Clip Studio Paint

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Clip Studio Paint Reviews

& Product Details

What is Clip Studio Paint?

Clip Studio Paint is a popular art software among anime, manga, and comic creators. Moreover, Clip Studio has various advanced tools, exclusive brushes, and other features designed to give anime artists a competitive edge in their work. The painting tool also provides animation tools, including an onion-skin view and a camera that people can customize. However, clip Studio Paint’s 3D model, which uses artificial intelligence to create dynamic and lifelike positions for reference, is one of the most appealing features.

Found in these Categories

Best For

The artist's app for drawing and painting.

Recommended For

  • StartUps
  • Freelancers
  • Small Business
  • Medium Business
  • Large Enterprise
  • Non-profit Organization
  • Personal


  • Cloud, SaaS, Web-Based
  • Mobile - Android
  • Mobile - iPhone
  • Mobile - iPad
  • Desktop - Mac
  • Desktop - Windows
  • Desktop - Linux
  • Desktop - Chromebook
  • On-Premise - Windows
  • On-Premise - Linux


  • Company Name

    CELSYS, Inc.

  • Located In


  • Website

Clip Studio Paint Pricing

Starting from:

$0.99 /month

Pricing Model: Subscription

Pricing Details:

Clip Studio Paint pricing is adapted to the artists' way of life. So whether you prefer a one-time purchase or monthly plans, they have it. Clip Studio Paint Pro costs $49.99 per license, while Clip Studio Pro EX costs $219 per license (lifetime versions are available for Windows & macOS). The monthly plan is available for Chromebook, iPhone & Android and costs $0.99/month. In addition, GOLD is a type of point that can be used to purchase materials from Clip Studio Assets. For example, 100 GOLD = 100 JPY (about 1 USD) can be purchased with a credit card.

Clip Studio Paint Features

  • Content Import/Export
  • Custom Brushes
  • Design Templates
  • Drag & Drop Editor
  • Drawing Tools
  • Mobile App
  • Presentation Tools
  • Version Control

Additional Features

  • 2D Drawing
  • Animation
  • Preview Functionality
  • Design Management

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Clip Studio Paint is the greatest software, whether a beginner or a professional artist. It’s popular and adaptable, and if you’re new to it, you can select between the Clip Studio Paint EX and PRO packages. It has over 3 million users worldwide, making it one of the most popular drawings and painting programs.

Clip Studio Paint is a versatile painting program that lets you use its tools to render images and ink. It’s simple to use and comes with various custom brushes and tools for creating various images. You may also edit 3D models and backgrounds and create artwork from photographs and comic books. It also has a reasonable price point, and because it is adaptable, it is suitable for both novice and experienced users.

It’s popular among manga and comic artists, especially for painting and drawing. It’s also an all-in-one animation app with pencil functions to customize and create unique, professional masterpieces. So, without further ado, let us dig into the detailed Clip Studio Paint review.

Clip Studio Paint: Digital Painting Tool

Clip Studio Paint began out as “Comic Studio.” It immediately earned a big and devoted following in Japan, where the Celsys software firm has developed it since its inception (of RetasPRO fame).

Despite having a significant user base in Japan, the software was not well known in North America until Smith Micro (makers of the popular 2D animation software Moho) came on board as the distributor and rebranded the product as Manga Studio years ago.

This collaboration aided in developing Manga Studio (now known as Clip Studio Paint) into a genuinely worldwide brand and arguably the most popular manga and comic book software available today. Despite its popularity among artists who create manga, anime, and similar works, this software is more than a one-trick pony, with unique features that set it apart from most other art programs.

According to the manufacturer, Clip Studio Paint is a professional-grade graphic software tool for animation, illustration, manga, and comic art, with over 4,000,000 users worldwide. Because of its remarkable features, capabilities, and inexpensive pricing, have swiftly become one of the most popular programs in the manga and comic art industry.

Many artists and illustrators are beginning to see Clip Studio Paint as an excellent Photoshop alternative because it offers more versatility in several areas, many of which we will highlight in this review. Of course, one of its main competitors is Adobe Photoshop. Still, many artists and illustrators are beginning to see Clip Studio Paint as an excellent Photoshop alternative because it offers more versatility in several areas, many of which we will highlight in this review.

Benefits of using Clip Studio Paint

  • Customizable Pen Pressure: Designers may customize their pen pressure settings and quickly regenerate high-quality realistic strokes. They can also use a few test strokes to preview the outcome and make necessary changes.
  • Multiple Color Options: Artists may test, select, and manage multiple color options across different color palettes using Clip Studio Paint, which features standard sliders and circles as well as midway colors, similar colors, and the history of previously applied colors.
  • Photoshop File Format Compatibility: The software is compatible with all Photoshop file types. As a result, users no longer need to change their existing workflows before delivering the final product to the client.
  • 3D Book Viewer: Using the 3D book viewer option, artists may share their works on social media or any other online platform and have the details presented in the shape of a real book. The published content can also be viewed on a smartphone.

