Clip Studio Paint

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Clip Studio Paint
Initial release2001; 18 years ago (2001)
Stable release
1.9.2 / July 17, 2019; 3 months ago (2019-07-17)
Operating systemmacOS, Microsoft Windows, iOS
TypeGraphics editor

Clip Studio Paint (previously marketed as Manga Studio in North America), informally known in Japan as Kurisuta (クリスタ),[Note 1] is a family of software applications for macOS, Microsoft Windows, and iOS, developed by Celsys, a Japanese graphics software company. It is used for the digital creation of comics (inherited from Celsys's discontinued Comic Studio), illustration (inherited from Illust Studio; see the Japanese article), and frame-by-frame 2D animation. 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] with "Clip Studio Paint Debut" (with more limited features) bundled with some drawing tablets.[2]


Clip Studio Paint is a page-based, layered drawing program, with support for bitmap and vector art, text, imported 3D models, and frame-by-frame animation. It is designed for use with a stylus and a graphics tablet or tablet computer. It has drawing tools which emulate natural media such as pencils, ink pens, and brushes, as well as patterns and decorations. It is distinguished from similar programs by features optimized for use in creating comics: tools for creating panel layouts, perspective rulers, sketching, inking, applying tones and textures, coloring, and creating word balloons and captions.


The original version of the program was released in Japan as "Comic Studio" in 2001.[3] It was sold as "Manga Studio" in the Western market by E Frontier America until 2007, then by Smith Micro Software until 2017;[4][5] it is now sold and supported by Celsys and Graphixly LLC.[6]

Early versions of the program were designed for creating black and white art with only spot color (a typical format for Japanese manga), but version 4 – released in 2007[3] – introduced support for creating full-color art.

In 2013 the program was overhauled, based on Celsys' separate Comic Studio and Illust Studio applications. Sold in different markets as "Clip Studio Paint" version 1 or "Manga Studio" version 5, the new application featured new coloring tools, different text-handling tools, and a new file system which stored the data for each page in a single file (extension .lip), rather than multiple files. In 2015, Comic Studio and Illust Studio were discontinued.[7][8]

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) also introduced a new file format (extension .clip). In late 2017, Celsys took over direct support for the software worldwide, and ceased its relationship with Smith Micro. In July 2018, it began a partnership with Graphixly for distribution in North America, South America, and Europe.


The application has been sold in various "editions", with differing feature sets and prices. Comic Studio was sold in Japan as: "Mini" with very limited features (bundled with graphics tablets), "Debut" with entry-level features, "Pro" as the standard edition, "EX" as the full-feature edition.[9] Smith Micro only marketed the "Debut" and "EX" editions; with "Manga Studio" version 5, they marketed the "Pro" and "EX" editions as standard and advanced editions of the program. "Clip Studio Paint" is available in three editions: "Debut" (sold only as part of bundles), "Pro" and "EX".[10]

The Windows and macOS versions of the software are sold with perpetual licenses, with the software distributed either by download from the developer's web site or on DVD. The version for iOS is distributed through the Apple App Store, and licensed on an ongoing subscription basis.

Notable users[edit]

Notable users of Clip Studio Paint include comics artist Fiona Staples, who uses the program to create her work for the series Saga,[11] for which she has won a number of awards.[12][13][14] Dave Gibbons, the artist who co-created Watchmen, uses it for current digital work and has done promotional demonstrations of the software.[15] Mike Krahulik uses it for the popular web comic Penny Arcade and related works.[16] Manga artist One (One-Punch Man) uses it for Mob Psycho 100.[citation needed] Prentis Rollins has used it to create his graphic novel The Furnace and Jekyll Island Chronicles.[17]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ A clipping of the Japanese pronunciation of its name, Kurippu Sutajio Peinto.


  1. ^ "CLIP STUDIO PAINT EX". Graphixly. Retrieved 2019-06-17.
  2. ^ "CLIP STUDIO PAINT: Software/app for Manga, Comics, Drawing and Painting". CLIP STUDIO.NET. Retrieved 2019-06-24.
  3. ^ a b "Celsys company history". Archived from the original on 2011-06-06.
  4. ^ "Smith Micro Software press release".
  5. ^ "Learn About the History of Manga Studio". Smith Micro Graphics. Retrieved 2012-08-19.
  6. ^ "Graphixly & Celsys announce partnership at Anime Expo". Graphixly. Retrieved 2019-06-17.
  7. ^ "マンガ制作ソフトComicStudio |". Retrieved 2019-06-17.
  8. ^ "イラスト制作ソフトIllustStudio |". Retrieved 2019-06-17.
  9. ^ "マンガ制作ソフトComicStudio |". Retrieved 2019-06-17.
  10. ^ "Functions | CLIP STUDIO PAINT". CLIP STUDIO.NET. Retrieved 2019-06-17.
  11. ^ Staples, Fiona (w), Staples, Fiona (a). "Fiona's Process" Saga 8: 24-25 (December 2012), Image Comics
  12. ^ Hennon, Blake (20 July 2013). "Comic-Con: 'Building Stories,' 'Saga' top Eisners (winners list)". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 20 July 2013.
  13. ^ "2013 Hugo Awards". Hugo Awards. 2013-04-30.
  14. ^ Seifert, Mark. "Saga Wins Big At 2013 Harvey Awards, Plus Complete List Of Winners".
  15. ^ "Dave Gibbons to Host Manga Studio Webinar". 16 March 2010.
  16. ^ Krahulik, Mike. "Surface 3 Update".
  17. ^ "Versatile and Powerful: Using Clip Studio Paint To Create Concept Art". Graphixly. Retrieved 2019-06-17.

External links[edit]