HOW to: MAKE A BACKGROUND IN CLIP STUDIO

Hey guys! I made a Youtube video guide on this almost 2 years ago and decided to make a written guide for it as well for people like me who have too short of a attention span for a 20 min vid. This guide will go over how I make a background, particularly a living room, for my webtoon!

If you want to use any of the assets I used, they’re linked in the YT description^^

1 – Everything I use to draw (program, tablet, etc)

Before we begin I want to go over everything I use to draw! The only things necessary are the program and a drawing tablet, the other things I use are just for my own personal comfort but I thought I would share anyway. 🙂

2 – Getting started: using Clip Studio

I’m going to go over the very basics you’ll need in order to create a decent background. If you aren’t familiar with Clip Studio, it’s an art program used by a lot of artists and comics. If you’ve used GIMP or Photoshop or anything like that I think it’ll be fairly easy to learn. I suggest if you’ve never used it to create a blank canvas and play around for a couple minutes so you’re familiar with the functions.

Their website goes through a lot of useful features so I won’t spend too much time going over them here if they aren’t relevant to what we are doing. Before purchasing, take a good look at which one you are buying; there’s Clip Studio Paint Pro and Clip Studio Paint Ex. For backgrounds we will be using the Ex version because it comes with a feature Pro doesn’t have. There are various sales throughout the year (I bought two Ex Licenses for only $36 ea 😜) so I highly suggest waiting for those before purchasing. They offer a 3 month free trial which is enough time for you to use and see if you want to buy it!

The main features we will be using:

  • 3D Assets
  • Convert to lines and tones

3 – 3D Assets: Where to find & how to use

You can find millions of 3D assets on the Clip Studio Asset store (you need an account to download) – https://assets.clip-studio.com/

There are other websites you can get 3D assets for backgrounds such as acon3d or Sketchup but for this post we’re only going to be downloading assets from the asset store.

Here you can search for just about anything. Let’s search for a sofa for example. To get 3D materials you need to click the Detail tab on the right and filter. Here you can also filter to see only free materials.

If you want to only see the free ones click details then free. Once you see a couch you like, click it (and make sure it says 3D object and make sure everything you find for this says that), then click download. Select the “always allow assets..” so you don’t have to every time.

Clip studio will open and if you click these two arrows on the top you will see your object downloading.

After it’s done, click on return to Paint in the top left corner to open the actual program.

To access the couch you just downloaded go to Materials. I already have Materials set up on the side so I can always see it so if you don’t see it just click Window > Material > Material download.

If you don’t see it, sometimes downloading can mess up so try downloading it again from the store.

If you haven’t already, click File > New to create a blank canvas (for backgrounds I usually do about 8000 by 6000 and 300 dpi, but I made it a bit lower for this) and just use your mouse to click and drag the sofa onto your canvas. This is how it should look:

Let’s quickly go over each camera function:

The first 3 buttons control the camera and last 4 buttons are to move your object around. The magnet is to snap your object idk how to explain you’re just going to have to try it yourself. The most important in my opinion in making this as easy as possible are the 3 I circled (poorly).

If you click on your object this sphere thing pops up.

The arrows do the exact same thing as the last 4 buttons so you can use either whichever you prefer. You can also resize your object by dragging the gray circle or dragging the colored boxes. I honestly prefer using the arrows here over the buttons at the top because you can move things way easier side to side (ARIANAAA) and back and forth.

If you click this wrench at the bottom, a lot more tools pop up but most won’t be necessary right now. (I switched to my iPad at this point because my laptop was about to explode y’all it was lagging so bad💀 so that’s why the interface might look different)

The only ones that I do recommend you mess around with are light source – this changes where your light shines on your object.

And Allocate! If you ever mess up something you can click reset or ground. If you’re using a mouse I HIGHLY reccommend camera > perspective > uncheck “link camera advancing/retreating”. With that unchecked your mouse scroll wheel won’t make your objects look like how anime characters look when they’re about to go insane (iykyk but that’s a fish eye lens for all the uncultured people out there).

So now that we have our couch just position it how you like. After that you just rinse and repeat until you’re done! I recommend that when you go back to download more materials you download everything you need at once instead of downloading one, then coming back and arranging it, then downloading, waiting for it to download, etc. Also remember to constantly save or lower your auto save to ~5 min because having a lot of 3D Objects can make your program crash!

My finished scene (I cheated and used the scene I already made from the video sorry):

4 – Turning your background into line art: Converting to lines and tones

Once you’re done we are ready to turn your scene into line art! But BEFORE you do (and this is very important!!!!) save your 3D background as a Clip Studio FILE. I’d advise you to actually create a copy of it so you always have a backup just in case.

Before converting I turn of cast shadows for some of the objects because it renders them and sometimes it look odd and I prefer to draw my own shadows (I forgot to turn them off in the below examples). You can turn off cast shadow by clicking an object then in the wrench tool and in the Shadows setting uncheck the box. Use your mouse or the first camera button to position your camera at the angle you want and then in the menu click Layer > Convert to lines and tones…

Click on preview to see how it looks. I usually use the default settings but I constantly tweak them and try new things to see how it looks. It’ll look a little weird in the preview but everything becomes its own layer so you can delete what you don’t like after you convert.

If you convert and don’t like it just undo or delete the folder it creates. Some lines might not convert so for those I just manually draw them in after. Other than that click on OK and let it start converting.

VIOLAAA now you have a background for your comic!

Merge the top two layers, those are the line art, and convert it to color (On computer: Right click layer > Convert Layer… > Expression Color to Color. On iPad, just tap and hold layer and do the same) Also notice that your 3D layer is still there, just hidden. If you want to redo, just delete the folder it created and try again.

You can delete any layers you don’t want, I usually get rid of the tones since it doesn’t match my art style. I also go in and erase or draw in lines it missed converting.

After cleaning it up and drawing in some lines this is what it looks like:

From here we’ll do a couple more tweaks to make it look better and then we are done! 😈

5 – Final touches: Smoothing lines, changing line color, adjusting line width

From here you have a couple options. If you like how it looks you can save the line art layer as a png file (File > Export (single layer) > PNG) then color it in a new file. I suggest turning off the fill layer if you’re going to be using the CSP bucket tool to color.

Changing line weight/size: If you converted your line art to a vector layer you can choose what lines you want to thicken or thin. In the Sub Tool: Correct Line select the adjust line width tool and draw over any lines.

If you want to change the line weight of the entire scene: Filter > Correction > Adjust line width

I increased the line art size by 2:

Changing line art color: If you have a specific drawing style, for example you use blue line art, and you want your couch to be able to blend in that’s really easy to do. All you have to do is first convert the layer to color then find the blue you want to use, select it, then go to Edit > convert to drawing color and it’ll make your line art the color you chose. 

Smoothing lines: Your lines might look jagged or rough when you convert so the last thing I do is smooth my lines under Filter > Blur > Smoothing

6 – Save & color!

(^Finished colored version I did from another angle from my original video)

And that’s pretty much it! I know this may look a bit difficult and time consuming and trust me I felt the same before I even started but when I actually tried it was really simple to do. I also think it’s cool that you can make your own unique space for your comic or art.

I really hope this tutorial was helpful in any way and if you have any questions at all you can ask me in the comments of the Youtube video I’ll be happy to help with anything!!

Another living room I made (yes I was in my interior design era):

I made a follow up video on how I color you can find that below. If you want to see how I would actually use a scene I created in my webtoon, I show it in this video!


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