This tutorial is aimed for Intermediate Artists, as it will deal with knowledge of blender and how it operates in Clip Studio Paint (with a very brief mention of photoshop). I will be discussing compatibility between both programs how objects designed in this program can be integrated into Clip Studio Paint and Clip Studio Modeler.
I Will Also Discuss:
• How to integrate 3D Objects into Clip Studio (small scale and background sets) using compositing
• 3D objects for Color Comics and Black and White Comics
• Blender Compatibility
• How to Make “Transparent” 3D Objects in Clip Studio by using a simple Blender trick
There are three important rules for displaying 3D objects in Clip Studio for Comics:
1) Keep it Low Poly
(pictured above how objects appear in Blender)
Basically, the simpler the object you bring in/make, the faster it will render.
3D objects poly count depends entirely on how detailed it is. A highly detailed object will take longer to move around in any given 3D space.
Which is why, in a lot of comics and manga, low poly objects are used to speed up the drawing process.
2) Know How Long itTakes to Render a 3D Asset
The first one pictured is the basic render from Blender exported as a jpeg. The second is the same image composited in Clip Studio Paint using 2D elements.
It is best to know how long each 3D model takes to render. 3D Models with textures and higher poly counts can take a long time to render, which might slow down your program.
Personally, I like to render 3D sets in a 3D program like Blender, then export the image as a JPEG and composite it into Clip Studio Paint (which is the method used in the above image).
Smaller objects are easier to drop into Clip Studio and move around. Time is important and it's best to test out how long each environment/3D asset takes and which is best for your timeline.
Know what type of atmosphere you are going for. Make test renders for 3D objects so that they are better integrated with your comic.
3) Composite, Composite, Composite
Compositing is a great method for rendering full color 3D models. A seemingly simple 3D set can be transformed using lighting and colors.
1) Initial rendering of model, exported to JPEG image.
2) Tone texture made in Photoshop
3) Composited in Clip Studio Paint
For black and white comics, determine the value of the 3D models, aka focus on the lights and darks and mid-tones.
The first thing to do is determine how you want to composite your 3D Objects. How important is your background to any given scene? Do you want to focus on the characters? Or do you want to draw attention to certain details to draw the reader in?
Backgrounds in Color Comics
Backgrounds in color comics should be composited to some degree. Because many sets that are created or bought can be beautiful on their own, compositing is an extra step to putting your own spin it and creating a sense of atmosphere that fits your comic. Low poly objects are the norm, and for a good reason: they super easy to plop into your comic without having to worry too much!
However, this is where compositing and putting your own spin on it comes in.
With the image below, I composited using a JPEG image of a building I made in Blender, then I combined it with a character to create this scene.
First drew my character, and I decided I wanted a winter background.
So I went into Blender I selected a house I previously modeled to use as a background. Bringing in the model into Clip Studio Paint would be too big, so I made my camera angles match as best as I could with the picture.
For exporting my model as a transparent PNG , I increased the lighting of the environment by going into the World Properties tab and changing the world color from gray to white.
Then in the "Render Properties" Tab, I selected the "Transparent" box and the "Freestyle" box. Transparent will render the model backgroundless. The "Freestyle" box will render the model with outlines.
I choose to export as a PNG, then in the "Render" option I choose "Render as Image." A window pops up and when it's done rendering I go to "Save As..." and choose a file location.
The background should be on it's own layer.
First, I use Brightness/Contrast to isolate the gray, black and white elements of the imported house.
Then I use the Gradient map to choose similar colors to the character (but not identical) to apply to the house.
By this time I made corrections on my model.
Next, I paint the background to better integrate the model and character better.
Next, I add shading to the house to correspond with the lighting.
Next, I add background elements like trees.
I make a copy of the character, and background. Then I combine them and work on that copy from now on.
I use the guassian blur tool to select areas that are "out of focus."
After this, I use the Tone Curve to harmonize the colors.
Then I add snowflakes, and make small adjustments and detail to the whole drawing like a dark gradient under the house and character. I also add highlights.
What is the focus?
Tips on how to focus on a specific character when dropping in 3D backgrounds
-Choose a background that is advantageous for character composition. Have the character in the center or in a position that demands focus.
-Blur the background to focus on the character
-Add a texture to the background to draw attention
-Darken the background
(pictured above: environment focused composition)
Tips on how to focus on a specific environment when dropping in 3D backgrounds
-Change the composition of the camera to focus on how the environment affects the character, or on a piece of the environment that stands out. Know what you want to show and why it is being shown.
