CLIP STUDIO PAINT Instruction manual (2024)


Select [File] menu > [Open] to open a file.

When using Windows/macOS/Android/Chromebook, the [Open] dialog box is displayed. Select a file from the dialog box.

When using an iPad/iPhone, the OS Files app is displayed. Select a file from the Files app.

·CLIP STUDIO FORMAT (extension: clip), CLIP STUDIO PAINT format (extension: lip), IllustStudio documents (extension: xpg), Com­icStudio page files (extension: cpg), BMP, JPEG, PNG, TIFF, Targa, Adobe Photoshop documents (extension: psd), the Adobe Photoshop big document format (extension: psb), ibisPaint work files (extension: ipv), and kakooyo! work files (extension: kako). Opens kakooyo! work files (extension: kako).

·EX can also open CLIP STUDIO PAINT EX management files (extension: cmc) and ComicStudio work files (extension: cst) and CLIP STUDIO name files (extension: csnf).

·When importing an IllustStudio document or ComicStudio page file, some layers may not be imported cor­rectly. For details, see "Importing IllustStudio/ComicStudio Documents [Windows/macOS] [PRO/EX]". [PRO/EX]

·Opening a ComicStudio work file (extension: cst) displays the [Create story folder] dialog box. Specify a loca­tion for the management folder to convert the ComicStudio book file into a Clip Studio Paint management file (extension: cmc) and page files (extension: clip). For details on page management in Clip Studio Paint, see "Explanation: Page Management [EX]".

·IllustStudio documents (extension: xpg), ComicStudio page files (extension: cpg), and ComicStudio work files (extension: cst) cannot be imported on tablets/smartphones/Macs with M1 chips.

·IllustStudio documents (extension: xpg), ComicStudio page files (extension: cpg), and ComicStudio work files (extension: cst) cannot be imported when using DEBUT.

·In DEBUT, CMYK color files can be imported only if they are saved in CLIP STUDIO PAINT format (extension: clip). CMYK color files saved in the following formats cannot be imported: BMP, JPEG, PNG, TIFF, Targa, Adobe Photoshop Document (extension: psd), and Adobe Photoshop Big Document (extension: psb).

·When using DEBUT, the tone layers of ibisPaint work files (extension: ipv) are rasterized in Clip Studio Paint. Also, the selected layer cannot be imported.

·When DEBUT or PRO is used to open a file in CLIP STUDIO FORMAT (extension: clip) where the timeline is enabled, the timeline will be displayed as read-only if there are more than 25 frames in the timeline or if a neg­ative number is set as the start frame.When using EX for iPad or iPhone, a message may be displayed when selecting a CLIP STUDIO PAINT EX management file (extension: cmc) from a location other than the CLIP STU­DIO app folder. Follow the instructions in the message to open the file.

·When using a Tablet/Smartphone, files with ver.1.5 compatible 3D layers cannot be edited.

·When using a Tablet/Smartphone, the "CLIP STUDIO PAINT EX PDF Input/Output Plug-in" cannot be used.

·You can select and open multiple files from the [Open] dialog box.

·CMYK format images can be opened in the following formats: TIFF (extension: tif), JPEG (extension: jpg), