Introduction to the Saturated Line Tool: Practice



This lesson gives some examples of how you can use the [Saturated line] tool in your projects. Even though the [Saturated line] tool is useful as it is, I will use some easy techniques to create special action lines.

[1] Overlapping action lines (Outlined action lines)

In this lesson, I will superimpose two action lines to create outlined action lines.

This is what the outlined action lines will look like. (The transparent areas are colored blue to make the white drawn parts clear)

The white action lines have black outlines. By doing this, the gaze is directed to the center more than with non-outlined action lines. This technique can be used to express movement.

These lines are very easy to make!

■ 1. Create thick saturated lines

■ 2. Make a duplicate of the action lines created in step 1

Select “Duplicate Layer” from the layer menu.

* You can also select “Duplicate Layer” by clicking “Show Menu” at the upper left of the layer palette, or by right clicking the layer to duplicate.

The duplicated saturated line layer called “Dense saturated line Copy” will be created above the original saturated line layer. Then, change the settings of the duplicated action lines (Dense saturated line Copy).

■ 3. Change the color of the action lines to “White”.

Select the duplicated action lines “Dense saturated line Copy”, and choose [Operation] from the tool palette.

Click the [Object] sub tool and click the white color on the [Color Set] palette to change the color!

Note: Since the original action lines (in black) are exactly the same shape as the white action lines above, the black lines are not visible.

■ 4. Change the thickness of the duplicated action lines (Dense saturated line Copy).

While selecting the [Object] tool, change the settings of the action lines in the [Tool Property] palette.

Lower the value of brush size from [150.0] to [110.0] to show the original action lines (Dense saturated line) underneath.

Now we’ve made outlined action lines!

However, when you zoom in to the tip of the action lines, you can see that the tips are also outlined, and they look a little messy.

This a minor detail, so it’s okay to leave it like this, but I will show you how to fix this problem anyway.

■ 5. Create another duplicate of the duplicated action lines (Dense saturated line Copy).

Change the [Length] and [Brush Size] of the second duplicated action lines “Dense saturated line Copy 2”.

The value depends on the size and length of the action lines, so it does not have to be exact. You can adjust it later.

Then, display the [Sub Tool Detail] palette by clicking the part marked “A” below on the [Tool Property] palette.

Click [Starting and ending] and change the starting and ending effect settings.

In the initial settings, the [Ending] is either not set or set to around 30.0 to 50.0. However, for this example, I will set it to 100.0 (the maximum value).

Now the white part looks much cleaner!

If you hide the “Dense saturated line Copy 1” action lines, the other action lines look like this.

This is how the layers are stacked.

You can change the [Length] and [Brush Size] of the ending effect freely, so adjust the values to create clean action lines.

[2] Overlapping action lines (other cases)

Now that you know how to make outlined action lines, I will move on to the next example. How can we create this kind of effect?

Outlined action lines are often used with other action lines.

The below image has six action line layers.

Let’s get ready to draw the action lines.

Note: In this section, I will omit detailed values of brush sizes, and focus on explaining the overall process.

First, I prepare the line art.

I skipped over the steps not related to adding action lines. In this picture, the line already has tones and white added.

I create two selection areas, color-coded in blue and red for clarity.

Hint: How to create a selection area (Simple version)

① Create a new raster layer and lower the opacity to about 40%.

② Use the [Fill] tool and [Pen] tool to cover the parts you want to select in black.

You should turn off any anti-aliasing settings of the tools used to fill the area. (This is to create a clean selection area.)

While using the [Fill] tool, turn on [Close gap] in the [Tool Property] palette to prevent the fill from leaking out of small gaps.

If the fill still leaks out of large gaps even after turning on [Close gap], use a drawing tool to close the gap.

Then, use the [Fill] tool > [Paint unfilled area] sub tool to fill in detailed gaps that are difficult to fill using the [Fill] tool > [Refer other layers] sub tool.

Although the painted areas have been filled in black, they appear gray on the screen because the of the lowered opacity of the layer.

On the painted parts of the hair, I use the [Pen] tool in the transparent drawing color to add highlights (gloss).

③ Right-click the layer to display the [Layer menu], then select [Selection from Layer] > [Create Selection].

