Using Layer Comps (EX Only)




Hello! My name is Liz Staley and I’m a long-time user of Clip Studio Paint (I started using the program back when it was known as Manga Studio 4!). I was a beta-tester on the Manga Studio 5 program and for Clip Studio Paint, and I have written three books and several video courses about the program. Many of you probably know my name from those books, in fact. I write weekly posts on and on CSP Tips, so be sure to come back every week to learn more Clip Studio Tips and Tricks from me!


Layer Comps are a brand new feature that is exclusive to Clip Studio Paint EX Version 3.0. This handy new feature allows you to save and easily switch between different combinations of layers in your image. You can use this to try out new color schemes and lighting, to change character expressions in one image, to make comics with different languages, and so much more! This week we’ll explore the basic features of Layer Comps that you need to know to start using them.


In this article we will cover the following topics:

Saving Layer Comps

Changing Existing Layer Comps

Exporting Layer Comps


Let’s get started!

Saving Layer Comps

To show the Layer Comps window if it is not shown already in your workspace, click Window - Layer Comps(2).

This will bring up the Layer Comps palette window. To save the current layer setup, click on the “Save layer comp” icon, shown in the red box below.

Give your layer comp a descriptive name. I chose to name this one “Midday” because of the lighting.

Now you can change up the layers, such as making a new copy of the layers with different lighting, and save it as a new Layer Comp. I made a new set of layers to change the scene to moonlight instead of midday, then saved it as a new comp.

To switch between layer comps, simply click on the “eye” icon to the left of the layer comp name. Clip Studio will turn the layers for that comp on or off depending on the displayed comp. You can see below that I’ve even added a third comp with a different lighting scheme and a new layer with the character’s mouth open.

Now instead of having to turn a bunch of layers off and on to look at each version, we can simply click the eye icon in the Layer Comps palette window to switch between them instantly.

Changing Existing Layer Comps

What if you make a change to an existing layer comp and want to update it? That’s not a problem at all! Make your changes as needed to the layer comp that you want to update. Then click on the “Save layer comp” icon, shown in the red square below.

Clip Studio will ask if you wish to overwrite the selected layer comp with the current layer display settings. Click on OK to update the layer comp.

And now your layer comp will show the new layer combination instead of the previously saved comp.



Exporting Layer Comps

If you want to export all or some of your layer comps, it is easy to do so without having to do multiple “save as” operations. Click on File - Special Export - Export layer comps.



In the Export to option, select the folder where you want to save your images. Select the image format from the File Format dropdown.


                                         + InFileprefixyoucansetwhatyouwantthebeginningofeachfilenametosay.Ileftmineasthenameofmyillustrationfile.UnderFilenameformatyoucanchooseeitherLayercompname,Layercompnamenumber,orjustanumber.


If you have selected several Layer comps in the Layer comp window and only want to export those comps, click the “Export only selected layer comps” checkbox at the bottom of the window. Click OK to continue.



If you’ve chosen a file format with export options, such as jpg, you will need to confirm these settings in the next window. If you have an export preset saved you can load it here, or change your settings manually. Click OK to continue.

Clip Studio may take a moment to finish saving the layer comps if there are lots of them to work through. Once the operation is complete you will see the following message.

Now you should have your layer comps saved in your destination folder!


Layer comps can be extremely useful for comic artists, illustrators, concept artists, and game designers. Sometimes I cannot decide on a color scheme, so being able to switch between multiple options quickly is a real time-saver!


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