Introduction to the basics of the ruler tool

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You can use Ruler tools in Clip Studio Paint to help you to draw straight lines and curves more accurately. They are particularly useful for drawing props in illustrations and comics.


[1] Using ruler tools

Clip Studio Paint comes with a variety of ruler sub tools, including rulers for both straight and curved lines.


You can also easily create rulers with the [Ruler] tool by choosing from the available sub tools.

We’ll go through how to create a ruler in the next part.


This lesson explains how to use the following five rulers.

・Linear ruler

・Curve ruler

・Figure ruler

・Ruler pen

・Guide



● How to snap lines to a ruler


To draw along a ruler you’ve created, go to the [View] menu and turn on [Snap to ruler].


You can also use the [Snap to Ruler] icon on the command bar to toggle this option on or off.


When you draw with a pen or brush tool near the ruler, the stroke will follow the shape of the ruler. This is different from making shapes with the [Figure] tool, as you can create smooth and accurate shapes with your favorite pen and brush tools while also using pen dynamics such as pen pressure.



● How to show rulers


When you create a ruler on the canvas, you will see a ruler icon on the layer with the ruler.


You can see which layers the ruler will appear on by clicking this icon on the [Layer] palette. You can also change which layers the ruler is visible on.


There are three options for ruler visibility:

・Show Only When Editing Target: The ruler will only be visible when you are selecting the layer that the ruler was created on.

・Show in Same Folder: The ruler will be visible on the original layer and all layers in the same folder.

・Show in All Layers: The ruler will be visible on all layers.


By default, rulers are set to [Show Only When Editing Target]. If you want to see the ruler on other layers, adjust the visibility settings.


[2] How to create a new ruler

Let’s learn about the straight line ruler and other ruler sub tools.



● Linear ruler


The [Linear ruler] is used to draw straight lines. You can also change the [Curve] property to use it as a ruler for drawing simple curves. See how to create rulers of each type below:


[Straight line]: Drag from the start point ① to the endpoint ② to create a straight ruler.


[Quadratic Bezier]: Drag from the start point ① to the endpoint ②, then specify the amount of curve at point ③.


[Cubic Bezier]: Drag from the start point ① to the endpoint ② and release. Then, click ③ to bend the curve based on point ①, and click ④ to bend the curve based on point ②.


Note: You can turn on the [Scale] option in the [Tool Property] palette > [Scale] to create a ruler with a measuring scale. This option is only available for [Linear ruler], [Figure ruler], and [Ruler pen].


If you choose [Equal division] or [Golden ratio], the scale will be based on the length on the ruler.



● Curve ruler


You can use this to create a long and complex curved line. You can also change the [Curve] option to [Straight line] to create a ruler for drawing zigzag lines.


See how to create rulers of each type below:


[Straight line]: Click on the canvas to create multiple points, and then double-click or press Enter at the last control point to confirm the shape.


[Spline]: Click on the canvas to create points connected by a curve, and then double-click or press Enter at the last control point to confirm the shape.


[Quadratic Bezier]: Click to create multiple points that affect the shape of the curve. Then, double-click or press Enter at the last control point to confirm the shape.


[Cubic Bezier]: For each point, click and drag a point to specify the direction of the curve, and then double-click or press Enter at the last control point to confirm the shape.


Note: Read the following article to learn more about how to use Bezier curves.

https://tips.clip-studio.com/en-us/articles/1029
https://tips.clip-studio.com/en-us/articles/1030



● Figure ruler


This creates rulers with specific shapes, such as squares or ellipses. Select the shape from [Tool Property] > [Figure]. The method of creating each shape is slightly different.


[Rectangle]: Drag diagonally from ① to ②, then release the pen and click to confirm the angle of the figure.

* If you do not wish to rotate the shape after drawing it, turn off the [Adjust angle after fixed] option before creating the ruler.


[Ellipse]: As with the rectangle, drag diagonally from ① to ②, release the pen and click to confirm the angle of the figure. The Ellipse ruler is created so that it fits perfectly inside an invisible rectangle.

* If you do not wish to rotate the shape after drawing it, turn off the [Adjust angle after fixed] option before creating the ruler.


