Frank M. Hansen
I have been using Manga Studio for about 2 years. I first heard about it when I saw the product in an Apple store and then heard about the video of Dave Gibbons using it and I watched it.
Before Manga Studio, I used Photoshop and Painter. I still use Photoshop in addition to MS. I use it to adjust the colors (hues) or add textured photos and manipulate how the layers act with one another, or to re-work a composition. This is usually the last step for most of my work.
When I first saw Manga Studio the box in the Apple store I laughed thinking is was probably a silly program that was trying to trick people into thinking it would help them make Manga style comics. But I changed my mind after I saw the Dave Gibbons video. (If he thought it was as good as he said on the video there must be something to it!)
I have a lot of favorite MS features. The list keeps growing as I learn more about it but my favorite is probably the color tab that allows you to remove color/ink. I'm not sure what it's called, but it acts like an eraser. I love it because the properties of the drawing are not changed, it just erases instead of inking.
I used to think color was not good in MS but the more I played with it the more I loved it and felt a good deal of it was created with the comic, Manga style artist in mind. A few brush and pallet options could be added but I like it. I had to do a full color rough sketch for a group of artists in a few hours and I basically attacked it like I would as if I was working on paper and it really kept up with me, enhanced my idea and I was able to use the variety and vibrant brushes really well and fast to pump out a color comp fast.
I'm surprised by how many artists in the animation and illustration industry do not know about this program. There can be a learning curve but from the start what hooked me is how MS enhances my style and works well with the way I draw. Plus I have started looking over the manual more and discovering a whole bunch of tools I did not know existed. I also love the way it makes your work look when it is done in analog.
Most of the work I do in MS is inspired by cartoons like the work of UPA, Tex Avery, Gene Deitch, Power Puff Girls, Dexter Lab, Samari Jack, My Life as a Teenage Robot, etc. I also do gallery and smaller pieces using traditional paint, ink & marker, some for money and some personal. Currently, I'm writing and drawing a comic that I hope to launch on the web in the next month.
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