In this tutorial I will give you some tips to set up your file for print in Clip Studio Paint and some things you have to consider while working on your pieces. Let´s get started!
Creating a file
When creating a file in Clip Studio Paint you can choose from the many preestablished presets or create your own.
To create a costume preset you need to enter the desired width and height of the canvas on the corresponding boxes.
But since this tutorial is about setting up files for print, the most important field is the image resolution.
The resolution of a picture dictates how many dots per inch a printer will print. It is important to know this since, if you print an image at say, 72 DPI, no matter how big the canvas is, it won’t print correctly. You can find a couple of handy resolutions in the drop down menu next to the box.
For print, a minimum of 300 DPI is recommended, personally I keep mine at 400 DPI for personal work and sometimes even 600 DPI for client work.
Setting color preferences
Before you get started in your project you have to set up your desired color profile preferences. To do this you need to open the File menu and scroll down to preferences or simply use the keyboard short cut Ctrl K on windows or Command K on a mac computer. This will open the preferences palette.
There are many options you can change on the preferences palette but for this tutorial what interests us is the Color conversion section.
When clicking on it you will be faced against the different Settings of color conversion. Ideally you should ask your printer for their preferred profiles but this isn’t always possible. I will share my personal preferences but make sure to do your own research so you can find what profiles fit your necessities better.
Here’s my preferred settings for each profile:
For RGB I use Adobe RGB 1998. This is a profile created to use RBG colors on a display to try and recreate the majority of colors achievable on CMYK by printers.
For CMYK I use US Web Coated (SWOP) v2, I use this profile since, at the moment of printing, it puts down around a 300% of ink and it’s specially useful for off-set rpinting.
For rendering intent I use Relative colometric since this setting changes off gamut colors to their closest in gamut color.
For Library to use, a windows only setting, I prefer to use ICC library.
But as I said, make sure to do some research or ask our printer so you can decide what settings work for the kind of job you’re making.
Tips for choosing colors
First of all, let’s look at this simple illustration.
For example purposes I have exaggerated some of the colors to make it more vibrant.
Seeing this version we could say the colors look fine, but this is a trap easily to fall into when working since the default display profile is RGB, which not always represents print safe colors. For this cases we can turn on the Color profile preview feature.
To access it, first we have to configure the settings.
Open the View menu and scroll all the way down to the Color profile option, this option will give you two ore options: Preview settings and Preview. Click on Preview settings and the Preview of color profile will pop up.
In here you can set up your preferred setting, for this tutorial’s purpose we’ll set up the Profile for preview to CMYK: US Web Coated (SWOP) V2 and the rendering intent to Relative Colometric.
The Tonal Correction option helps you adjust the contrast of the image, for this tutorial we will leave it untouched but you can learn more about it using Clip Studio’s Instruction manual as reference.
In the Range in application of settings we have two options: Save on canvas and Configure only in this window.
The save on canvas option will save the settings on the file so you won’t have to set it up every time you open it.
The set only on this window option will not save the setting on the file and will not apply to other windows.
Once you’ve set up your preferences we can use the color preview option by opening the View menu then scroll down to Color profile and finally click on preview. Or you can just use the keyboard shortcut Ctrl Y on windows and Command Y on mac.
Let’s see what happens when turn on color preview on our example image.
As we can see, there’s a drastic change on the colors, most of them have gotten darker, to avoid this we need to be careful when choosing the colors.
When working we are used to choose colors utilizing the color wheel, however this can make us choose colors that are not fit for print. Remember that for print we use CMYK, meaning, we use a mix of cyan. Magenta, yellow and black pigment and we should be careful of the amount of black ink each color has, known as K tone.
To make sure we choose colors that will look good on print is good to have the CMYK sliders palette open. You can make it visible by going to the Window menu, color slider and choose the CMYK tab. Here we can check the percentage of each tone that each color has.
If we pick up the green color of the tree we can see that it has a 72% of K tone, meaning that this will print closer to black because of the amount of black ink that will be added. To be on the safe side when it comes to color choosing I personally try to keep the K tone lower than 40%.
Now, let’s replace the colors in the image with safe for print colors. I will let my personal color set swatches that compasses safe for print colors as a Clip Studio Asset here:
After changing the colors we can toggle off the CMYK preview, as you can see the colors are closer to each other in both RGB and CMYK mode.
Exporting the file
Once our image is complete we need to export it. The reason why we export instead of saving it is because we can only convert it to CMYK profile if we export it.
To export it we go to the File menu, Export (Single layer) and then choose your preferred format.
We then can choose CMYK from the drop down menu in the color section of the export settings pop up. Make sure to click Embed ICC profile to assign the settings we used for previewing the file while working on it.
With this we have a file ready for print.
I hope you find these tips useful and thank you for reading!