Manga Studio EX 5
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- Includes everything professional comic artists and aspiring artists need to create manga comic art
- Easy to use, intuitive interface produces fast results and single-click special effects save time
- Complete control over text, lines, word balloons, and page layout
- Tons of screen tones included add dimension, depth, and character to your art
- Built in special effects, tones and tools give artwork a unique style and professional look
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Manga Studio 5 EX is the world"s leading comic and manga creation software and delivers powerful art tools for every manga and comic artist. It is designed both for artists wishing to enhance and perfect their pen and paper illustrations and for artists wishing to complete the entire process of creating manga and comics digitally.
From the Manufacturer
Manga Studio 5 EX, the ultimate illustration tool for professional comic, manga & graphic artists
Manga Studio 5 EX, the leading comic and Manga creation software worldwide, delivers powerful cutting edge features for manga and comic artists alike. Save time and increase your productivity with the customizable interface and tools. Invigorate your drawings using color and built-in special effects. Import 3D objects and render them as backgrounds for your artwork. Import and export to many common file formats and publish and export professional quality manga for print or web. Manga Studio 5 EX offers thousands of screen tones, professional drawing and coloring tools, and in depth layout and rendering capabilities, making it an essential tool for graphic illustrators and professional Comic and Manga artists.
SPEED UP YOUR WORKFLOW
Amazing New Effects and Tools - Amazing updates to Manga Studio make it comparable to other popular graphic applications such as Photoshop and Painter. Manga Studio 5 EX provides several advancements over Manga Studio 4 to help you create a much more professional and polished look.
FULLY CUSTOMIZABLE NEW USER INTERFACE
Set up a Personal Work Flow - Manga Studio 5 EX was written with artists' workflow at the very top of the priority list. All of the most used tools - pens, pencils, erasers, rulers, pattern brushes and selection tools are all right at your fingertips. Customize your own brush shapes, canvas textures, paint expressions and more and then save those as your personal settings.
POWERFUL COLORING TOOLS
Color your Artwork - Manga Studio is your all in one manga and comic creation solution. Save time and money by no longer having to use other applications to professionally color your artwork.
MORE PRECISION AND CONTROL
Advanced Text Settings - Manga Studio 5 EX’s text tools have been updated to include adjustments to letter and word spacing, mixing of fonts, anti-aliasing, italics and underline options, line spacing and many other requested features.
Pencil and Ink Options - Manga Studio offers more versatility and flexibility than any other application when creating manga and comics. Create original sketches using your mouse or draw naturally with a Pen Tablet. Use scans of your existing paper artwork or import images or photos for use in your manga and comic creations.
MORE POWER AND CONTROL
3D Options - New support for 3D objects and figures allows for reference and background materials. Manipulate 3D objects directly on the screen or use preset poses. Drag and Drop other 3D objects on the canvas.
SIMULATE REAL WORLD BRUSHES
Paint Brushes Created Just the Way You Like - New dedicated air brush allows you to have multiple air brush effects. Use the tone brush to create a wider array of visual effects. Easily create and share your own brush pattern as well.
Vector Toolkit - Speed up production using the built-in vector tools. Ability to view the centerline of vectors makes spotting trouble areas in need of smoothing a breeze
Top customer reviews
The drawing tools are, quite simply, excellent, especially after adding in some of the more highly recommended custom brushes that are available online. Being able to turn my brush strokes into vector-type lines is one of my favorite things about this - it becomes so easy to make corrections and to tweak various parts of the drawing. The ruler tools are also outstanding - in particular the perspective rulers, which are a huge boon to productivity.
Some of the other tools, which favor the more mechanical/production side of comics creation, are a mixed bag in terms of professional quality. I absolutely love the panel border creation tools, though I wish there was an easier way to break panel borders when necessary. The "story" tools are also very useful, especially if you plan to produce your entire comic in MS5.The balloon choices aren't bad, though the tails leave much to be desired, especially the curved tails. And again, the lack of a simple method to break panel borders with balloons, if you should want to do so, is frustrating.
But my biggest problem (and it is a HUGE problem if you are planning to create professional quality comics): I can't produce a full comic in MS because of the terrible lettering/text tools. The options for placing and editing text are the absolute bare-bones minimum. The lettering tool might be fine for some users, but it lacks the capabilities necessary for professional quality lettering. There is no kerning, there is no ability to control letter width, and there is no recognition of some of the features that are present in good quality comics lettering fonts. Just to name a few of the missing capabilities. (Unless all those features have been cleverly hidden somewhere, which would be nearly as bad.) Having been on the market since 2006, I would have hoped that the developers would have done a much, much better job on this essential aspect of a comics creation program.
Finally, the 3D model tools are a huge waste of resources. There is no ability to control lighting or materials, especially with imported models. There are many other programs that do 3D infinitely better, some of them free (DAZ Studio and Sketchup). It's a nice idea, but it's just not something that a drawing program like MS is built to do.
So, I will continue to experiment with MS5 EX as a digital drawing program - at which it seems to excel. I would give the program 5 stars based on those features. But neither the 3D modelling nor the lettering tools are well-done, and that prevents MS5 EX from being the all-in-one tool that it is advertised to be. Since lettering is, obviously, an essential element of comics creation, I would have preferred that they devote their energy to making the lettering professional quality, instead of wasting time and resources on 3D tools that are very poor quality and, honestly, out of place in a program like Manga Studio.
To sum up: 5 stars for drawing and some of the comics production tools. I'm rather indifferent to the 3D model tools, but lettering is absolutely essential and the lack of quality tools in that area is a major oversight on the part of the developers. Minus 2 stars. If you're looking for a good drawing program, MS5 is great. But as all-in-one software to produce a professional quality comic from start to finish, as it is advertised, it's still not ready for prime time.
I love the new interface. It's still not setup like Photoshop, but it's also not as unwieldy as the previous version. For those who are new to this program, they are extremely fortunate (even if they don't know it). For those of us coming from the previous version, there will be a period of adjustment. But the new layout makes more sense to me, once I figure out where things are, so I don't mind re-learning the locations for different tools! :)
Painting and inking have been improved. (I don't know how they managed to improve the inking, since that was stellar in the last version, but there you go!) This is a big boon for Manga Studio, since painting was the program's weakest area in previous versions. The closest I can compare it to is painting in Paint Tool SAI. I actually think it's better (but that's my personal opinion). Many of the nifty little things that existed in other painting programs are now available in 5.
If you're on the fence about which one to get: 5 or EX 5, lemme help you. If you do mostly illustration work and a little comic making on the side, stick with 5. If you're primarily doing comics (with illustrating), get EX 5. A lot of my favorite tools for making comics can only be found in the EX version.
As always, Manga Studio is a big program (in terms of features) and there will be a learning curve. Do not expect it to act like Photoshop, otherwise you will be disappointed. This program excels at streamlining the comic-making process and everything is designed around that. It is made for making comics, not for editing photos. Therefore, it's design is fundamentally different. I'm just giving ya'll a warning because that's been a complaint against this program in the past.
A little tip to save money: I bought these through Smith Micro and signed up for the e-newletter. If you get the regular version and then upgrade while they're on sale (and they are frequently), it's substantially cheaper then buying the full version here. Plus, if you're new to the program, getting the regular version will allow you to get comfortable with the layout and decide whether it's worth the extra money for EX.