Smith Micro Software’s Clip Studio Paint Ex (the app once known as Manga Studio) includes frame-by-frame animation features and more that enables digital artists to create classical animations from their designs using a sequence of drawings that flow automatically to create the illusion of movement. However, it’s days are numbered, so you might want to grab a copy soon if it’s of interest to you.
Comic and manga artists love Clip Studio Paint because it offers natural drawing movement along with advanced tools to fine tune and accelerate the creative process. The cel animation features in Clip Studio Paint 1.5.4 are easy to use. Those features include:
- Cel animation Also known as frame-by-frame or traditional animation, this technique makes an object or character appear to move on its own. The artist can draw individual cels (frames), which act as transparent sheets that can be layered, and create the illusion of movement when the series of cels is played as a continuous sequence.
- Animation timeline This feature provides granular control over timing and display adjustments to create fluid movement of the animations.
- Light table function The light table illuminates pages, rendering them semi-transparent and making it easier to use multiple layers for reference, which is ideal for creating in-betweens (transitions between cels), and clean-line art for cels and illustrations.
- Onion skin display Onion skinning is a technique used in creating animated cartoons and editing movies to see several cels at once, allowing the animator or editor to determine how to create or adjust an image based on the previous image in the sequence.
- Multiple export options Drawings and animations can be exported as sequential images, GIFs, and movie formats.
Clip Studio Paint Ex, which works with macOS 10.6 and higher, once cost $209.99. However, it now goes for $89.99. Of course, the problem with end-of-life software is that there’ll be no more updates, so keep that in mind if you purchase a copy.
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