Understanding and Taking Advantage of the Manga Studio EX Palettes

Mad About Manga

How to Draw Manga Step by Step

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The basic palette that users of Manga Studio Debut and EX have has been covered throughout the course of this book. However, I'm sure you EX users have noticed an additional group of palettes that I haven't touched on ... yet.

To avoid confusion for the Debut users, I set aside these exclusive palettes to this chapter, where I would be able to discuss them in further depth. Considering the cool features you now have at your disposal, you'll be glad I saved these palettes for last.

The Gray palette

If you want to lighten the color of your line work when penciling, you'd normally open the Tool Options palette and adjust its opacity. However, if you notice, that setting is good for only the particular pencil you're working with; if you want all your pencils to have the same opacity level, you need to go through each pencil type and set its corresponding opacity. Of course, if you change your mind and want a darker color, you have to go though each type again and ... I think you get the point.

What the Gray palette (shown in Figure 15-1) does is save you time. Instead of going through each pencil type, you simply adjust the gray level in the palette, and all your pencil tools now draw in that same shade of gray. Even more, all of your drawing tools use the same gray level. If you need to change colors on-the-fly, simply adjust the level in the Gray palette again and keep working with any of the drawing tools you want.

While I've established in this book that you aren't really working with colors other than black and white, I use "colors" to refer to the drawing opacity level. It rolls off the tongue better than "gray levels"

To use the Gray palette, follow these steps:

1. Either click the Gray palette button, located on the main toolbar or press F9 on your keyboard.

2. Choose whether you want to adjust the color of the foreground or background colors by clicking their respective color boxes.

3. Use the slider to adjust the color to the value you want. Or you can enter a value between 0 % and 100 % in its corresponding text box.

4. If you'd like to save the color to use later, click the Register Color button and it's saved in the color repository.

5. When you want to reuse a color you've saved, click its color box in the repository and you're ready to go.

& If you don't want to save your own colors, you can use one of the preinstalled gray sets instead. Click the Temporal Gray Set button (located below the color slider) and you can then select the set you'd like to use from the dropdown list.

If you're trying out the trick to color your work (which I describe in Chapter 14), you may find this tidbit useful, if you're working on an 8-bit gray layer, you can use the color sets on the Gray palette to draw in different shades of your chosen color. What's more, you can draw over a darker shade with a lighter shade if you want (something you can't do on any other kind of layer). Check out Figure 15-2 to see what I mean.

Figure 15-1:

Change the opacity of drawing toots with the Gray palette.

Figure 15-1:

Change the opacity of drawing toots with the Gray palette.

Figure 15-2:

You can draw a lighter color over a darker color if you're using a pen or shape tool on an 8-bit gray layer.

Figure 15-2:

You can draw a lighter color over a darker color if you're using a pen or shape tool on an 8-bit gray layer.

The Materials palette

The Materials palette works as your "one stop shop" for the various image layers, rulers, and 2D or 3D objects you can apply to a page. These materials serve as templates that you can simply add to the page instead of manually creating and adjusting each time you need to add a new one.

Using the default materials

Located in the Default folder of the Materials palette are a variety of preset layers and tools that you can use right away oil your page, simply by selecting what you want and either pasting it with the Paste Materials button or by dragging it directly onto the page, as shown in Figure 13-3.

The materials provided in the Default folder include the following:

v0 2DLT Sample and 3DLT Sample: These folders contain two dimensional images and three dimensional objects that you can import onto a page. I discuss how they work in further detail In Bonus Chapter 2 on the CD, but basically you can drag and drop these objects onto the page, where you can then adjust to your liking using the respective 2DLT (setting threshold and posterization levels of the image) and 3DLI' (setting position, angle, lighting, threshold, and posterization levels of the object) filters.

Layer: The materials in the Layer folder are preset layer types, which are almost like layer templates in that you can simply paste them onto the page as is rather than create and adjust your own drawing layers.

v* Rulers: In Chapter 8,1 talk about how you can create a ruler from practically any kind of shape. The rulers in the Rulers folder prove just that — you can choose from a variety of rulers ranging from simple shapes to (fairly) complex objects. For you traditional artists who like to work with French curves and other drawing guides, you can select virtual versions of those tools as well!

Ver2 Layer: These are additional layer types that you can add to a page, including specialized ruler layers such as the focus line, parallel line, and perspective line rulers, (each of which 1 discuss later in this chapter in the "Filters as Rulers: Using the Parallel, Focus, and Perspective Line Rulers" section.)

V Word Balloons: All of the word balloon types I discuss in Chapter 12 are located right here.

You can use the Paste button...

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Creating your ou>n material

The default materials do cover a lot of ground, but it's still possible that the particular preset you're looking for isn't included. The good news is that you aren't limited to the default materials — you can create layers, artwork, word balloons, and rulers exactly as you need them and then save them in the Materials palette to use over and over again!

Follow these steps to add your own material to the Materials palette:

1. Make sure that the User folder is selected on the Materials palette, as shown in Figure 15-4.

Manga Studio won't let you save your custom material in the Default folder, so you need to be sure you have the User folder selected before you can go any further.

2. Click the New Folder button to create a folder for your material and name it according to the type of material you plan on storing. When created, double-click the folder.

