Zoom Zoom

–originally from my old blog and recovered —

Hey all, it’s a Manga Studio tip week!

Let’s talk zoom levels. Like most drawing programs you can arbitrarily zoom in on MS pages to whatever zoom level you like, but if you use the little Magnifying plus and minus icons (zoom-magor the keyboard shortcut: – and + ) MS will jump to fixed zoom levels, which, handily you can set yourself.

Here’s my setup:


This can be found in MANGA STUDIO->Preferences->Canvas

A little explanation – I work at original art size, about 40% bigger than print – I do this because I still like working on traditional pencils/inks sometimes and so if I keep my digital file sizes the same size as my actual art I can round-robin pages – scanning in to alter pencils, print out, ink, scan in again with ease. Working all digital you could easily work at 600dpi print size, and I sometimes do that, but I’m used to drawing at the larger size now.

Here’s how the zoom levels breakdown – now these apply specifically to my 27″ cintiq (I KNOW!!!) and you should probably measure sizes out based on the screen resolution you’re working with:

5% – this is a tiny thumbnail of the page and gives me a quick distant glance at a page to make sure it’s working small (more important than most realise, if it works at this level it’ll work at all levels)

12.9% – this is roughly print size (I measured it against the finished comic) and gives me a sense of how it’ll work in print.

18.3% – is art 1:1 size on my old cintiq 12″ (which had a higher resolution than the 27″ cintiq). I could literally lay the art on top of the cintiq and it would match line for line.

20.8% – this is art 1:1 size on the new Cintiq 27″ (and why you should check your resolution to make sure it matches – you can do this using “Display Resolution” which lets you tell MS the res of your monitor by displaying a handle adjustable ruler which you set can measure against an actual real physical ruler- you’ll feel like a prat for a minute but once done it’s done)


After this the sizes are mostly arbitrary:

33.3% – 1/3 zoom level. What I ink at most of the time, a little closer than 1:1

50% – occasionally go in to this detail if there’s some odd little detail I want to work out.

75% – this is too close to zoom, don’t do this (unless you’re flatting and need to make sure you’re not missing a bit)

100% – THIS WAY LIES MADNESS. Seriously, don’t ink at this level, that’s insane, bro.

And that’s how to set the perfect zoom levels (and not to worry, you can still zoom in using either the little slider on the navigation window to zoom in to insane arbitrary zooms if you so wish, but this way you can keep some bad habits away – like inking faces at 300% zoom, you maniac!)

Clip Studio Paint The Basics

A few years ago I wrote a bunch of articles for imagineFX called “Core Skills” for Clip Studio Paint. It’s probably time to revisit those in a new series of articles I’ll be doing for the blog called CSP The Basics.

These are things I think you’ll need to have a handle on using clip studio. It won’t replace a manual or a decent book, or any number of other resources. It’ll just be the way I work in the software for producing my own work. CSP – like any sofware often has more than one way to go about doing anything, and so, there’s a chance that I’ll introduce you to some other way of doing stuff or you’ll think “that’s not how you do that!”

Anyway, one article a week is the aim, we’ll see how it gets done.

The basics will be:

  1. File->New! Everything you need to know about creating a brand new file in CSP.
  2. Layers of meaning. WTF is a layer and why do I need to know what that is.
  3. File->Print. Digital pencilling in CSP.
  4. Basic 3d in CSP.
  5. Export. Exporting preview images for fun and (no) profit!
  6. Paint it Black. Digital inks.
  7. Lettering and why you should avoid it in CSP
  8. Colours – Flatting
  9. Colours – Rendering

And, that should be it.

If there’s any topic you think needs to be covered, or if you have any specific questions, then let me know!


I love S/FX I think they’re vastly underused, and – certainly as an artist – I think, when possible they should be drawn on the artboard.
I draw my s/fx in Clip Studio Paint, and it’s a technique that’s really simple but produces really effective results.

Step 1:

Create a new layer (Layers->New Raster Layer), call it SFX (you rename a layer by double clicking the name of the layer in the layers window, this turns the name into a white box that you can then type over)- this will sit on top of all other art layers (and even on top of the frame layer if you’re using one)


Next, in the Layer Properties (make sure Window->Layer Property is ticked) turn on the Border Effect (it’s the little black circle with white outline). This sets a border around anything drawn on this layer.

Set the Edge Colour to black (just click the edge colour, which defaults to white and select black) andlayerproperties.PNG increase the thickness, your mileage will vary here according to your tastes, but I like a decently thick outline.


Now, set the pen colour to white and select your favourite drawing pen…

And write your SFX on the SFX layer, and you should get something like this…


or this


or this


or …



well, you get the idea…

(Originally published in my patreon, in case you’re feeling deja vu!)