Category Archives: Personal

Family/Personal Blogging Stuff. Probably won’t be much of this.

Long leaded pencil tool in manga studio 5

Screen Shot 2013-05-16 at 21.05.04

A little while ago I blogged about using Manga Studio 5 to create a more lifelike pencil tool. If you were using a cintiq, it allowed you to hold the pen at shallow angle and rub the screen as you would with a pencil and get broader strokes (just as you would if you did the same thing). It didn’t occur to me to export the pencil tool at the time (because… well, sometimes I can be thick). But, I thought I’d revisit it and export the pencil.

I’ve made one tiny alteration which has made a big difference to how convincing it is as real world pencil -by changing the nib shape from a circle to a sort of flattened ellipse, the pencil shading effect is now much more intuitive and natural. Here’s an example:

Screen Shot 2013-05-16 at 20.59.38

(in this drawing, the blue line is the orientation of the pen as I was drawing.

You can download the brush tool here: Long Leaded Pencil.sut. This works fine on a cintiq 12″ – honestly no idea how it’ll perform on other devices (the cheaper wacom tablets may not be able to detect the orientation/angle of the pen).


If you don’t have manga studio 5 you can buy it via amazon (boxed pc/windows is currently £55 and I’ll get a bit of kickback via the affiliate program) or via Manga Studio where you can buy it digitally (and I’ll get a kickback there too! please don’t hate me!)

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.