Archive for January, 2013

Manga Studio 5 Pencilling, Inking, & Painting Brushes!

Posted by Ray Frenden, January 21st, 2013 | Filed under Syndicated | No Comments


Buy my brushes here! Reblog for a chance to win art!

What You Get

The brushes include tools for pencilling, inking, and coloring work.

NOTE: The brushes are compatible with Manga Studio 5 only.

The Story

I’ve been using Manga Studio for comic style work since the app was localized and brought to American audiences by SmithMicro in 2006. I’ve always pushed the boundaries of what was primarily an inking app, creating brushes that took the limitations of Manga Studio’s brush engine and smacked them against the wall. I like to make art apps bleed and Manga Studio has been my target of choice.

I’ve taken lessons learned from creating brushes in Painter, Manga Studio, Photoshop, and SAI and applied them to this set for Manga Studio 5. These newest brushes reflect seven years of obsessive, masochistic iteration on making the best drawing tools possible.

They’re easily the best brushes I’ve ever made and I can’t wait for you to get hands on them.

How They’re Different

The Painterly brushes are great for mass work or for coloring underneath comic style lineart. They create soft edged, blending strokes with light pressure and totally opaque, dense areas of hard edged color with hard strokes. Creating soft or hard edges to create emphasis in a painting is as easy as varying pressure with your stylus. One tool to do it all – no separate blenders.

Detail of an image painted entirely with the Painterly brush tool.

The pencilling tools include shading brushes, layout pencils, and sketching tools of varying hardness replicating analog style effects and workflows.

The inking tools include a brush that iterates upon my Manga Studio 4 organic inking brush to make the most clean, but analog-looking, inking marks I’ve achieved digitally. Two additional inking nibs of varied firmness round out the toolset.

An image inked with the tools in this set.

The Important Part – the Art Giveaway

To thank y’all for promoting this post, I’m giving away two large, interlocking canvas prints created for iam8bit featuring Earthworm Jim.



There’s only one set of the diptych ever printed to canvas and there will only ever be one. I’d guess they’ve got a value of $500–1000 (I’m a terrible capitalist and almost never sell art, so I have no real clue, but it did cost a pretty penny to print), and I’ll be giving it away to one person who reblogs this post or retweets this tweet.

Don’t Have Manga Studio 5?

There are many who’ve yet to try Manga Studio 5. As a long time Manga Studio user, allow me to explain what Manga Studio 5 is, and isn’t, by way of comparing it to what has come before.

Do you use Paint Tool SAI? Do you like its lightweight, snappy brush system that outstrips Photoshop’s but lament SAI’s lack of updates and general state of abandonware or lack of Mac support? Do you use Painter but curse the gods whenever it crashes to desktop during your tenth iterative save? Does Painter’s general buginess lead you to Photoshop only to remind you of how limited Photoshop is when it comes to painting and blending colors naturally?

Manga Studio 5 takes the already best-in-class inking engine found in 4 and pairs it with painting tools that rival Painter and SAI’s with stability akin to Photoshop.

It’s 64bit and native on OSX and Windows, unlike SAI. It’s stable, unlike Painter. It inks and paints well out of the box, unlike Photoshop.

Long story made slightly less long – it’s my favorite app of the bunch. I can pencil, ink, and paint in a single app instead of the Frankensteinian hodge-podge I resorted to before. No longer do I need to pencil and ink in Manga Studio and color in Photoshop or Painter as a second step.

If you use any of the above apps on a daily basis, you should really try it out. I seldom fire up any of those other apps after. The kicker? It’s a fraction of the cost of the big players.

But I digress. Buy my Manga Studio 5 brushes here!

Custom Photoshop Inking and Pencilling Brushes

Posted by Ray Frenden, January 11th, 2013 | Filed under Syndicated | No Comments

Introductory Sale!

Buy my Photoshop inking and pencilling brush tool presets here.

How These Tools Are Different

Photoshop doesn’t do well at interpreting light tablet pressure. Making thick-to-thin strokes requires a lot more care and deliberate line control than would even be necessary with an analog sable brush and real ink. It blows out pressure at the low end leaving feathered lines difficult to create.

BLOB. Line. Line. Line. BLOB.

You get the idea. Since around the time of the Photoshop CS6 Beta, I’ve attempted to create a brush that combats these shortcomings by dropping out some of the lowest pressure mark-making with a combination of flow and texture settings.

The result is a brush that, while not 100% opaque at the lightest marks, provides a hell of a lot more fidelity and control. To my knowledge, no one else has used this technique to create inking tools. The response from peers who’ve tested the set has been unanimously positive.

Pointy tip. Line. Line. Line. Pointy tip.

Here’s a short video showing an early version of just one of the tool presets included in this set.

In addition to several inking tool presets, there are robust pencil tools for blue-and-red-line-roughs and general sketching.

Feedback from other Artists

These are, by far, the best set of PS brushes I’ve come across. The pencil tools are excellent. I love the Sumi Brush and the rest of the ink pens are fantastic. – Eric Merced

I’ve been using Frenden’s…inker for awhile and I absolutely love it!…I have a hard time using Photoshop’s default brushes now. – Kory Bing of Skin Deep

‘Been waiting on these longer than a stripper trying to pick up a quarter with no hands! Inking brush is the tits dude! - Eric Brock

Note: These Tool Presets are only compatible with Photoshop CS5 & CS6.

Going back to my Jean Giraud illustration.

Posted by Dwayne, January 4th, 2013 | Filed under Syndicated | No Comments

Trying to make this presentable so I can enter a couple contests. Wish me luck please.