How does Clip Studio Paint assist artists in increasing their productivity?

  • Workspaces let artists save and share customized palettes, command bars, colors, and shortcuts, which they can use whenever needed.
  • Large groups can collaborate more easily by sharing file-related settings or layer-based structures as templates. They can also share the workplace to create a more cohesive working atmosphere.
  • Shortcuts that can be customized: Artists can design their shortcuts or copy their favorite shortcuts from other programs. They can also use the software’s Auto Action feature to accomplish repeated or frequent operations with a single click.
  • Personalized Palette: With Clip Studio Paint, artists may create a personalized palette that contains frequently used menus, tools, auto auctions, and colors that they can utilize according to their artistic demands.
  • Individual artists or large teams may easily back up their whole work, including numerous settings, to the cloud and access it from anywhere.

Drawing software

What’s the Difference Between Clip Studio Paint Pro and Ex?

Before we get into the details of the software, it’s important to note that Clip Studio Paint is two separate products.

Clip Studio Paint PRO and Clip Studio Paint EX are the two distinct program versions you can purchase. Apart from the price difference ($49.99 vs. $219.99 RRP, respectively), there are several significant distinctions to consider when deciding which one is best for you and your budget.

Clip Studio Paint PRO is one of the best software tools for getting started in comic sketching and illustration. It is a stripped-down version of Clip Studio instead of the EX package, including additional tools and capabilities. But the pricing is appealing; it’s less expensive than the EX package and includes helpful tools and capabilities, as you’ll see in this Clip Studio Paint EX vs. PRO 2022 comparison.

With the Clip Studio Paint PRO package, you’ll have access to a wide range of painting and coloring tools and a free library of over 10,000 elements. This program is also simpler to use, especially if you are familiar with Photoshop.

Which one to choose?

Its reasonable pricing and fantastic capabilities make it easy to see why it’s in the top tier of comic-making software. Clip Studio Paint has a fascinating backstory and was once a lesser-known software of Manga Studio, a group of manga fans. It is currently a very popular software that combines the functionality of well-known apps such as Adobe Photoshop and drawing tools.

Clip Studio Paint PRO contains vector and raster tools that work with numerous colors and can produce faultless animations while allowing you to sync your work across many devices. Many beginners have stated that this software was difficult to use at first, but they became comfortable with it quickly.

Details of Clip Studio Paint Features

The list of features that makes Clip Studio Paint stand out among the rest of the competitors is listed down below:

  • Flexibility in Drawing

Clip Studio Paint’s true strength, and what sets it apart from other digital painting tools, is this. It has the sense of an artist-driven piece of software and provides you with additional options and flexibility when creating your artwork.

You can use your mouse (but I don’t encourage it!) to complete the task. Or use a pen tablet to draw freely with various pencils, pens, and other instruments to help you create manga or comic book characters.

The pens and brushes have such a natural feel to them. Whether used with a graphics tablet display, such as a Cintiq, or a regular drawing tablet, the responsiveness and pressure sensitivity is, in many people’s opinion, superior to Photoshop.


  • Brushes with many options

You can either develop and utilize your brushes or select from preset brush options to get almost any look you like. Unfortunately, most illustration programs have a limited number of brush options, which can be challenging for illustrators who want to achieve a specific impression. Thus this is a huge plus in Clip Studio.

The Clip Studio Assets site also has a massive online database with over 10,000 materials, brushes, and elements that you can access for free.


  • Toolkit for Vectors

Clip Studio’s strong vector tools can help you move your project along much faster. For example, you can more easily see flaws or places that need touch-ups, allowing you to finish your artwork in less time and with fewer “spill” errors when filling an area with a color that hasn’t been firmly “sealed.”

  • Coloring Pages with a Wide Range of Options

The program has a comprehensive set of coloring tools and everything you’ll need to produce a vivid, professional-looking comic. You don’t need to utilize any other apps to get the colors you need for your project anymore. This is ideal for those who want to work with only one program at a time, and it also saves money because no other tools are required.

It also lets you work in RGB and CMYK formats, which is ideal if you plan to print your comic because the quality and color integrity of the final product will be preserved.

  • Enhanced 3D Capabilities

This is a clever feature that only an artist would think of. With a new set of tools in Clip Studio, you can effortlessly use and manipulate 3D models and objects, including the ability to drag and drop additional elements.

