Clip Studio Paint supports the creation of entire comic books and fanzines. Obviously, creating, managing and printing a multi-page document involves more than a one-page document. This article guides you through the whole process.
It is useful if you are familiar with some basic publishing practices, terms and workflows. For example, the flatplan — in magazine publishing — is a sheet containing all the pages in the magazine showing an overview of pages containing editorial content areas and areas of advertisement before the production work starts.
As you will see, Clip Studio Paint’s interface uses some of these terms when you create a multi-page document.
NOTE: Whenever a multi-page project is in page management mode, Clip Studio Paint will only save the changes to the publishing settings, not to each page within the document. To save them, you will need to save each open page individually. If you forget, Clip Studio Paint will pop up a warning about saving your pages.
Conventions used in this guide
Menus, dialogue windows, control panel names and commands are printed in UPPERCASE characters.
Options inside a dialogue window or control panel contain the prefix “Option:”.
Menus and submenus are printed with a right-pointing arrow “>”.
Sections of large dialogue windows are printed with a double colon in front “::”.
Before you start working with Clip Studio Paint
First, check the settings in the PREFERENCES > COLOR CONVERSION panel. Option: RGB profile should reflect your document’s output in RGB. For example, if you’re going to share your artwork on the Web, sRGB is a good choice. If you’re sharing artwork with group members, AdobeRGB is better as it covers a larger gamut and the latest Apple monitors all support it in full. Option: CMYK profile should reflect the printing press settings for your region, e.g. Euroscale Uncoated v2.
You can leave Option: Rendering intent to Relative Colorimetric. Use Absolute Colorimetric if you want to ensure one or several colours will be printed exactly as shown on the monitor.
You are now ready to create your first multi-page Clip Studio Paint document.
Setting up a multi-page document
To create a multi-page document, select FILE > NEW… and select the purple or the blue Option: Comic icon, or the green Option: Fanzine icon from the tabs along the top of the window.
When you select the purple Option: Comic icon or the green Option: Fanzine icon, you’ll see a dialogue with limited parameter settings, tuned to a publication setup that corresponds with a Comic or Fanzine.
Clicking on the blue Option: Comic icon reveals all the settings available in Clip Studio Paint to set up a publication. As both the green Option: Fanzine icon and purple Option: Comic icon contain a subset from the blue icon’s dialogue window, we will be using the latter for discussion in this guide.
The dialogue is organised in the sections discussed below.
Setting up your canvas
The canvas is the area that stretches out behind your page and can, for example, be used to temporarily move objects that you’ve created off the page entirely. You set the canvas size, resolution and whether you want to work with colour or in monochrome in FILE > NEW… > COMIC :: CANVAS
To set the colour of the paper background for your book, check the Option: Paper color checkbox and click on the colour rectangle next to it.
Click on the Option: Template checkbox. A button appears to immediately select the book’s image frame (or cartoon cell) division from a pre-defined options list.
NOTE: You can always change the canvas size:
Go to EDIT > CHANGE CANVAS SIZE…. The Reference point works as an anchor.
Adding a cover page
The cover page is optional. The FILE > NEW… > COMIC :: COVER PAGE section allows you to set a different resolution from the rest of the book, as well as a different image frame (or cartoon cell) division by clicking the Option: Template checkbox and selecting a division from the options list.
The cover page can have a different paper colour just as the canvas could. The Option: Cover page layout buttons allow you to switch between a spread-width cover or a front cover only. Finally, when Option: Specify spine width is checked, you can enter the size of the spine for the book.
Customising canvas size, margins, borders and binder settings
The FILE > NEW… > COMIC :: MANGA DRAFT SETTINGS section contains parameters for setting up your book’s Option: Binding (finish) size with an option to set a bleed.
The binding should be less than the canvas size. The size button refers to the size of the paper you will use to print your book.
NOTE: What is bleed and why should you set a Bleed width? Bleed is a term from the printing industry. The bleed is the part of a page between the page’s physical edge and the edge of where the sheet will be cut (trimming). When the page has been printed on a printing press, the bleed area is cut away, so in this area, you should not draw anything of importance. The purpose of the bleed is to give a professional printer the space to account for movement of the paper as it passes through the printing press.
In the settings pages for fanzines and comics, the Option: Default border (inner) size setting describes the page margin, which is the area between the edge of the trimmed page (the bleed has been cut away) and the area where the content is located. The part between the paper edge and the Inner Border is also known as the margin. The trim is printer talk for exactly where the paper will be cut.
The Option: Default border (inner) size setting is best left to its default as it directly relates — and is calculated by the software — to the book’s Option: Binding (finish) size.
However, you can set a custom inner size by clicking on the Option: Custom popup button and selecting an option from the list.
The Option: Set size popup lets you switch between the measurements of the content frame or the actual margins that are reflected by your choice for the Option: Default border (inner) size setting.
Normally, the margins will be centred on the page, but by changing the Option: X offset and/or Y offset, you can create margins that are off-centre.
The Option: Safety margins checkbox lets you set a further margin, shrinking your content area further, with the size you set in the four adjacent number fields. They serve as an extra bleed area.
NOTE: You can also change canvas settings up to this point by going to EDIT > CANVAS PROPERTIES…
The Option: Align crop mark checkbox and the corresponding Option: Gap setting serves to guide the printer when starting a print run. This customisation only appears when the Option: Spread corresponding page of the FILE > NEW… > COMIC :: MULTIPLE PAGES section has been checked.
