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Manga Studio® for Dummies® by Doug Hills

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Introduction

It's amazing to think about how much the industry of creating manga and other forms of comics has changed in such a short period of time. It wasn't all that long ago that the sole purpose of computers in the process was to add colors and word balloons to the page. Things like penciling and inking were left to traditional tools because the technology wasn't quite there yet to accurately reproduce the subtle pen and pencil strokes artists use when creating their work. Or if it was there, it was pretty darn expensive.

With the advent of the consumer-priced drawing tablet in the late 1990s and the popularity of programs such as Photoshop and Painter, the revolutionary idea of producing art without the need of a traditional pencil, pen, and paper was possible. I certainly thought that it was revolutionary when I decided to go all-digital with my work back in 2003.

Unfortunately, the available art programs still had (what I found to be) frustrating limitations in refining the work. Sure, many of these programs had tools to help draw straight lines or simulate French curves, but they lacked a certain organic feeling in the drawing process. Small things like the ability to rotate the page while drawing (something Photoshop lacks) or being able to lay down a ruler or curve and use that instead of the line and curve tools had a tendency to take me out of the experience. Needless to say, I found myself trying program after program that would have one aspect or another right, but ...

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