Use the Selection Tool in a Comic





Note: This tutorial is intended for users of the WINDOWS version of CLIP STUDIO PAINT software.


Hello, it's Happy32x, and in this tutorial. I'm going to explain how to use Clip Studio Paint's selection tool in a comic strip.

1. What is the selection tool?

The Selection Tool of Clip Studio Paint, is a very useful and versatile tool that allows you to create selections of different shapes and sizes, edit, save your selections, and draw outlines from of your selections. Here is a presentation of the selection tool and its main features:


The selection tool is located in the left toolbar, under the icon in the shape of square with broken outline. You can also use the keyboard shortcut [S] to enable it.

→ The selection tool has several sub-tools, each suitable for a different type of selection. You can choose the sub tool you want to use from the [Sub tool] palette on the left.

→ The available subtools are: Rectangle, Ellipse, Lasso, Polyline, Selection pen, Erase selection and Shrink selection, each having a specific purpose depending on the use. I'll show you how to use some of them in part 2 of this tutorial.


→ Each sub-tool has several selection modes, which allow you to modify your existing selection. You can choose the selection mode you want to use in the [Tool Properties] palette located just below the [Sub Tool] palette.

For example, here I have the Rectangle tool selected, and I can set the Selection mode, appearance type or anti-aliasing to suit of my needs.


→ The selection tool also allows you to create outlines from your selections to highlight a drawing that is not visible enough to readers, for example.


And to finish this part, know that the selection tool has more features than those presented in this brief summary, to create and modify your selections, which can help you improve your drawing and save time.


Now that all that has been said, let's try to have fun with the selection tool in our comic :)


Let's go !

2. Use the selection tool in a comic book

I will now show you how you can use the selection tool in creating a comic strip.


2.1. Setting up the drawing

To start, I create a new project. In the menu bar at the top, I click on File → New… or [Ctrl N], then I validate.

On the new page, I make my sketches by delimiting the different boxes freehand.

Which then helps me to definitively place my 2 boxes, a small one at the top, and a larger one at the bottom

Then we move on to inking the character...

Finally, we take the opportunity to add the dialogues

2.2. Limiting the drawing area

From this step, I would like the body of the character located at the bottom not to exceed the area of the frame intended for the drawing as shown in the following image:

I am therefore going to erase the elements located outside the box. To do this, there are several ways to remedy this using the selection tool, but we will only choose one.


Let's start by highlighting the parts that interest us, that is to say the frames (boxes), by hiding the character and the dialogue bubbles like this.

Then, I select the frame, layer which contains our 2 boxes

Then, in the selection tool, I choose the Shrink selection tool, making sure that the configurations are like those shown in the following image.

Note that I insist that Selection Mode be set to “New Selection” and Multiple Reference to “Selected Layer”


I return to my work area and circle the box I want to select by clicking and dragging with the tool

Then once I'm finished, I release the mouse button and the outlines of the box have been selected automatically

I can now display the character, invert the selection and erase the parts located outside the box using the “Eraser” tool.

2.3. Save a selection

Sometimes, when you make a selection, and you don't want to make exactly the same selection again and again, it is better to save it to use it later.


Here's how to save the selection of the box we just selected:


Once the box is selected, I click on the menu Selection area → Convert to selection layer



The selected area then appears green and its save is visible in our list of layers

To reactivate our selection later, we just need to double-click on its layer, and to hide our selection, we just need to press the Deselect button.

Finally, I saved the selections of the 2 boxes of my board in 2 different layers, because they will be used later to make global corrections or manage the background in each of these different areas.

2.4. Color using the selection tool

In this part, we will use the selection tool to color all the areas of our drawing.


I start by creating 2 layers which will receive our colors, by creating 2 New rasterization layers which we will name CHARACTER and BACKGROUND as in the following image

The CHARACTER layer will contain the character's colors, and the BACKGROUND layer will contain the background colors.


Also note how important it is to organize your layers in specific folders and name them well.


→ The BUBBLES folder contains the dialog bubbles

→ The TRAIT folder contains the inking of the drawing

→ The ZONE folder contains all the selection zones

→ The COLOR folder contains the colors


All this so as not to get confused when things become more complex.


2.4.1. Cutting out the areas to be colored

We will start by demarcating each area, hair, skin, clothing, background, etc., and each part will have a unique color of its own, this will be extremely useful for us to do certain things later.


→ Hair cutting:

When inking, I deliberately did not completely close the contours of the hair, because I wanted a slightly sloppy inking, which is why there are some openings on the contours of my hair, but this is not a big deal.

