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Manga Studio For Dummies [Paperback]

Doug Hills
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Jan. 10 2008 For Dummies
Love Manga? The newest features of Manga Studio help you bring your ideas to life! The tools available in the latest version of this powerful program make it easy to turn your computer into your drawing board, and Manga Studio For Dummies makes it easy to get started.

Discover how to use Manga Studio to begin creating comics in manga or Western styles, add color to your creations, and share them with your adoring public. It’s a breeze once you know your way around the program. Manga may have begun in Japan, but Manga Studio For Dummies is written in plain English, and shows you how to:

  • Build and use page templates
  • Rough in your comic with penciling techniques
  • Work 100% digital, or use a combination of digital and traditional tools if you prefer
  • Work with layers, rulers, and panels
  • Add speech bubbles and sound effects text
  • Ink your work and add tones
  • Prepare your creations for print or distribution on the Web

Written by a working digital artist, Manga Studio For Dummies covers both Manga Studio Debut and EX versions. As an added bonus, it even gives you a peek into the world of manga and comics in general. With the help of Manga Studio For Dummies, you just might find yourself among the comic artists whose work populates the Web and gathers thousands of fans!

Note: CD-ROM/DVD and other supplementary materials are not included as part of eBook file.

Frequently Bought Together

Manga Studio For Dummies + Manga Studio 5 + Wacom Intuos Pen and Touch Medium Tablet (CTH680)
Price For All Three: CDN$ 233.48

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Product Details

Product Description

From the Back Cover

Covers both Manga Studio Debut and EX versions

Use the newest features of Manga Studio to bring your ideas to life

Manga is magnificent, and with the tools available in the latest version of Manga Studio, it's easy to turn your computer into your drawing board. Here's the fun and easy way® to begin creating comics in manga or Western styles, add color to your creations, and share them with your adoring public.

Discover how to:

  • Build and use page templates

  • Rough in your comic with penciling techniques

  • Work with layers, rulers, and panels

  • Add speech bubbles and sound effects text

  • Ink your work and add tones

About the Author

Doug Hills has been drawing ever since high school. Originally influenced by the superhero comics of the early- to mid-1990s, his style has adapted towards his other favorite genre: manga. Learning and studying techniques from both the East and West, he’s constantly striving to create a style that can truly be called his own.
In recent years, he has taken that love and desire for comics onto the Internet with two webcomics: Place Name Here and Chibi Cheerleaders From Outer Space, which he works on with his wife, Stacey. His webcomic work led him to Ten Ton Studios, where he worked on a story for their book, Anthologica, and eventually became a member of the group.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
Browse Sample Pages
Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars This book was a sanity saver July 26 2009
By D. Coty
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Having the foresight or the good fortunate of ordering this book with my copy of Manga Studio Debut 4 made my first dive into digital cartooning so much easier. The author, Doug Hills, makes the concepts used by the software easy to understand and even takes the reader through the steps of their first drawing. It is a first rate book and can be used with either the Debut or the EX (pro) version of Manga Studio. The only downside was that the directions did not always match the program's sequences but with some looking around it, the proper steps could be determined.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Manga for Dummies Dec 18 2012
By Mic
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Although written for Manga Studio Ex 3.0, this book is still very valuable for beginners who have purchased Manga Studio Ex 4.0.
It covers all the bases and gives the newcomer to the electronic drawing scene the encouragement to continue drawing.
It would be great to be able to obtain a "Dummies" book that covers the much improved Ex 4.0 Version of Manga Studio
as the changes in drawing with a new color palette and layer structure is not that easy to grasp for beginners.
The segments in this book are well explained and lead the reader to become creative right from the start.
This book is worth every penny!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must have book for MS users :) May 20 2010
As Manga Studio has been designed as software for the graphic storyteller, Manga Studio for Dummies is a terrific book written by someone who understands the process and problems of telling a story visually. Doug Hills has laid out his book not as a menu of tools but in the same way I approach a page, handing me the knowledge I need to get the job done in the sequence I needed to know them in. He has an engaging writing style that provides information in a friendly professional voice, and not a dry technical one that many manuals suffer from. I would highly recommend this book to anyone learning or using Manga Studio 4.
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4.0 out of 5 stars If you use Manga Studio 4.05 or earlier... Feb. 5 2014
By Reddog
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
With the release of Manga Studio 5.0 this book becomes less of a necessity. Is there value in it? For the right price...

