The Panel Ruler Layer

If you're looking for a quick-and-easy means to create panel borders (or even panel layers) in Manga Studio, the panel ruler layer may be just the thing for you. As the name implies, the panel ruler layer creates rulers that you then divide, combine, and adjust to fit what you've roughed out. You can then convert these rulers however you'd like — from a new ink layer with fresh clean borders to a series of panel layers all ready for you to open and work on individually.

You can create a new panel ruler layer in two ways:

From the main menu, choose LayerCNew Layer. In the New Layer dialog box, select Panel Ruler Layer from the Layer Type drop-down list and then click OK. (See Figure 7-8.)

i* On the Layers palette, click the icon next to the Rulers title. This brings up a simpler version of the New Layer dialog box, shown in Figure 7-9.

In the Layer Type drop-down list, select Panel Ruler Layer and click OK.

Whichever method you choose, you see a thick blue line outlining the safe area of your page. That's your new panel ruler layer, and that's what you shape into your new panels.

In order to shape the panel ruler layer, the first order of business is to cut it up. For that, you need the Panel Cutter tool, located on the Tools palette.

Using the Panel Ruler Cutter is much like using the regular Line tool on an image layer: You click one endpoint, drag across the canvas, and release. This time, however, the line you create bisects the panel rulers you cross, as you can see in Figure 7-10.

Figure 7-8:

The New Layer dialog box.

New layer_

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Figure 7-9:

The New Ruler Layer dialog box.

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Figure 7-10:

Using the Panel Ruler Cutter.

Figure 7-10:

Using the Panel Ruler Cutter.

If you hold down the Shift key while dragging the Panel Ruler Cutter, you draw a perfectly horizontal or vertical line.

The panels that you rough out may be larger than the panel ruler layer. That's perfectly okay; at this stage, you're really focused only on approximating the panel shapes. The following section is all about shaping the rulers to fit what you've drawn.

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