What’s even better is that they have several 3d “artist models” that you can import and alter into the postures you need, then use as a reference or trace over the lines to obtain the exact foreshortening and perspective you want.

It’s useful for getting dynamic stances and maintaining a character’s volume. It also aids in the sharpening of your eye while working without using a real model.

  • Capabilities for importing and exporting files

Clip Studio supports all major file formats, including JPEG, TIFF, PNG, BMP, and the PSD/PSB (Photoshop) format allows you to keep layers in and out. It also supports the PaintTool SAI format and storyboard(name) files made by the Wacom Cintiq Companion Hybrid’s pre-installed storyboarding software “Manga Canvas.”

Do you want to publish your comics as a Kindle or eBook?

Clip can output to industry-standard Kindle and ePub formats, so there’s no need to worry. Clip Studio Paint also allows you to import.CPG files from prior software versions, such as Manga Studio 4 and 4 EX. As a result, you may pick up where you left off and enjoy all of the benefits.

  • Frame-by-Frame Animation

Clip Studio Paint EX offers exceptional animation capabilities, which make it a formidable force when paired with the superior drawing and painting tools already described. However, please keep in mind that the PRO version of the software only allows for a maximum of 24 frames of animation. Thus, it’s only suitable for simple tasks such as animated GIFs.

This, in my opinion, is Clip Studio Paint EX’s true advantage over competitors like Photoshop. To bring your manga or other drawings to life, the animation tools provide a customizable timeline and other unique features and the ability to export it in several formats for viewing elsewhere. This is an extremely intriguing new feature that illustrators will undoubtedly appreciate.

Alternatives to Clip Studio Paint

The top alternatives that are available in the market to Clip Studio Paint are listed down below:

  • Inkscape
  • Corel Painter
  • Adobe Illustrator
  • CorelDRAW
  • Vecteezy
  • Sketchbook
  • CSI Etabs
  • Affinity Designer
  • Vectr
  • Krita

Adobe Photoshop vs. Clip Studio Paint

Even though both applications allow you to design full-color manga, comics, and other pictures, Clip Studio Paint has the following features that Photoshop does not:

  • Pose creation in 3D
  • Layers of reference
  • Brushes that can be customized
  • Editing as a backup
  • Rulers and perspective guides in various sizes
  • Word balloons in a comic book panel
  • A large library of materials
  • Capabilities for frame-by-frame animation have improved (EX more than PRO)

Depending on which version you choose, the cost of Adobe Photoshop is typically right amid the Clip Studio Pro and EX prices. However, Clip Studio is a one-time payment, whereas Photoshop is a monthly membership that, over time, will prove to be more expensive. Other competitors include Autodesk’s Sketchbook, ArtRage, PaintTool SAI, Corel Painter, and MyPaint, although Clip Studio Paint consistently outperforms them in the most crucial categories.

Clip Studio Paint Review Conclusions

Clip Studio Paint is a terrific alternative for illustrators and painters of all types, especially those working on comic books and manga, who want greater flexibility and freedom to produce just as they would on paper while taking advantage of all the benefits technology has to offer.

This is one of the greatest and most economical digital sketching software tools available, thanks to its incredible selection of tools and features and the ability to animate. It takes some time to get to know everything it offers, but if you’ve used Photoshop or similar software before, you’ll be up and running.

Furthermore, the sketching tools are so intuitive that you should have no trouble using them. Many comic artists are beginning to choose Clip Studio Paint over Adobe Photoshop because of its fully adjustable brushes, perspective rulers, 3D pose library, and cheaper one-time price tag.

Clip Studio Paint Pro is less priced and has a lot of amazing capabilities, but if you want to build many pages, have limitless animation frames, and convert 3d to 2d styles, I recommend investing a little more and getting Clip Studio Paint EX, the more powerful version of the program.

Is Clip Studio Paint good?

Many comic artists prefer clip Studio Paint over Adobe Photoshop since it contains several features that Photoshop lacks. However, all systems offer pros and downsides, so consider your needs before purchasing.

Clip Studio Paint is a good choice if you seek feature-rich illustration software with all the tools and skills that manga and comic artists want. Unfortunately, a plethora of art software on the market is vying for a spot in your portfolio. On the other hand, Clip Studio Paint does not require much persuasion.

Listen to the tens of thousands of artists who have been using this software since its inception and now make up the community that keeps it alive with special brushes, materials, and more. Clip Studio Paint is the most popular software among anime and manga artists; however, it is also popular among traditional painters. So, to summarize our Clip Studio Paint review, this software is a lifesaver if you want to take your anime art to the next level.

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Updated Feb 25th, ’23
Authored by Cristiana