The author Doug Hills is an accomplished digital comic artist with a long history of using Manga Studio. The book is an in depth look all the capabilities of the program (versions 4.05 and earlier). A decent index is included to help expedite your searches for your different questions when using Manga Studii 4 or 3... And there is the rub. The release of the "new" version 5 might make this book less appealing. MS 5 while using a lot of the same basic principles has also undergone many changes the biggest being in terms of the "new" colour applications.

The colour capabilities are more in tune with Photoshop (the digital colouring software used by most)...

If you are using MS4 or earlier I'd give it a 4.5! if you are moving on to 5 then use the author's online tutorials found with a quick search or wait for his next release of a "digital" chapter dedicated to MS5! (to be released any time)...
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.0 out of 5 stars  31 reviews
115 of 117 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Obsolete for MangaStudio 4 July 20 2009
By Daniel D. Hill - Published on
Presumably this text was published before the release of MangaStudio 4. Consequently, there are way too many illustrations of dialog boxes that no longer exist, and way too many step-by-step guides that are no longer valid. Terms and labels in the book don't match the software.

There was no disclaimer in the description that specified this critical shortcoming.
19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thanks Doug, I needed that! Jan. 11 2008
By Manuel C. Hernandez - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Whether you have the intro version of Manga Studio or the Pro version (EX), you will enjoy having this book handy. The cheat sheet alone is worth it..! ~8) As with all the Dummies volumes I possess the editorial staff has done a good job of helping the author outline and bring to clear focus the elements most needed to provide you with the answers to 'those mind numbing puzzles' we who enjoy such things as beating our heads into our keyboard at times, come across in our search to produce the 'COMIC of all comics'... I learned of this book on the Content Paradise Forum, having purchased a couple of e-frontiers products and desiring more input from fellow users of the Manga Studio software. It is only from those that have been working with the software for a bit that you get the nuances that are not normally shown face up,.. and thankfully, Doug had help from others like 'pencilkiller' as well with the main info. Get this book if you have Manga Studio (the debut version or the pro) or even if you are thinking of getting MS! Get this book, it will give you a HUGE head start. Good Job Doug!
One P.S. This software is NOT just for comix! It can be used for book illustration, architectural illustration, and commercial graphics (even logo design!) in combination with other graphics softwares such as PhotoShop or the GIMP, etc., so this book is invaluable in unlocking the 'keys to the kingdom' (so-to-speak)!
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Good book, but pace felt rushed. May 5 2008
By WING T. Wong - Published on

I have just recently acquired Manga Studio Debut, since I'm running Leopard on my Mac, I can't use Manga Studio EX. In attempting to learn the software more quickly, I picked up a copy of Manga Studio for Dummies. I've had really good luck with Dummies books in the past, so this book got my first try.

First Impressions:

My first impression of the book was that it felt rushed. It tries to cover a good number of topics about the software package, but doesn't really go into depth about any particular feature. In several cases, there is one paragraph that goes over several features, without a good demonstration of the features being covered. Given the fact that this book was a dummies book, I had expected a more grounds up approach. I didn't find that. The approach of the book is really more along the lines of: if you've worked with another graphics editing package, like Photoshop, Illustrator, etc. then use what you already know and here are some of the characteristics of this software that differs.

It's not a bad book, it just did not fulfill the task that I had thought it would.

Issues With The Book:

The legends. Or more specifically, the differentiation between EX features and Debut features. The book is in black and white. The legend indicates that EX features are in grey. I went through the book and only with some effort, was I able to see where the feature sets and coverage for one package and another one began and end. For someone using Manga Studio EX, this isn't a problem. For someone who is using Debut... it downright sucks.


If you are looking for a Manga Studio book for the copy of Manga Studio you just got, this is, at this time, the only English offering out there. If you can read Japanese, you can look for Comic Studio (debut / EX / Pro ) books, which are in Japanese, and of which there are many many such books out there.