After selecting the CHARACTER layer, I choose the Pen tool and a color, I close the different spaces

To select the hair, I will not use the selection tool, but rather the automatic selection tool, like this

I make sure that all the properties of the tool I am about to use are properly configured

I place myself on my drawing and I click on the area in my hair

Once I have my hair selected, I can simply run a brush over the entire area to highlight it and make sure everything is selected properly.

Now, we can save the selection by clicking on the menu Selection area → Convert to selection layer

The hair cutting is complete... well... almost, since we also have hair to select in the 1st box of our comic strip.


→ Add & Merge multiple selections:

What we want is for all of our character's hair that appears in our spread to be grouped into a single selection area.


To do this, we will add a new selection and merge the selection boxes


After activating the hair selection area, we will use the automatic selection tool as before, except that this time, the selection mode will be set to Add to selection

We select the new zone

The new selection overflows a little, and to restrict it, we will use the Erase selection tool

Now we do Selection area → Convert to selection layer again to save the new selection area

We merge the new selection area with the old one using the Merge button at the lower layer

And that’s the job! Our character's hair is grouped into a single selection area

Character hair cutting completed!


→ Phone breakdown:


To cut the phone, we will use the Polyline tool

We trace the contours of the phone using the tool

Then, we save the selection

And that's it, easy isn't it :)


→ Breakdown of other parts:


To cut the other parts, we will use the same tools and the same processes as those mentioned above.


Whether for the skin…

The eyes, the T-shirt and the hairdo…

Here is the result of all the selection areas of our drawing…

And the list of all selection zone layers saved in the ZONE folder

2.4.2. Final colorization

→ Application of base colors


To apply the base colors, it's extremely easy, all you have to do is activate the selection area which corresponds to the part of the drawing that you want to color, and put the colors you want there.


For example, for the skin, I will activate the selection box skin

Then place myself on the layer COLOR > CHARACTER

And then I could put whatever colors I want on there.

We apply the same process everywhere on our drawing (background, hair, T-shirt, pants, phone, eyes, etc.) and we obtain the following result:

→ Enable multiple selections at once


Still using the previously saved selection boxes, I can simultaneously activate the hair, face and T-shirt selection box by holding down the SHIFT key on my keyboard and double-clicking in turn on each of the layers that interest me to combine them

Hair, skin and T-shirt are selected all at once

After activating my selection boxes, I create the phone light layer just above the CHARACTER layer

And I use the brush tool to apply the color I want

This technique made it easier for me to draw the light from the phone reflecting on our character's face.


→ Finish drawing


You have to be clever when using the selection tool, I then added some light textures on the skin, changed the color of the T-shirt, painted the wall, the floor, added shadows, lights , objects etc… and here is the result:

2.5. Draw the contours using the selection tool

My character located in the first box is in a gray area and I would like him to appear better to the reader, which is why I am going to surround him with a white outline.


I start by selecting my character

Then I create the layer white outline on which the outline will be drawn

Then I choose the color White on my color wheel

Then I go to the menu Edit → Contour selection

I configure according to my tastes… then I validate

Here's the result

For the speech bubble located in the second box, we applied the same process, and I think the result looks much better with a white outline on a black background.

2.6. Make global corrections

To finish this tutorial on the selection tool, we are going to make modifications on a global scale to accentuate the colors and make things in context.


In the top box, the colors will be warmer, because it is summer, and at the bottom, cooler colors brought by the blue light projected by the phone screen will dominate the scene.


We start by placing the selection areas box 1 and box 2, below the special effects and dialog bubbles, but above the inking and colors

To make changes to box 1, we will first of course activate it by double-clicking on it, once activated, we will right-click on it, and in the context menu that appears, we will choose New correction layer → Hue/Saturation/Lightness

We make a few adjustments… then we validate

We right-click again on the layer Box 1, and in the context menu that appears, we will choose New correction layer → Color balance

We make some adjustments again, then we validate

We do the same for box 2 so that the cold color modifications only apply to this area and we ultimately obtain the following result:

3. Conclusion

Here is the final organization of all of our layers

You have seen how useful the selection tool can be for coloring your drawing, because it has several options that you can modify as you wish, in order to adapt them to your needs.


There are obviously many other options and special cases in which the selection tool proves very useful, but it would take too long to talk about them here.


I hope you liked this tutorial, now you know almost everything about the uses of the selection tool in CLIP STUDIO PAINT software.


Goodbye and next time :)



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