[Polygon]: As with the rectangle, drag diagonally from ① to ②, release the pen and click to confirm the angle of the figure. The Polygon ruler is created so that it fits perfectly inside an invisible rectangle.

* If you do not wish to rotate the shape after drawing it, turn off the [Adjust angle after fixed] option before creating the ruler.


You can specify the number of corners by clicking the [+] icon next to the [Figure] option and changing the [Number of vertexes of polygon]. You can set any value between 3 and 32.



● Ruler pen

This creates a ruler along the lines drawn with this pen.


Draw a freehand line with the [Ruler pen] to create a ruler.



● Guide

You can create a horizontal or vertical straight ruler displayed on all layers.


Drag horizontally or vertically to create the guide.


[3] Editing rulers

Note:The operation handle design has been changed from Ver. 1.9.1
The current course uses screenshots from Ver. 1.9.0 or earlier.


You can transform, move, or copy rulers that you have created. Use the [Object] tool to select a ruler. This will display the handles and control points that you can use to edit the ruler.



● Move/adjust the ruler on the same layer


To move a ruler, select it with the [Object] sub tool, then drag the ruler or the outside frame.


To change the shape, select and drag the control points of the ruler using the [Object] tool.


Dragging the handles in the corners allows you to alter the ruler. To change the angle or rotate the ruler, drag the top control handle.


As with image material layers, you can also change the shape by selecting [Free Transform] from the [Tool Property] palette.


For other operations, use the menu that appears when you right-click the ruler.


Note: If you select the ruler with the [Object] tool, you can copy or cut and paste the ruler. Select the destination layer, and paste the ruler on any layer. The position of the pasted ruler will be same as the original ruler.



● Move/copy the ruler to a different layer


You will see a ruler icon on a layer with a ruler. Simply drag and drop the icon to move the ruler to a different layer.


If you want to duplicate the ruler instead of moving it, drag and drop to a different layer while holding the [Alt] key


Note: Converting the ruler shape to a selection area

For rulers that have a closed region such as Figure rulers, click the icon while holding the [Ctrl] key to create a selection area of that shape.


[4] Drawing a motorbike with ruler tools

This is an example of a drawing using the ruler tools. This is an example of a drawing using the ruler tools. The tools I use here are the [Curve ruler] (Curve type: Spline) and the [Figure ruler] (Shape type: Ellipse).


(1) Prepare a rough draft


(2) Click points according to the curve


Based on the rough draft, specify the curve using the [Curve ruler] sub tool with [Curve] set to [Spline]. If you press the [Delete] key while drawing the curve, you can return to the previous point and redraw the curve.


(3) You can move the ruler with the [Object] tool afterward, so the curves do not have to be perfect from the start.


Note: If you try to move the control point with the [Object] tool, you may select and move the rough draft layer by mistake. In that case, you can remove some items such as [Raster], [Vector] and [Image material] from the [Selectable object] menu under [Tool Property]. This allows you to select control points accurately. Don’t forget to revert the settings when you’re done.


(4) In the same way, create a new ruler for parts that require an accurate curve. (For detailed parts, you might want to draw with freehand instead of creating a ruler.


(5) Ink the drawing along the ruler.


Accurate and smooth lines are perfect for inorganic props like machines. I am using the [Curve ruler] for sections with large curves, etc. that are hard to draw freehand.


(6) Use the [Figure ruler] (Figure type: Ellipse) to draw the wheels and tire of the bike.


Note: It’s a good idea to create rulers on different layers so you can easily switch between the rulers.


You can change the direction or size of the Figure ruler afterward too. Select the ruler with the [Object] tool and adjust the size or direction of the ruler.


(7) Draw the detailed parts. You might want to draw some sections freehand instead of using a ruler for everything, to contrast both types of lines. The figure below shows the parts drawn with rulers in blue and the freehand parts in black.


(8) Solid fill the shadows.


(9) Apply halftones to finish the drawing.


・ Artist profile: Hey!TAROH

http://heytaroh.com/

Hey!TAROH has been using digital art software since the very first release of Manga Studio Ver 1. He is a writer for the official guides and references for Manga Studio and Clip Studio Paint. He draws several manga comics and looks after his household.

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