If you are the author, I would strongly suggest putting out a second revision with better division and/or visual isolation of what is a Debut feature and what is an EX feature. I would also suggest adding a start-to-finish on using Manga Studio (debut or Ex/pro) to sketch/draw and finish a whole page.

The flow of the book really didn't feel smooth. I felt like I was switching from reading a list of features with quick summaries to a two page write up of how some of those features, but not all, could be used on a sketch... except the sketch was just a bunch of circles and lines. One single picture of circles and lines. This didn't really help with illustrating what a particular feature did and how it would impact the drawing/sketch.

I'm a big fan of supporting authors and good books, but I'm sorry to say, I had to return this book. Instead, I picked up two other books on general manga sketch technique since this book, which I went to the stores to specifically find, just didn't provide the information I needed.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Go digital with Manga Studio Jan. 19 2008
By Diane Cipollo - Published on
If you are new to the Manga comic craze or an experienced Manga artist, this book by Doug Hills will show you how easy it is to go digital with Manga Studio. Hills started creating comics by traditional methods and converted to digital over the span of several years. After experimenting with different graphics programs, he finally decided that Manga Studio met his needs the most. He now shares his knowledge of the software as well as some hard-earned experiences gained along the way. He not only has written Manga Studio for Dummies as a training guide for Manga Studio Debut and EX but he also teaches more general information such as comic terminology and storytelling techniques.

For the beginners, Hills starts with the basics of Manga Studio such as the workspace, toolbars and palettes and points out how they differ from their counterparts in other graphics programs. Next, he covers scanning methods for getting your hand-drawn roughs into Manga Studio and how a pen and tablet can be your best friend. The third chapter is a quick-start guide that covers just enough information for you to create your first page in Manga Studio. You learn the basics of the Pencil tool for digitally drawing your roughs and then move on to the Pen, Marker and Fill tools for inking your art. Finally, you learn the Airbrush and Pattern Brush tools and techniques for adding screentones.

Once you are familiar with the basic techniques, Hills dedicates the next chapters to covering each major feature of the software in more detail. If you have used any graphics software, you will probably be familiar with most of the tools and their names. But Hills discusses how each digital tool takes on different characteristics specific to Manga Studio. For example, you have the usual raster, vector and masking layers in Manga Studio but Hills shows how to use layers for comic-specific tasks such as managing your individual comic-style panels. Also familiar are the digital selection tools such as the Marquee, Lasso, Magic Wand, Quick Selection and Quick Mask. But, Hills discusses why these selection tools are so important for tasks such as adding screentones to selected areas of your comics.

I have mentioned screentones a few times. For those unfamiliar with these little gems, Hills covers this topic well with a discussion of just what they are and how screentones are used to add texture, color and detail to comics. The Text tool is next and Hills discusses the basics for this tool such as choosing fonts and formating, but he also covers comic-specific tasks such as word balloons. For those who have Manga Studio EX, Hills covers custom word balloon templates. Finally, he discusses more advanced techniques such as coloring your comics, special effects filters, and creating your own custom brushes and tone patterns.

Once your artwork is finished, it's time to publish your work. Hills discusses the many flexible publishing features in Manga Studio, the best output settings for home and commercial printers, and exporting your artwork in digital formats.

If I had one suggestion, it would be to include more visual examples in the book, for those just starting out in the Manga world. The CD does contain example images from the book and bonus chapters that cover using vectors, importing 2D and 3D objects and some general Manga background.

Doug Hills is the author and artist of two webcomics, Place Name Here and Chibi Cheerleaders From Outer Space. He is also a member of Ten Ton Studios.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Only covers Manga Studio 4 Sept. 11 2013
By Draxin7 - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I bought this planning to use it to help me with Manga Studio 5 but unfortunately it seems to only cover MS 4. This is understandable seeing as how MS 5 is still relatively new, but I would have liked to know that prior to buying this book. Also, if the author could re-release this with updated information about MS 5 I would definitely buy it because this book does a great job of explaining things but MS 5 is just too different from MS 4 I guess to be able to use this book for both.
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