I decided to splurge and buy Manga Studio 4 EX after seeing that it was only $99 last weekend. I do already own Manga Studio Debut, but have always found it rather hard to get on with, and it still took a little tweaking before I found the anti aliasing option that stopped me from worrying about all the jaggies I could see in my inking. I know, I know…. at 1200 dpi they will disappear when reduced down to print res.. but I still find it disconcerting.

You can still see them a little even at screen res here:

Sulking - Manga Studio 4 EX - Illustration

I also lost the will to live a bit when wrestling with the zippertone (probably the wrong word for it, but it’s habit) and decided to settle for no colour or tone in the characters and a simple gradient in the background. This was more about getting the inking right, and it’s not bad but it’s not great either.

Here’s the original sketch from Autodesk Sketchbook Pro (no I haven’t, and probably never will master colour in MS4 EX):

Sulking - Autodesk Sketchbook Pro 2011 - Illustration

Sulking

I suppose what I struggle with mostly is this: Aside from the screentones/zippertones… (which you can reproduce in Illustrator, albeit painstakingly – I’ve already constructed sheets of my own vector tones) …what benefits does MS4 EX offer me over a vector program like Illustrator? After all, I don’t seem to be able to export anything resembling a scaleable vector from Manga Studio, and with Illustrator’s ‘blob’ brush you can paint almost any way you want now without having to resort to using ‘expand’ or ‘expand appearance’ to turn your strokes into fills…

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