Clip Studio Paint

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Clip Studio Paint
Developer(s) Celsys
Initial release 2001; 17 years ago (2001)
Stable release
Operating system Mac OS X, Microsoft Windows, iOS
Type Graphics editor
License Proprietary

Clip Studio Paint (previously marketed as Manga Studio in North America) 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 (especially manga, inherited from Celsys's discontinued Comic Studio), illustration (inherited from Celsys's discontinued Illust Studio; see the Japanese article), and limited 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] 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.

Smith Micro's international versions of Manga Studio/Clip Studio Paint don't specific type support for Japanese, particularly furigana adding.


The original version of the program was released in Japan as "Comic Studio" 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 with this capability, this upgrade path was enabled and version 4 was discontinued. In 2015, sales of Comic Studio and Illust Studio, the precursors of Clip Studio Paint, were officially ended.[5][6]

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, worldwide, although Smith Micro's versions are still available.


Comic Studio was sold with various editions: "Mini" with very limited features for tablet use, "Debut" with entry-level features, "Pro" as the standard edition, "EX" as the full-feature edition.[7] Additionally there were also the "Aqua" and "On-de-Manga" editions which were discontinued. SmithMicro only marketed the "Debut" and "EX" edition for Manga Studio prior to version 5 (which is marketed as "Manga Studio 5" and "Manga Studio EX 5", equivalent to "Clip Studio Paint Pro" and "Clip Studio Paint EX").

Currently, Clip Studio Paint is available in three editions: "Debut", "Pro" and "EX".[8] The "Pro" edition is also available for use on iPad. The "Pro" and "EX" editions are only sold with perpetual licenses internationally, but also with monthly rental fees for additional materials and support in Japan.

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,[9] for which she has won a number of awards.[10][11][12] Dave Gibbons, the artist who co-created Watchmen, uses it for current digital work and has done promotional demonstrations of the software.[13] Mike Krahulik uses it for the popular web comic Penny Arcade and related works.[14]

See also[edit]


External links[edit]