two little features to manga studio 5 – or offering hints and tips. Here’s the first:

Creating a more realistic pencil.

This really only applies if you’re using a cintiq or a wacom digitiser (or a compatible one that allows you to detect the angle of the pen – not a feature many people use or know about, I’m sure, but check!)

Manga Studio has a number of digital pencil options, my favourite is the “Rough Pencil” but I thought it would be neat to try and build something on that that might be a bit better. So I create a “Shading Pencil”. You can easily copy any of MS’s built in tools by clicking “Create Copy of Current Tool” icon (it looks like a blank sheet of paper and is on the sub tool menu).

I created a copy of the “Rough Pencil” and edited the settings so that the size of the pencil is adjusted not by size by by tilt of the pen. I kept the density as a setting of pen pressure.

By default though, adding a ‘Tilt’ setting to the pencil size does the reverse of what you’d expect – held at a high angle you get a thick pencil, held at a shallow angle you get a thin pencil. So I inverted the curve on the settings, and, voila – now I can easily shade like I’m using a pencil!

Images: Settings used in Manga Studio, A pencil sketch. The entire drawing was done with the Shading Pencil. Thin dark lines drawn by holding the pen at a high angle and thick light shading done by holding the pen at a shallow angle and lightly shading – in other words, almost exactly how you’d use a pencil.


Author: PJ

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

2 thoughts on “Manga Studio 5: Pencils”

  1. Yes, good idea…. this way of controllingthe pen size is also good when you press shift to get a straight line. … if you used pressure to control size then suddenly the straight line is annoyingly at the full uncontrolled width… but with Tilt the straight line is at the size you set by the pen angle. If you tilt it at differenet angles at each end of the straight line you can even get a wedge shaped line. The downside of this technique however is that a) the picture of the brush in the brush palette becomes disappearingly small b) tilt is less sensitive to control than pressure c) the lower tilt angles do not register ( they require the pen to be unusably flat). To get around (a) and (b) I often leave the pen controlled by pressure, set the pen direction to “follow the line” and then use this tilt technique on the Thickness control instead.

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