[Illustration production] Setting up CLIP STUDIO PAINT



Compatible with Clip Studio Paint Ver. 1.10.0

Here, we will introduce some tips when setting up CLIP STUDIO PAINT to draw illustrations.

For settings suited for a tablet, please refer here.

For settings suited for a smartphone, please refer here.

For settings suited for comics, please refer here.

Starting from version 1.9.5, the user interface design has changed.

While several images in the course below use ver.1.9.4, the basic layout of the menus and icons are the same.

[1] Interface colors and configuration

The interface can be customized to better suit your preferences.

■1. Checking [Preferences] → [Interface]

Selecting the [File] menu ([CLIP STUDIO PAINT] menu on MacOS) → [Preferences] will display the [Preferences] dialog.

Check the [Interface] category in the [Preferences] dialog.

① Adjusting the interface brightness.

The interface color can be selected from [Dark color] or [Light color]. Additionally, the density of either scheme can be adjusted as well.

<Dark color>

<Light color>

② Touch Operation Settings【Windows】

The interface will have larger icons, etc. and be optimized for tablet devices that can be controlled with touch gestures.

3. Layout 【Windows/Tablet】

Selecting this will change the layout to the default palette for tablets.

If changed to the default tablet layout, the palettes will become retractable.
Tapping the icon will open and close the palettes, reserving space for the drawing area even on devices with small screens.


In [Preferences], the interface (screen) color density, units such as mm and px, the cursor shape, and the undo count can be adjusted. If you experience any inconvenience using CLIP STUDIO, please check the [Preferences].
For settings of items other than the interface, see [4] Other useful settings.

■2. Adjusting palette width and layout

When using graphics software for the first time, try out the default settings.
If you are used to another program’s layout, it may be easier to change the layout to something similar.

① Changing the layout using workspaces

Selecting the [Window] menu → [Workspace], you will see that there are preset workspaces such as [Illustration] and [Comic].

<Workspace [Comic]>

<Workspace [Illustration]>

Additionally, when customizing palette layouts, workspace materials published on ASSETS by other people can be downloaded and used as well.


When switching to an imported workspace, items can be changed with [Workspace import settings]. Settings that do not need to be changed, such as [Preferences → Unit settings], which lets you select [mm] or [px], can be turned off.

② Adjusting the width of the [Layer] palette

After deciding the palette layout, check the [Layer] palette’s width.

The palette size (width) can be adjusted by dragging the edge of the palette. If the width is too narrow, several layer control icons will be hidden.

When using CLIP STUDIO PAINT for the first time, make sure to keep the [Layer] palette at a sufficient width.

③ The [Layer] palette [Command Bar]

New layers and layer folders, among other things, can be made using the icons above the [Layer] palette. This section with the icons is called the [Command Bar].

This [Command Bar] can be moved to the bottom by selecting [Set command bar below list] from [Show Menu] in the top left of the palette. Try moving it if there is a position that you are used to with other applications.

④ Adjusting palette position

By default, there will be palettes that are contained in tabs such as the color palettes.

The tab palettes can be moved freely by dragging the tab and dropping it where a red line appears.

When drawing with color, it will be useful to move your necessary palettes to convenient places.

[2] Setting size and units

① Selecting units

When making illustrations or comics that will be published on the Web, set CLIP STUDIO PAINT’s display unit to [px].

When making illustrations or comics that will be printed, set CLIP STUDIO PAINT’s display unit to [mm].

To change units, select the [File] menu ([CLIP STUDIO PAINT] menu on MacOS) → [Preferences] to open the dialog, select the [Ruler/Unit] category, and set [Unit] →[Unit of length] to [px].


Even when using the same value, the thickness of the drawn line will change based on the [Unit of length] in [Preferences] being set to [px] or [mm].

② Setting actual size display

The following will set up the [Display resolution] to display manuscripts in their actual print size regardless of display size in CLIP STUDIO PAINT.

Select the [Settings] button from the [File] menu ([CLIP STUDIO PAINT] menu for macOS) → [Preferences] → [Canvas] tab → [Display resolution].

Once the [Settings of display resolution] dialog box is displayed, hold up a ruler to the display.
Control the dialog’s slider and match the size of the rulers.

Once setting in [Settings of display resolution] is complete, the display size of the manuscript will become the actual size of the document when [View] menu → [Print size] is selected.

When you want to check frequently, it may be a good idea to set a shortcut for [Print size], or register the command to the [Quick Access] palette or [Command Bar].

[3] Adjusting pen settings

Next, the pen’s touch and feel will be set. This should be done a few times to match your personal preference.

① Adjusting pen pressure

Adjust the pen touch on the pen tablet to match your pen pressure. Try drawing for a while, and adjust if it feels off. This will also be useful when your pen touch seems off after switching to a new pen tablet.

Select the [File] menu ([CLIP STUDIO PAINT] menu > [Pen pressure settings] for macOS/iPad) and display the [Pen Pressure Settings] dialog box.

Using a pen, draw on the canvas with varying pressure.

Clicking [Check adjusted results] will display the [Check adjusted results] dialog box, and allow you to draw on the canvas with the adjusted results.

Click [Harder] or [Softer] to adjust the pen pressure detective level.

Click the [Complete] button to apply this pen pressure setting to all tools.


[Pen pressure settings] adjusts the overall pen pressure settings of CLIP STUDIO PAINT.

Adjust the individual settings of each tool from the [Brush Size Effect Source Settings] icon, to the right of [Tool Property] → [Brush Size].

② Adjusting [Brush stroke]

Tool settings can be checked by clicking the tool mark at the bottom right of [Tool Property] and displaying the [Sub Tool Detail] dialog.

Before using the pen tool, check the [Brush stroke] in the [Correction] tab.

The [Brush stroke] settings can adjust the amount a drawn line will follow the pen tip after a line is drawn.

This makes it possible to simulate a brush with a long tip. However, brushes such as the G-pen may feel strange with brush strokes.

In this case, it is recommended to set the [Brush stroke] value to [0].

Set values can also be copied to other sub tools/all tools.

To do so, click the triangle mark next to the set item to display the menu, and copy the value to another tool with [Copy value].

[4] Other useful settings

The following items will be useful when just starting out with CLIP STUDIO PAINT.

① [Undo] settings

Check how [Edit] menu → [Undo] works in the [File] menu ([CLIP STUDIO PAINT] menu for macOS/iPad) → [Preferences]’s [Performance] tab.

With [Delay before recognizing new object to undo after drawing], if you set the time to [200] milliseconds for example, you will have a moment before drawn lines are treated as 1 step.

When set to [0] milliseconds, each individual line will be treated as 1 step. This is useful when inking by layering multiple lines, as setting the time to a long value will make [Undo] more efficient.

[Author: Taro Hirai (Hey!TAROH)]

A heavy user from the days of ComicStudio Ver.1. Noted works include official guidebooks of ComicStudio / CLIP STUDIO PAINT. I draw manga everyday and do the housekeeping.



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