-If the model is too low poly and distracts the reader, you can always blur it and put in a 2D object material as the central focus. Then composite it so that it blends with the 3D set.
-Composite with a mood in mind. Colors are important when conveying the atmosphere needed.
-Have a consistent color palette for the environment.
Small Scale Color 3D Materials
Let’s take this teacup. This teacup is typically in the background, but it is a focus object that your reader pays attention to for a single panel. You can add a sense of depth by using the blur tool, and adding light around the rim.
You can also add 2D effects like sparkles to give a sense of atmosphere.
Smaller 3D objects can be imported to Clip Studio. You can control the direction of light by going into the Operation subtool, going to "Light Source," and clicking and dragging the direction of light on the circle.
To control Line weight, go to the "Rendering Settings" in the "Operation" Subtool. Turn the "Width" as high as you wish to increase the lineart.
To further play with the lineart depth, go to the "Offset Amount" and turn it down until zero, this will add more lineart detail to the model.
Rasterize the object when you are done with the 3D settings.
1) You can add a gradient light to the direction of light.
2) Posterize to limit the amount of shadow
3) Blur select areas to add a false depth
Add some sparkle details and put some tea in the cup, and you're done!
Black and White Comics
Putting 3D sets and objects into black and white comics is relatively simpler compared to color, but it does come with its own challenges.
Determining the values and lighting for 3D objects that were originally meant to be in color can be tricky, but here are a few tips!
-Use the Line weight tool in the 3D settings
-Change the direction of light
-Add or remove shadows
-Rasterize the 3D object and add more line weight after.
-Use the posterization tool to determine simpler tone patterns
-Use Lineart Extracting Tool on 3D Objects that are difficult to render with outlines (like transparent objects)
-Use binarization tool to get thicker lineart
Backgrounds in Black and White Comics
3D objects lower poly count can be especially noticeable when rendered in black and white. A way to change this is to rasterize the 3D set, and then draw small details to the 3D set to make it look more hand drawn (if that is what you are going for!)
Or alternatively, you can print it and trace the model. I'd recommend doing this method if you made the model yourself, if you have the time to do so, and if it aligns with the style you want for your comic.
1) import JPEG of model
2) Convert it to blue or red (or another color)
3) Print it out and trace over it.
Color Models to Black and White
1) Initial 3D Model
2)increase lineweight, turned off Light by unchecking "Apply Light Source"
3) Increased contrast
4) Converted Color to Gray
5) Converted to tone, decreased the frequency, and altered the angle
Blender Breakdown AKA What is Compatible With Clip Studio Paint/Modeler
Principled BDSF is the only Blender Node currently compatible with Clip Studio Paint/Modeler. Any models containing other nodes will not be recognized by Clip Studio (as far as I am aware).
Choose a color in the area circled below.
How "Transparent" 3D Objects Work in Clip Studio
Transparency in certain 3D objects compatible with Clip Studio aren’t done using nodes like a glass modifier, it is done by essentially using a trick to make the software register the flipped normals of a 3D object as invisible, giving it the appearance of transparency.
Normals on an object usually face outside of an object and display the color desired. When normals are “flipped,” Clip Studio detects it as either transparent or black. This is why materials you import into Clip Studio Modeler or Clip Studio Paint might have black spots on it. Normals sometimes become flipped when creating 3D objects in outside programs.
Which is why it is very important to NOT check the Outline when importing object into Clip Studio. As it will render the object "black" and the transparency will be lost. Always apply Outline after object is rasterize by using the "extract line" option.
How Do You Make a Transparent Object in Blender?
Above is a single sided "transparent" object
1) Clip Studio Modeler- It is how the object appears in Clips Studio Modeler
2) Blender - How Object appears in blender
3) Made from this model
5) Seperate Mesh solidifed -The ring around the rim of the cup is created as a seperate mesh to give the impression that the cup has an outline around it. I combine this faux outline and the object when I want to export it.
6) Flip Normals - To give object the illusion of transparency, I flip the normals
7) Choose color that is off white to give color to glass
To add an outline, copy the 3D layer and rasterize it.
Extract line and use Border Effect. Play with the light to dark ratio.
Rasterize the layer once more and switch the layer mode from NORMAL to MULTIPLY. Then you should have your outline.
For thicker objects with transparency, here is a diagram.
2) Black Outline
3) Cup Area Transparent
4) NOT transparent (I decided to keep the handle non transparent)
5) Result! (viewed in Clip Studio Modeler
6) Outside normals flipped
7) Inside normals flipped
8) DO NOT check outline in the "View Section" (when in Clip Studio Modeler and Paint)