If you've ever been to my dA page
, you'll notice that most of my latest entries were done in Manga Studio. While an excelent program, I can't help but be annoyed by certain problems the app has...TOP FIVE THINGS WRONG WITH MANGA STUDIO
5. WEIRD TEXT SUPPORT
To edit text, you must go inside the text layer itself and type in a separate box, which does not reflect font, font style, or font size, meaning you have to constantly glance over at the page window to see how it will actually look, while you're doing all your editing in a tiny window. Sometimes, when editing a lot of text back and forth, the font defaults to the smallest size and the first alphabetical font, which you have to change manually back to what you wanted. Plus, at least on Manga Studio Debut Mac, sometimes what's displayed in the box and what's displayed on the page don't match up -- for instance, it might say "No ay!" on the page, but "No way!" in the text box, and you have to close it up and open it again for a fresh start, or otherwise figure out the discrepancy and work around it.4. TWENTY UNDO STATES
For someone who is used to PhotoShop, like me, this is crippling. (PhotoShop lets you set it up to 1000 undo states.) While not as nearly bad as it sounds because Manga Studio lets you set the time frame of an undo -- half a second, several seconds, etc. -- it's extremely annoying for someone like me who likes to backtrack if I'm unsatisfied with how it's going. If you try to compensate by setting the undo interval high, sometimes it'll undo more than you wanted it to, and have to fix it by hand, anyway.3. TONES ARE JPEG'ED
When you import a new image to become a screentone, you can see JPG artifacts along sharp edges. And not subtle ones, either -- it's actually pretty bad. It might be fine for clouds or whatever, but if you want to import, say, an anime-shading figure or a black and white pattern, it's really ugly.2. MOVING SECTIONS WITH TRANSFORM
One big advantage PhotoShop has is that you can select portions of a layer and move them independently of the layer as a whole. In Manga Studio, if you want to move something over a few millimeters, you must make a selection and then apply a Transform -- making it pixelly/blurry and slightly off center -- before you can move it freely. When you're trying to move something to a new position, and the exact position is important (i.e. shortening someone's neck, and wanting the two sections to match up) this is no good at all. (Alternatively, you can copy and paste it into another layer and move the new layer freely.)1. NOT INTEL NATIVE
I'm on a nice, new MacBook Pro, state of the art (at least a year ago it was), and Manga Studio just lags a lot of the time. Not cool. Rosetta just doesn't like Manga Studio very much. T_T
Now, because I don't want to be too disparaging, Manga Studio has its perks. These are the primary reasons why I even bother with Manga Studio at all, and I dare say it was worth buying just for these.TOP FIVE THINGS AWESOME WITH MANGA STUDIO
5. INSTANT BOOK SUPPORT
When you're creating a new story, you can control the page size, bleed edges, etc. and the pages -- left to right or right to left, which side the first page is on, how many pages, etc. You edit each page manually, like a normal document, and can move them around the story at will. Naturally, you can add and remove pages. When you're done, hit print, and out it comes. No fuss, no printing different files sequentially, no tricks. Now that's
something PhotoShop can't do.4. RULER LAYERS
You need to make a room interior, but are fussing about perspective. You can make a ruler layer and plan out the infrastructure before you draw a line -- and since they're ruler lines, they're marked with numbers, so you can accurately make perspective lines for a variety of purposes. Then, in your draw layers, you can draw straight onto the line with variable thickness, and the line locks to the ruler! In an example manga page, someone even made a bicycle with ruler layers before drawing it! I haven't had too much experience with this feature, since 4-koma / 8-koma comics don't usually have really detailed backgrounds, but when I start Doctor Foo or anything else I imagine this will be indispensable.3. PANEL DESIGN
Panels are a cinch to do, just draw lines across a panel layer and the page will split. Tricky panels like full bleeds or transparent edges have to be done manually, but otherwise it's a smooth job. You can predetermine panel line thickness and spacing width in preferences before you render the panel layer.2. FLIP CANVAS
This is something I wish PhotoShop could do: you can rotate and flip the canvas in any direction so you can draw lines with the natural curve of your hand, just like when you're drawing on paper. Moreover, this does not count towards an undo -- which are precious few -- like it would in PhotoShop if you were just flipping the canvas, which you'd have to do to have the same effect.1. SCREENTONE SUPPORT
The best PhotoShop screentoning fakery has nothing on Manga Studio. You can control the dot spacing, dot type, and dot size on flat tones, in addition to the the repeat size, type and curve of gradient tones, and the brightness, contrast and size of image (background) tones. This, plus the amount of tones already designed (much more in the EX version) makes things fantastically easy to produce professional-looking toning on any type of page.
As I was preparing this post, I found out that Manga Studio 4.0 has been released, and I bought the upgrade immediately and am downloading it as I type this. Hopefully, some of the problems will have been fixed, and especially I hope that it's Intel native now. I'll post a follow up after I use it for a few days.
By the way, MERRY CHRISTMAS 2008!!