Manga Debut 4 - Brief Tutorial

Topic started by UsachanMaN on May 10, 2012. Last post by UsachanMaN 2 years, 2 months ago.
Post by UsachanMaN (4,673 posts) See mini bio Level 16


Hello Anime Vice! :D It's been a while since I blogged, so tadaaa~ !

Well, as the title of the blog says, I'll be doing a brief tutorial on how to create your own manga page using the Manga Studio Debut 4 program, by Smith Micro.

Enjoy! (I'm still a beginner at this, so bear with me :D)

*please note that the character(s) and ideas that I include in this tutorial are original (i.e. my own work). Please don't use it without referencing me, and dont remove my initials (NA) on the right-hand bottom corner of the pages. Thank you!


NB: BEFORE STARTING, MAKE SURE YOU'VE OUTLINED, PLANNED, OR BRAINSTORMED HOW YOUR PAGE WILL LOOK LIKE! I usually sketch out a rough outline in my pocket sketchpad before I begin my work.

Not much action is going on in this page, since its one of the opening pages of my comic, its mainly just an intro to one of the secondary characters :P

Oh yes, and please excuse my crappy handwriting XD

Step 1

Sketch the page using the "pencil" tool found in the right-hand tool box:

*Note, the reason why the cat is in a different color is because I imported it from my own documents. You can do that by hitting "File" > "Import" > "Image File...". Also, I chose to sketch in light blue, you can choose whichever color you want. I find it handy to sketch in a color other than black since it wont get confusing when you trace over your sketch in Step 3.

Step 2

Time to PANEL! The next tab over (after "Sketch" tab) is the panel tab. The program provides you with various kinds of panels and layouts. I believe you can also draw out your own panels, but I'm still not quite sure how to do it.

For this image, I want there to be 3 panels, 1 big one on the right to get the man's entire sitting figure, and 2 small panels on the left for the close up of the man's face and the cat.

Step 3

Time to OUTLINE! Ok, so its time to outline the sketch, and that`s the next tab over, called "Draw". For outlining, I usually use the kabura pen setting

(Aside: I moved the cat from the ground to the character's lap in the first panel)

Step 4


Under the same "Draw" tab, the program has loads of brush types under the pattern brush option. I'll start adding patterns and such on the images in the panels (the button to the left of the eraser option). After clicking that, you get a menu full of different pattern options.

It'll be tedious for me to screencap every step of what I've done, so I'll just show you a picture of each panel, and tell you the brushes I used.

Panel 1 -

Couch : For the couch, I used the "Flower Gradation Airbrush" under the Pattern Brush option. I shaded the folds at the bottom of the couch, the cat's shadow, as well as behind the character's head with the marker option on the left of the Pattern Brush option.

Ground: For the ground, I used the "Lace" pattern under the Pattern Brush. I shaded underneath the couch using the "Cross-hatching" pattern.

Cat: For the cat, I used the airbrush pattern at various shades of gray.

Man: For the man, I used the marker option for his hair and for the shading of his shirt and book. For his skin, I used the airbrush pattern.

Panel 2 -

Man: For his hair, I used the marker option. After that, I topped it with the airbrush option. I then used the kabura pen and added the white highlights. For his skin, I used the airbrush option, and shaded him using the airbrush using a darker shade of gray.

Panel 3 -

Couch : For the couch, I used the "Flower Gradation Airbrush" under the Pattern Brush option. I shaded the cat's shadow with the marker option on the left of the airbrush option and also with the marker option.

Cat: For the cat, I first colored him with the marker, then I used the airbrush pattern at various shades of gray.

Man's arm: For the man's arms I used the airbrush option for the shading

Book: For the book, I used the marker option to shade it.

Step 5

Time to TONE! Ok, so this program comes with loads if screen tones that you can use as a background. For this page, the background I used it called "Vertical Lines Fem". Basically, you drag the tone from the menu and place it on top of the panel. Then you trim it to the areas that you want it to appear. (in my case, I trimmed it so that it appears only in the background and not on the characters or the couch).

Step 6

Time to add some SPEECH BUBBLES!! So now we go to the next tab over, and that's "Character". You get a wide array of dialogue bubbles, and you can choose whichever kind you want.

