Quick Update

I wasn’t able to complete the tutorial because I ended up being busy. However I do plan to get around to it tomorrow after I complete the inking for the next page of Lost Words. It will be how to adjust your screentones using levels or curves. Something that can be really difficult to do or find.

I’m going to keep up with these quick tips. Most of it will end up being Manga Studio and Clip Studio Paint for now until I get other requests, but these are ones that I get asked the most often so I’d like to get them out of the way before moving on to to photoshop and zbrush. They tend to take a lot longer to write up as well.

3D Manga Studio Tea Cups

3D Manga Studio Tea Cup Props by DraconianRain on deviantART

For $1 I am selling 2 3D tea cups made specially for Manga Studio EX4. What you see in the image is a render of the tea cups. One with a handle one with out. They work well and are fairly small so they tend not to lag like the other default objects in Manga Studio EX 4. Later on in the week I’ll make a quick tutorial on importing and even making custom models for Manga Studio EX 4.

Manga Studio EX4 How To Export As A PDF

This tutorial is a straight to the point guide on how to export your Manga Studio story mode book as a PDF book. If you follow my directions, you should be able to do it without hassle.

Lets just pretend all my pages are finished. Open your story if you haven’t already. You should have something that looks like this.

Snap 2014-08-29 at 20.47.51

Next go to File >> Export>> Image in Dimensions. You should now see a window like this.

Snap 2014-08-29 at 20.49.54


Mostly you will want to keep these settings as is. Keep the Output at Actual Size option selected, leave color depth on Monochrome 2 Gradation. That is regarding the screentones and keeping everything purely black and white for printing. I always like to enable page numbers and author on mine but it’s up to you if you enable them or not. Then down at File Settings change the type to PDF as shown in the next image below.

Snap 2014-08-29 at 20.52.56

Make sure the output range is set to All Pages, and make sure┬áthat the output destination is where you want it or change it so you can find it easier for later. Also if you are using a double page spread, make sure to tick/enable Separate Double Page then Output option. Then hit ok when you’re happy with your settings.

Please be extremely patient during this process and if it freezes, just wait. When I did this on my old Laptop it took 3hrs to export because it was reading and converting the tone layers for export and as some of you already know I am pretty heavy handed with screentones. Just give it time, and have patience because it is work. It’s best to export a PDF when you don’t plan to do anything else on your PC. Manga Studio can often be a resource hog.

When it’s done exporting, open your PDF in your favourite PDF reading program, review it and that’s it! It should be as flawless as it is inside manga studio and ready to use immediately on places like Lulu.com for sale! Congratulations if everything worked without a hitch!!

If you get stuck or need further help please, please, PLEASE ask for help in a comment below.

Happy inking guys!! Next time I’ll show you how to turn your manga into a PDF using Adobe InDesign.



Tutorial Update

The Photoshop tutorial is going to be delayed until I can find a video converter that works well. In the mean time I will be uploading a Manga Studio EX 4 related post. Either a tutorial or like a speed paint. Most likely I will do a screenshot by screenshot tutorial again. This time on how to adjust screentone darkness using only curves or levels thus not having to reapply them over and over like so many users do. Because the screentone layer is it’s own type of layer, there is no need to delete it or re-tone it. There’s a simpler way in the properties panel. I will discuss it in probably great length in a new post. Until then, stay tuned!!

Panel 2 by DraconianRain on deviantART

Photoshop Screentone Brush Effect

This tutorial is for people that understand how to use layers.

After you have inked your sketched out draft and you are ready to tone your comic, change your image mode to greyscale. The way to do this is go to Image >> Mode >> Greyscale.

Make sure you separate your lighting and shading colours on their own layers for each and every segment for later when you are choosing your screentone dot size. For example, keep your eye colour on a separate layer from your skin since they will most likely need different sized dots to make up the tone.

Create a new layer beneath the line art layer. Select the area you wish to tone. In the video I start with the background. Using the gradient tool is optional but it can really create phenomenal tones. Use the gradient tool or bucket tool after you have made your selection and then, if you are trying to use a noise based tone, use Mezzotint from the filter menu under Pixelate instead of noise. It’s close to the noise that is used in traditional manga. If not then use Colourhalftone and set all the channel numbers to 45.

Make sure your area is still selected. If not, then reselect the area. Then press the Masking icon and mask off the area. Usually after enabling masking, the masking layer is automatically selected, but just in case it’s not, make sure to click the masked layer once with the left mouse button just to be sure. Then press ctrl i to invert the layer mask. You will notice that the screentone you just made has disappeared. It’s hidden by the mask.

Now that the tone is hidden it’s time to use the mask as if it were a special brush. Make sure your brush tool is set to the colour white. Start colouring in the screentone in the areas you want it to appear. This is the easiest way to use noise like screentones in photoshop. If you make a mistake change you brush colour to black┬áto re-hide it on the masking layer. This is a very efficient technique because there is no worry that you will have to delete the layer and redo it because the texture is not being changed or erased it’s simply being hidden and unhidden. A lot of artists use this technique when texturing their paints or UV maps for 3D models.

After you have carefully masked out your first tone and wish to move onto halftone screentones, create a new layer beneath your line art layer. Then select the area you want to tone. Choose an appropriate grey colour for the shading of your characters skin. Try to pick something that will suit the lighting of the room and also add to the atmosphere of the scene you are trying to create.

Next go to the Filter menu >> Pixelate >> Colourhalftone. The best settings to have is to simply change all the channels to 45. Try other numbers for the radius to find the correct dot size for your tones. Once you’re happy, mask the area. Then use the hotkey command ctrl i once again and use the brush tool set to black and proceed to colour in your screentones as if you were using a screentone brush. Repeat these steps to complete your picture.

You can also use colourhalftone on one layer paintings to create your own presset screentones for reuse later on in your comic. And that is all there is to this tutorial. You simply have to follow these simple steps for when you wish to tone a specific area and you will have professional looking screentones in no time!


Quick Update

I’m working on two brand new tutorials right now. It will mostly be photoshop painting tips, the other will include a speed painting video to quickly summarize what to do with some written instructions.

They will include:

  • ~ Clipping
  • ~ Masking
  • ~ Selection by specific colour
  • ~ Best or better practises for painting
  • ~ The best practise/exercise you can do to brush up or enhance your painting skills no matter what skill level you are at.
  • ~ How to open two of the same painting for a live side by side update (Very useful technique for quick revision when you’re doing a lot of zoomed in work).



Welcome to my new blog and website!! I’ve been saving up to get this up and running once again and I’ve finally done it! There will be a lot of changes this time. Mostly there will be a lot more tutorials and a lot more videos on how to do specific things that you guys keep asking about. It’s all very exciting and I hope you will enjoy what I have to offer!!

My main focus for posts will be what I’ve been doing or learning in 3D and the programs I am using, such as Blender, Zbrush and possible Metasequoia if I go back to using it. I will also occasionally post new things that I have learned in photoshop along with screencaps of where and how to find these new tools and/or settings. Hopefully you guys will be able to learn a little something as well along the way.

But before I go, I do apologise for some of the watermarks. I have had an art theft problem in the past but I will try not to disturb the image where it’s unreadable.