Clip Studio Paint (previously marketed as Manga Studio in North America and ComicStudio in Japan) is a family of software applications for macOS and Microsoft Windows used for the digital creation of comics and manga, developed by Celsys, a Japanese graphics software company. The current version is sold as "Clip Studio Paint Pro", and "Clip Studio Paint EX", which adds support for multi-page documents and other features.1] Earlier versions were packaged as "Debut" and "EX" varieties.
Although it has features in common with general-purpose graphics software such as Adobe Photoshop, Clip Studio Paint's tool set is focused and optimized for use in creating comics and manga. It has tools for creating panel layouts, perspective rulers, sketching, inking, applying tones and textures, coloring, and creating word balloons and captions. It supports creation of bitmap and vector art, importing 3D models, and frame by frame animation. It supports input by a mouse or a graphics tablet.
The program was released in Japan as "ComicStudio" in 2001.2] It was sold as "Manga Studio" in the Western market by E Frontier America until 2007, and distributed by Smith Micro Software until 2017;3]4] it is now sold and supported by Celsys. Early versions were designed for creating black and white art with only spot color (a typical format for Japanese manga), but version 4 (released in 2007)2] introduced support for creating full-color art.
In 2013 the program was overhauled. Sold in different markets at "Clip Studio Paint" or "Manga Studio 5", the new application featured new coloring tools, different text-handling, and a new file system which replaced the multiple files used to store each page, with a single monolithic file containing all of the data for each page. The initial release was unable to import multi-page documents created by Manga Studio 4 (which was still offered for sale), but with the introduction of the "EX" version, this upgrade path was enabled and version 4 was discontinued. In 2016, the name "Manga Studio" was deprecated, with the program sold in all markets as "Clip Studio Paint". The version released under this unified branding (designated 1.5.4) introduced a modified file format which is incompatible with earlier releases. In late 2017, Celsys took over direct support for the software.
Notable users of Clip Studio Paint include comics artist Fiona Staples, who uses the program to create her work for the series Saga,5] for which she has won a number of awards.6]7]8] Dave Gibbons, the artist who co-created Watchmen, uses it for current digital work and has done promotional demonstrations of the software.9] Mike Krahulik uses it for the popular web comic Penny Arcade and related works.10]