Now you can add text into the bubbles by using the dialogue box that appears when you double click on the speech bubble. See the image below for instructions:

So following the above steps, you can add the text you want in the speech bubbles, and you're good to go!


So when you`re done, save and once saved check your documents, and under the file that you saved this project in, you`ll find a finished image of your page:

The End!

So we reached the end of the tutorial! Hope you found it helpful!! XD If you want to check out more of my art, I've uploaded some on my Usachan's Artist Corner thread.

If you`ve got any questions don`t hesitate to post them here and I`ll be sure to answer them as best I can!

UsachanMan over and out!

Post by Sonata (36,389 posts) See mini bio Level 20
@UsachanMaN: Wow! very impressive work, looks very good you sure you are a beginner:P
Post by sickVisionz (4,332 posts) See mini bio Level 24

That's pretty nice.

Post by UsachanMaN (4,673 posts) See mini bio Level 16

@Sonata: Thanks Son!! :D I've been practising a lot and I'm slowly getting the hang of it XD

@sickVisionz: Thanks sickVisionz!! :D

Post by takashichea (16,612 posts) See mini bio Level 25
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Looks awesome! I should tell my little sis about this. She loves drawing and has a deviant art account. Though, I don't know what's her name because she doesn't want me to embarass her in front of her friends. Hahaha!

Interestingly, she chatted with the author of Hollow Fields on Deviant Art a few years ago.

Post by UsachanMaN (4,673 posts) See mini bio Level 16

@takashichea: Thanks! :D Yea this is an awesome program! So if your sister is really in to drawing comics / manga, I'd strongly suggest her to try using this program (I've got the official links to their websites at the top of my blog. It comes with a free 30-day trial I believe). LOL XD Well I hide my DA account name from some people too; girls like their privacy I guess XD

That's awesome!! :D

Post by FoxxFireArt (2,654 posts) See mini bio Level 25
Code Geass R2 - Episode 4
Code Geass R2 - Episode 4

That's a nice tutorial you made up. I personally like using my Photoshop to make my own web manga. I do like the look of the paneling tools Manga Debut has and how it handles layers.

Post by UsachanMaN (4,673 posts) See mini bio Level 16

@FoxxFireArt: Thanks a bunch! :D I've never gotten the chance to work with Photoshop, so I wouldn't be able to compare the two. But I really like the how user-friendly this program is; it practically walks you through the entire process.

Nice page btw! I like your use of color! :D

Post by asian_pride (168 posts) See mini bio Level 18

Whoa, that's pretty cool. If I had at least more patience and actual "artistic" talent, I'd probably be making some of my own right about now. Who knows how many dumb Pokemon fanfictions I'd have created already? :P

But yeah, again, nice job :)

Post by UsachanMaN (4,673 posts) See mini bio Level 16

@asian_pride: Thanks! :D Keep practising and you're art will get better and better! :D But yea, patience is key when it comes to making art :) Fanfics are amazing! I bet yours would be awesome! :D

Thanks again! XD

Post by MrDirector786 (4,512 posts) See mini bio Level 17

That's pretty cool.

Post by UsachanMaN (4,673 posts) See mini bio Level 16

@MrDirector786: Thank you!! :D

Post by lepetandpebbles (6 posts) See mini bio Level 9

this is awesome!! great job! one question though, how do you get the sketch to look that good?

Post by UsachanMaN (4,673 posts) See mini bio Level 16

@lepetandpebbles: Thanks a bunch!! :D Lol well to answer your question, I guess it comes with practice XD Before I started using this program, I used to draw and panel manga in my sketchbook using various pitt-pens (varying in size). So I would go over my pencil drawings with black ink, and then I'd use brush pens with different shades of gray for the shading. Since I've been drawing manga traditionally for a while, I guess it was easier for me to get used to drawing digitally (I just had to use the same skills I've been using in my sketchbook onto the computer). Hope that answered your question! :D I'm still kinda a beginner when it comes to this stuff and I'm much more comfortable drawing in my sketchbook, but if you've got any more questions I'd be glad to answer them as best as I could! :D

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