How to use tones: basics




In CLIP STUDIO PAINT you can apply basic tones, such as dots and lines, which are often used in manga.

This lesson will introduce you to the basic application of the tone layer.

[1] What is a Tone Layer?

CLIP STUDIO PAINT has a tone-specific layer called the [Tone Layer].

Tone layers are not actually made of images, but rather, it is a fill layer with added [Tone] settings for “line frequency”, “density”, “type” and “angle”.

In the case of image material that is created with halftone dots from the start, it is not possible to change the type and density of those dots at a later time. However, in the case of a tone layer, settings, such as “line frequency” and the shape of halftone dots can be changed later.

Further, although a tone layer is a full-sized fill layer, the display range can be adjusted with the [Layer Mask] that is created at the same time.

[POINT: How to distinguish tone layers from images]

Even if an image of halftone dots that looks similar to a tone is pasted onto a canvas, the nature of the layers for [Tones] and [Images] differs.

Please check the icons in the [Layer] palette and details in the [Material] palette.

[2] About the basic application of tones

This part will introduce two ways of applying basic tones.

■1. Applying a tone from the [Material Palette]

At first we will show you how to use tones from the [Material] palette.

In CLIP STUDIO PAINT, a number of tones that consist of commonly used patters in terms of “line frequency” and “dot concentration” have been preregistered, so beginners can start by using those.

① Using a canvas with a line drawing. Select an area to which you want to apply a tone, using the [Marquee] tool or the like, when pasting a tone from the [Material] palette.

② Next, select the tone you want to apply from the [Material] palette. In the [Material] palette under [Monochrome pattern], tones such as halftone dots, lines, grains, gradients and other pattern tones that are often used for manga are pre-installed.

* If the [Material] palette is not displayed on the screen, please select it in the [Window] menu → [Material] to display it.

③ When dragging and dropping the selected tome onto the canvas, it is automatically applied within the selected area.

Note: In the smartphone version, you can paste on the canvas by double tapping.

If you drag and drop a tone from the [Material] palette without selecting an area, the tone is pasted onto the entire canvas.

You can also apply tones in the same way by clicking the [Paste Material] icon (see red frame in the image below) on the [Material] palette.

■2. Applying tones from the [Selection Launcher]

The method of creating a selection and applying the tone is the same, however, you can set the tone details yourself before applying it.

Once you have gotten accustomed to the task of applying tones, you may get more use from this option.

① Select the range you want the tone to be applied in the same way as in part “■1 - ①”.

② Click the [New Tone] icon (see red frame in image below) from the [Selection Launcher] displayed at the bottom of the selection area.

③ In the displayed [Simple tone settings] dialog, change the number of lines, their density, the type, etc. and click the [OK] button. The tone will be pasted within the selected area.


You can also display the [Simple tone settings] from the [Layer] menu → [New Layer] → [Tone].

If you compare the created tones from method 1 and 2 with the [Layer] palette, you can see that the same single tone layer was created by either method.

Note: Adding screentones on the smartphone version

To paste screentones on smartphones in the same way as on the PC or tablet versions, we recommend customizing the Selection Launcher settings.

(1) The Selection Launcher can be displayed from [View] Menu > [Selection Launcher].

(2) To add a command to it, select [Layer] > [New Layer] > [Tone] and tap [Add].

[3] Adding, erasing and scraping of tones

■1. Adding to a tone

If you want to add to the created tone in other places, select a drawing tool such as a [Marker] or [Pen] and apply it with a color other than transparent. You can add the tone by drawing the desired parts.

You can also apply a tone by creating a selection using the [Marquee] tool and filling in with a drawing color other than transparent via the [Edit] menu → choosing [Fill].

■2. Erasing from a tone

If you want to cut parts from or erase tones, you can use the [Eraser] tool on the mask of the tone layer.

You can also use any drawing tool to erase with transparent color.

In addition, you can erase unnecessary parts with the [Delete] key or choose [Edit] → [Erase] after selecting them with the [Marquee] tool or other selection tools.


It is also possible to apply tones using the [Fill] tool on a tone layer.

Once you have at least partially applied a tone, you can use the fill tool on the same layer.

■3. Scraping a tone

Use the [Decoration] tool if you want to produce an effect that looks like the tone has been scraped with an analog cutter.

By using a brush such as [Tone scraping] or [Gauze cloud] under [Cross-hatching] from the [Decoration] tool, you can erase tones with transparent color.

[Cross-hatching (for tone scraping)]

[Gauze cloud]


When using the [Pen] or [Brush] tools, the brush strokes may be blurred.

By choosing [Yes] under [Posterization] within the [Layer Property] palette, when using brushes that have blurring functionality, the tone’s opacity will change.

If posterization is set to [None], you can erase the tone without changing the gradation.

When using this method for print, it is recommended to set this to [None]. When gradation is applied to a tone, there is a possibility that it won’t be printed in an neat way.

[4] Replacing tones

If you want to replace an applied tone, there are methods for replacing one tone with another, as well as a method of changing the tone settings from within the property palette.

① In the [Layer] palette, select the tone layer you want to replace.

② Select the tone you want to change via the [Material] palette and click the [Tone replacement] icon.

With that it is replaced with another tone. Even if you change the tone, the mask is not changed, therefore the drawing area will be inherited as it is.

[5] Adjusting tones (Layer Property)

An applied tone can be changed further through adjusting the detail settings such as tone density and tone shape that can be changed via the [Layer Properties] palette. Here are some of the frequently used settings.

* If the [Layer Property] palette is not displayed on the screen, please select the [Window] menu → [Layer Property] to display it.

① Effect

You can change the tone display color and tone display.

② Number of screen frequency

You can set the number of halftone dots. The smaller the number, the bigger the dots; the bigger the number, the smaller the dots.

The number can be changed freely by moving the slider.

You can also choose a number for the line frequency that is often used in manga from the pull-down menu.

Enter numerical values directly by clicking on the number.

③ Density

You can adjust the tone density. The larger the number, the darker the tone will be. The number can be changed freely by moving the slider.

The density can be directly specified by clicking on the number.

④ Pattern settings

You can choose the shape of the halftone dots. Apart from dots, you can choose from lines, noise patterns, asterisks and many more.

Example for types of halftone dots included:

⑤ Angle

You can change the angle of the dots. The basic angle is set to 45 degree.

⑥ Nose Size/Factor

This can be adjusted when noise is selected as halftone dots.

In the noise size settings, small numerical values produce a fine noise pattern, while higher numerical values create rougher noise patterns.

Within the noise factor settings, the shape of the noise changes as the number increases.

⑦ Position of the dots

These settings can be used to adjust the position of the halftone dots. Use X to move the dots horizontally and Y to move them vertically. This is convenient when needing to move the position of halftone dots or overlapping tones.

⑧ Mask Expression

Settings for the mask expression can be set here. When set to [Yes], gradation will be added to blurred brushes. For printing, it is recommended to set gradation to [None].


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