Vector layers in Clip Studio Paint are mostly used for scalable and editable line drawing.

In this tip, I'll show you another use of vector layers: using them with Decoration brushes. Together with Clip Studio Asset, it'll greatly speed up your drawing.


To start with this tip, you can distinguish between vector layer and raster layer with the little cube to the left:

1A. Drawing on a vector layer

Suppose I want to draw an Iron fence. My hand is not steady so its two ends are deformed.

I can't fix it if I draw on a raster layer. On a vector layer however, if I use the Object tool [O] and click on the fence line, a Path with Control Points appears. Click-and-drag the control points to fix the fence.

1B. Draw using Direct draw tools

But there's an even better way! Go back to the Iron fence brush, click the Show [Sub Tool Detail palette] button > Brush shape > Add to presets (you only need to do this once).

Now go to Figure [U], choose one of the Direct draw tools (except Lasso fill) and draw on a vector layer.

Use the Object tool [O], click on the line/shape you've drawn. On the Tool property tab, click the Brush shape drop-down to choose the Iron fence preset. (If you does not choose a line/shape beforehand, the whole vector layer will be changed into Iron fence, instead of one line.)

You can also change the Brush Size and color(s).
Sharp angles tend to deform like with the square below. To avoid this, draw rounded corner squares.

Press [Y] to go to Correct line sub tools. You can do various changes here such as:

Add/Delete control points

Adjust line width


2A. Instant line art

Go to Layer Propery tab > Border effect. Change the Thickness of edges and Edge color as you like. (You can also do it with a raster layer instead of a vector layer, but if you resize the fence afterward, the border will be messed up.)

2B. Line art + Coloring

Duplicate the fence layer [Ctrl + C > Ctrl + V]. Turn off the Border effect of the layer above. Create a new raster layer and clip it on top of this layer. You can now freely color the fence.

2C. Extracting line art

Use the Object tool [O], click on the fence. Change its color to white. Change the Edge color to black.

Go to Layer > Rasterize (the layer will turn into a raster layer)

then Edit > Convert brightness to opacity.

The white fence disappeared, leaving only the black line art.

If you keep a copy of the original layer, you can color it (turn off border effect and either rasterize the color layer + lock transparent pixels or using a clipped layer). Beware that the line art extracted this way will be a raster layer.

You can also use this technique with other two-color decoration brushes, such as this elaborate Cherry blossom brush. Draw in black and white > Duplicate the layer > Convert brightness to opacity the upper layer (don't need to work with a vector layer). On the layer below, Lock transparent pixels then color it.

This is the end of the tip. I hope this helped you to use vector layers and decoration brushes from Clip Studio Asset.

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