Technically, you don't need to do this. You can just as easily use the Materials folder already created in the User folder, if you want. You can even place everything right in the main User directory itself. However, it might be a bit difficult to find a particular template or image if you have lots of them stored in one location.

It's good practice to try to keep your materials organized in separate folders. You'll thank yourself later.

3. Prepare the layer you want to save as material.

How you prepare the layer obviously varies, depending on the type of material you're looking to save. The idea here is that if you want to save a particular item to the Materials palette, you need to make sure that said material is ready to be saved.

Because a layer is what ultimately is saved to the Materials palette, everything that's on the layer is saved as well. If you're looking to save only one ruler, for example, you need to make sure there are no other rulers on the layer.

4. Highlight the layer you want to save on the Layers palette.

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5. From the main menu, choose File1-; Save as Material.

And there you go! Your image, drawing layer, ruler, or other material has been saved to the Materials palette, ready for you to use whenever you want!

The only layer types you can't add to the Materials palette are basic frames, grids, guides, and sketch layers (images imported as sketch layers, — not to be confused with the raster layers with the sketch attribute selected).

You can include other files in this folder by clicking the Show Menu button and selecting Import. You can save any kind of file to the Materials folder — even ones that you can't use in Manga Studio! For non-Manga Studio files, the native program used to open the item starts up when you double-click it.

To delete a material from the palette, select the item from the window and click the Delete icon.

Custom Toots palette

The Custom Tools palette (shown in Figure 15-5) works like an art supply box. With this palette, you can pick and choose which pens, pencils, markers, and other tools or functions you like to use most frequently from one location. No more needing to hold a tool button down for a few seconds and choose from a list; each tool is laid out on the Custom Tools palette for you to select quickly. Even better, you can create and use custom sets, which can store just the tools you want to use for a particular phase of development!

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The palette comes installed with four custom sets. You can choose between them by clicking the set name, and selecting the new set you want to work with from the drop-down list.

To customize this palette, follow these steps:

1. Click the Show Menu button and select Custom Settings. (You can't miss it — it's the only option on the menu!)

The Custom Settings dialog box appears.

2. Select one of the sets you want to customize from the Set Name dropdown list.

Alternatively, you can choose to either delete a set or create a brand-new one. To delete the highlighted set, click the Delete Set button and click Yes when the confirmation dialog box pops up. To add a new set, click the New Set button and enter a name when the New Custom Tool Settings dialog box pops up.

3. To add a new menu command to a set, highlight the command you want on the Menu tab and click the Add button.

Adding a menu command to a set gives you one-click access to a command you'd normally have to choose from the main menu.

4. To add a new tool to a set, highlight the tool you want on the Tool tab and click the Add button. (See Figure 15-6.)

Custom Settings


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Adding tools to this palette give you faster access to the variant tools you use. For example, if you normally wanted to switch between the G pen and the Brush, you would have to bring up the list of pens from either the Tools or Tool Options. Now, you can add each pen type to the Custom Palette, and to switch between them, simply click their respective button.

It probably doesn't seem like much, but it's certainly a nice convenience to have.

5. To delete one of the existing commands or tools from a set, highlight the tool in the Customize Tool palette list and click the Delete button.

6. Click OK when you're done.

Actions palette

Actions are much like macros in some other programs: They're a series of commands that you can program to perform in a particular sequence. Using actions, you can eliminate some of the more mundane tasks by simply grouping them together.

Using default actions

Manga Studio comes preinstalled with a series of actions. They're all pretty basic, and while I think you may find them useful, I believe the default actions are more useful to give you an idea of what you can do with your own customized actions.

The descriptions of each action are self explanatory, so I'll point you to Figure 15-7, which lists all of the default actions on the Actions palette.

Figure 15-7:

Save some time by using any of the preinstalled actions, or create your own!

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To use an action, simply highlight the action you wish to perform and click the Play button. The program does the rest — it performs each step within the action program until it's done.

Organizing action sets

Like with the Custom Tools palette, you can choose to organize your actions by placing them in different sets. You can switch to any of these sets by clicking the set name and selecting from the drop-down list that appears.

You can organize your action sets by clicking the Show Menu button and choosing from the following functions:

f* To create a new set, select New Settings and enter a name for your new set when the dialog box appears.

iS To delete a set, select Delete Settings and click OK when the confirmation window appears.

f To rename a set, select Rename Settings and enter a new name when the dialog box appears.

is To copy a set, select Duplicate Settings and enter the new name when the dialog box appears.

Creating your ou/n actions

To create your own action, follow these steps:

1. Select the set your new action will reside in.

2. Click the Show Menu button and select New Action.

3. When prompted, enter the name of your action.

4. When you're ready to create the action, click the Record button, located at the top of the Actions palette.

5. Start performing the functions you want t«> add to the action.

Kur example, you can:

a. Use the Marquee tool. (Hold down the button to select the rectangle tool.)

b. Draw a rectangle on the page.

c. Select a tone from the Tones palette.

d. Paste the tone into the selection.

e. Clear the selection from the page (SelectionOClear Selection from the Main Menu)

6. When you're done, click the Stop Button.

[f you find you made a mistake when recording your action, you can go back and delete it from the program. Just highlight the offending step and click the Trash button. Then, click the record button and rerecord the step or steps you wanted to perform.

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  • Taimi
    Where are the colors saved in manga studio 4 ex?
    1 year ago

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