This creates a selection area from the black filled parts.

I finished preparing my selection areas, so I will start drawing the action lines.

First, I create outlined action lines. I use the same settings and method to make outlined action lines as in “[1] Overlapping action lines”.

I made the first action lines.

Thick action lines are covering part of the face, so I transform the base line using the [Object] tool.

You can transform parts of the base line by dragging the control points around the base line.

Then, I duplicate this layer to create a “Dense saturated line Copy” (Figure ②).

I change the color of the lines to [White] and reduce the [Brush Size] of the “Dense saturated line Copy” (Figure ②).

I duplicate the action lines in ② to create the “Dense saturated line Copy 2” (Figure ③) and adjust the tips of the action lines to make them tidier.

Next, I will create action lines without an outline (shown in “Red” in the figure below).

I duplicate the “Dense saturated line” (Figure ①) again to make the “Dense saturated line Copy 3” (Figure ④) and adjust the [Gap of line] and [Brush Size].

It looks best if the thickness matches the black part of the outlined action lines.

It can be a good idea to change the base line too (However, do not move the center point).

Just two more action lines until the picture is complete. Next, I will make action lines for the hair.

First, create a “Dense saturated line Copy 4” (Figure ⑤) by duplicating the “Dense saturated line Copy” (Figure ①).

I reduce the gaps between the lines (distance) to about [2.0] and reduce the brush size to make action lines like this image, so that the picture is almost completely covered.

I move and adjust the base line so that the action lines cover all of the hair.

Then, I create a selection area of the hair (blue part) that I prepared beforehand.

I select the “Dense saturated line Copy 4” (Figure ⑤) and press the [Create layer mask] button on the [Layer] palette.

Now the action lines remain only on the hair.

(The layer mask is created on the saturated line layer of ⑤)

(I’ve finished using the selection area for the hair, so it will be hidden from this point onward)

I move the saturated line layer of ⑤ (action lines on the hair) above the layer ①.

When you look closely, it looks a bit strange where the action lines on the hair overlap the outlined action lines. Therefore, I moved the Layer ⑤ above the Layer ①.

Finally, I add action lines on the red selection area that covers the darker parts of the sailor uniform.

First, I duplicate the “Dense saturated line” (Figure ①) and create the “Dense saturated line Copy 5” (Figure ⑥).

If these action lines are too similar to those on the hair, then it will be hard to see the difference on the screen, so I make a different type of action lines.

These action lines are evenly spaced with a lower line density than the hair, because the gradient tone is also on this part.

* The other action lines are hidden so that it is easier to see the final layer of action lines.

I remove the selection area of the red part and create a [Layer Mask] using the same method as for the action lines on the hair. Now my picture is finished.

Although it seems like an elaborate effect at first, all six action lines are the same, just duplicated with different settings.

[3] Combine with the radial line ruler

Now, let's combine the [Saturated line] tool with the radial line ruler to make some awesome action lines!

First, choose the center of the action lines and the radial line ruler. Create a new layer and draw a cross “x” symbol.

Let's create the action lines and radial line ruler around this center point.

(If you cannot draw action lines from the cross symbol/center, go to the [Sub tool detail] palette > [Shape operation] and turn on [Start from center].)


I recommend that you make and register a sea urchin flash, as this is something you can use often.

The settings shown above are customized from the initial settings of the [Burst] sub tool. Other action lines will also become sea urchin flashes when set up with these settings. However, the [Dark saturated line (curve)]sub tool is not suitable for making sea urchin flashes.

I drew the same action lines at three different sizes. The impression of the action lines differs depending on how big they are.

You can add details to the sea urchin flash using the radial line ruler.

Complete! I would want to use this flash as a speech balloon in dynamic scenes, such as when a character announces a special move!


Over this lesson, we have created several types of action lines. These are the main points you should remember for making action lines in Clip Studio Paint.

① Create basic action lines templates using default tools such as “Scattered saturated line” and “Dark saturated line (curve)”.

② Draw action lines using these tools

③ Then, use the [Operation] tool to change the shape to what you desire

Artist profile: Mirai Sahara

My name is Sahara. I make explanations so that beginners to graphics software can understand it easily. I like to draw manga and play video games.


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