The Benefits of Using Lagers

1 like to think of the layers feature as an all-in-one solution while drawing digitally. Now, I know that people tend to throw the term all-in-one around quite a bit, sometimes incorrectly. In the case of Manga Studio, however, 1 feel it's apropos; using the layers feature allows you to have all kinds of drawing space, tools, guides, and so forth ... all in one convenient place.

For drawing, layers are like a near-infinite stack of tracing paper. On one layer, you can work on your pencil roughs, while on another you can have your inked line work. On another layer you have your various screentones, and on yet another, you have all your various effects, such as speed or focus lines.

Manga Studio takes the layers concept one step further than other drawing programs. In addition to pencil, ink, and screentone layers, the program provides layers for many of your drawing aids. You can have masking and selection areas (discussed in Chapter 9), rulers and guides (Chapter 8), individual panels (Chapter 7), perspective and other effect lines and rulers (Chapter 8), and a printing guide (Chapter 1), each on its own layer! (See Figure 6-1.)

Layers

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The layers feature can also be a means to increase efficiency. For example, if you work with traditional tools, you might be aware of a few schools of thought regarding how you pencil and ink your work:

f* You use your trusty 2B pencil to rough your work, ink directly over your roughs, and erase the pencil marks when the inks are dry.

v* You use a blueline pencil to rough your work, ink over your roughs, and send the page(s) to the publisher, who will then remove the blueline marks. (Or you scan the art and remove the blueline marks yourself using a program like Photoshop.)

You pencil your work on one sheet of paper and then use either tracing paper or a lightboard to ink over the pencils on a separate sheet.

Each option has its advantages and disadvantages. With the first two options, you lose your original pencil roughs, but you have only one sheet of paper to keep track of. With the last option, you keep your pencil work, but now you have two sheets of paper (or possibly more if you make a copy of your inks to screentone on), which can clutter up your workspace quite a bit over time. Not to mention, if you happen to use blueline and don't happen to own a copy of Photoshop, you'll be spending hours cleaning up your line art by digitally erasing all the roughs.

Working with layers in Manga Studio gives you the best option. You can scan in (or digitally draw) your pencil roughs on one layer, change the pencil color to blue (or any other color you'd like) and then ink on a new layer. (See

Figure 6-2.) If you happen to notice a mistake in the roughs while inking, just go back to the roughs layer, erase and correct as need be, and go right back to the inks layer to finish the work.

Figure 6-2.) If you happen to notice a mistake in the roughs while inking, just go back to the roughs layer, erase and correct as need be, and go right back to the inks layer to finish the work.

Figure 6-2:

You can place your roughs and inks on separate layers in Manga Studio.

This way, not only do you have the ability to ink over your pencils like they were on one sheet of paper, you can keep the two steps separate, just like you were using tracing paper. Plus, you save the time spent erasing your roughs by simply hiding that layer, leaving the inks visible for you to continue on to the next stage of your work.

Freehand Sketching An Introduction

Freehand Sketching An Introduction

Learn to sketch by working through these quick, simple lessons. This Learn to Sketch course will help you learn to draw what you see and develop your skills.

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