Adding story information
The FILE > NEW… > COMIC :: STORY INFORMATION section lets you place and position information about the book's storylines on the pages. The controls are self-explanatory.
If the FILE > NEW… > COMIC :: SETTING FOR FANZINE section’s checkmark is not switched on when you want to export fanzine printing data, a message will be displayed if there is a problem with the data. This is an important setting for print shops, but it only applies if you’re using a Japanese print shop.
Setting up the number of pages and the binding side
The FILE > NEW… > COMIC :: MULTIPLE PAGES section lets you dial in the desired number of pages. If you leave the setting at its default, you will have eight pages to begin with.
Checking the Option: Spread corresponding page checkbox allows you to set up all pages at once as double-page spreads and align the crop marks accordingly. However, before you do, you should check with your print service provider if this corresponds with how they have their systems set up.
Option: Binding point sets whether you want the book to have the spine on the left or the right side.
The FILE > NEW… > COMIC :: FOLIO section covers page numbers. A folio is nothing more than a page number that actually gets printed on the page.
The parameters in this section are self-explanatory, except perhaps Option: Format where you can add something in front of and following the page number.
Check the Option: Blind Folio checkbox if you want a page number printed on the inner edge where the book is bound.
Previewing your book settings
Even if you don’t understand many of the settings that were covered in the previous chapter, Clip Studio Paint offers an invaluable tool to actually see what your book will look like when it’s been set up, bound and printed: the 3D Preview.
Go to FILE > EXPORT MULTIPLE PAGES > 3D PREVIEW FOR BINDING to access the 3D preview
In the three-dimensional preview, freely manipulate the book with its content shown.
The 3D preview will also show you the results of changes to the order of the pages, which is part of the next chapter, “Managing the book”.
Managing the book
If you need to change any of the settings we have covered so far, you can do so by going to STORY > CHANGE BASIC WORK SETTINGS. In this dialogue, you can change everything except the Option: Templates that divide each page into cartoon cells or story frames.
Managing the book’s pages and preparing its publication
To get a complete overview of the book, go to STORY > PAGE MANAGER
Double-click a page thumbnail to open that page in an editing window where you can start drawing or edit the already added content.
STORY > PAGE MANAGER LAYOUT lets you choose where the Page Manager appears. This can be in a separate tab, at any of the sides or above or below the page display. Note that you need to close all pages before you can move the Page Manager to one of the layout locations. Also note that, if you close all the page tabs as well as the Page Manager, the entire document is closed.
You can also drag the Page Manager tab to any of the locations mentioned in the menu until a red border appears, then release the mouse.
The STORY > BINDING PROCESS submenu shows an overview of the publishing settings, such as printing file name and flatplan.
This submenu also lets you change the printing file name and the sort order of the cover pages. To re-order pages, you drag them in the Page Manager until a red border appears, then release the mouse button. With the submenu option “Enable to sort the order of cover pages” checked, you can also drag the two covers and associated backs without turning them into ordinary pages.
Hover over a page in the Page Manager to make a context menu appear.
This menu allows you to open pages, export fanzine printing data, view the 3D preview.
To combine pages in a page spread, go to STORY > COMBINE PAGES… with the Page Manager open.
To split previously combined pages again, go to STORY > SPLIT PAGES…
Publishing the book and printing it
To create your art in CMYK colours from the start and avoid using colours that fall outside the CMYK colour space, only use the CMYK colour sliders.
However, Clip Studio Paint’s internal colour mode is always RGB, so if you like to print your art on a printing press with accurate colour rendering, you will need to convert colours from the RGB colour space to the CMYK space.
Make sure you followed the instructions for correctly setting the PREFERENCES > COLOR CONVERSION.
To see what your colours will look like when printed on a printing press:
preview them by going to VIEW > COLOR PROFILE > PREVIEW SETTINGS…
select the colour profile for the printer you’ll be targeting and the desired rendering intent.
Exporting and printing your book
To export your publication, select FILE > MULTIPLE PAGES > BATCH EXPORT… and then choose your options.
These are self-explanatory, except perhaps the Option: Export spread separately option which lets you export pages — that you have combined into a spread before — to individual sheets of paper. Each page is exported to an image format.
For this guide, we selected a PNG file from the Option: File Format popup list. The PNG EXPORT SETTINGS :: OUTPUT IMAGE section contains the elements you want to include on the page, such as the folio, border, etc.
The Process when scaling section should be set to Option: For comic. Other settings are self-explanatory.
To set printing options, go to FILE > PRINT SETTINGS…
The FILE > PRINT SETTINGS… :: PREVIEW section allows you to see a preview of the output before actually sending it to the printer.
In the FILE > PRINT SETTINGS… :: PRINT SETTINGS section, choose your print size.
The Option: Dual page option lets you print two pages on one sheet of paper without having to first turn the page setup into a page spread.
The FILE > PRINT SETTINGS… :: OUTPUT IMAGE section holds the same parameters as the PNG export settings dialogue above.
The FILE > PRINT SETTINGS… :: COLOR section lets you explicitly set a colour mode for printing besides the automatically detected colour depth.
The Option: Process when scaling section should be set to Option: For comic as we are exporting a multi-page document.