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Clip Studio Paint Captures Hand-Drawn ‘Feel’ for Artists and Animators

Celsys’ all-in-one paint tool provides intuitive, customizable features that help transfer an artist’s touch to their graphic design, manga/comics, animation or other digital art. 

As the number of digital artists around the world continues to grow alongside increasing use of drawing tablets and iPads for all forms of digital illustration work, creative tools optimized to support and capture an artist’s “touch” are tremendously important. Transferring an artist’s brush stroke or line work is paramount to capturing the very heart of their creativity – the benefits of working digitally are lost if the tools don’t allow an artist to work exactly as they would on paper or canvass.

Enter Celsys’ Clip Studio Paint, an all-in-one paint tool for artists who enjoy creating hand-drawn illustrations within their graphic design, manga/comics, animation or other digital art projects. Created with artists in mind, from beginners to the most seasoned professionals, the program offers some of the best drawing tools available for a natural and enjoyable drawing experience – over 6 million artists worldwide take advantage of Clip Studio Paint’s powerful and easy to use features on a wide variety of personal and professional projects.

According to Tetsuya Kobayashi, marketing manager at Celsys, the program provides artists an unparalleled digital drawing tool that captures even the most nuanced freehand work. “Clip Studio Paint is made for professional artists and offers some of the best ‘feeling’ tools, all optimized for freehand drawing,” he says. “It’s highly customizable and easily adapts to any drawing style. Coupled with a rich feature set, these qualities can enhance the efficiency and capabilities of any artist. It provides a wide variety of functions to add finishing touches, enhance quality and boost productivity.”

With advanced pressure sensitivity and endless brush customization, each creator can find their perfect drawing settings. As for styles, Clip Studio Paint can handle detailed watercolors, thick oil painting, cel shading, and much more. A powerful brush engine means every nuanced stroke gets captures – for Wacom tablets, up to 8192 levels of pen pressure can be detected.

Comics and manga artists use Clip Studio Paint for their entire development and production efforts. The program features storyboarding, pencils, panel layout, inking, screentones, backgrounds, effects and lettering functionality. You can split and arrange panels, convert layers to halftone dots, and add dialogue with speech balloons. Both an animation and illustration program, Clip Studio Paint also lets first-time animators use the same drawing tools to animate, making it a natural extension of their drawing. 2D camera movement and audio can be added to produce complete animation sequences.

The program’s vector lines allow artists to adjust line thickness and shape, or scale up or down in size, after they are drawn. Using the perspective ruler, artists can set up a vanishing point in seconds to accurately draw complex backgrounds and environments. A collection of smart fill coloring tools speeds up any workflow; tools fill multiple areas at once, fill minuscule unpainted areas and close gaps.

Clip Studio Paint is currently used as a sakuga tool in numerous Japanese animation studios, including Toei Animation Co. – its natural line work shines when a delicate, nuanced touch is needed, such as in personal projects and ads. The program offers rich import and export functions as well, allowing it to work seamlessly alongside other software. Outside Japan, studios such as Fluor Films and ARTAN Animation have taken advantage of Clip Studio Paint’s key features on a number of projects.

“Clip Studio Paint exceeds your needs – it’s so intuitive, and can handle all the different types of drawing I do,” Rodrigo Sauré, Director at Fluor Films, shares. “It’s super easy to use, with customizable brushes and styles that are simple to setup and switch between. I feel like I’m drawing on paper.”

For Juaco Garin, a director and producer at ARTAN Animation, Clip Studio Paint helps his studio combine the artistic and expressive values of traditional animation techniques with the speed and efficiency of digital tools. “When comparing animation software, the characteristics that influence us the most are its ability to use timelines, symbols, automatic interpolation or composition,” he shares. “However, when doing traditional animation, the most important thing we look for is what we will be doing the longest: drawing. That's why Clip Studio Paint EX is so attractive to us, since its drawing tools feel very real and the animation interface is strongly based on the procedures of traditional animation.”

In addition to being reasonably priced, the program has no hidden or additional costs. In practice, this means the professional Clip Studio Paint EX is available for a one-time payment of $219.00, including all future updates. Since its debut in 2012 and 40 update releases later, there has never been a single paid update release. Each major update has added significant creative features, with recent updates adding AI powered functions such as automatic colorization and smart image smoothing.

For Windows /Mac OS, the program is optimized for Wacom tablets and offers an optimized UI even on tablet PCs such as the Microsoft Surface. An app version is also available for the Apple iPad PRO with all the functionality of the desktop versions, complete with Apple Pencil compatibility. All Clip Studio Paint versions, with complete program functionality, are available in seven languages: Japanese, English, French, German, Spanish, Traditional Chinese and Korean. The program is distributed and marketed in North America, South America and Europe by

Celsys also provides robust creative environments for both first-time and advanced users through support services such as TIPS (, and ASK (, a tutorial system and vibrant International user community.

“Clip Studio Paint can’t be beat as an all-in-one digital drawing solution for stunning, ready-to-publish illustrations, comics, manga and animations,” Kobayashi concludes. “One of Celsys’ main missions is to provide environments that enhance the joy of creation, and we hope to continue to do so through the many lenses of function, service, hardware, and content.”

Dan Sarto's picture

Dan Sarto is Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of Animation World Network.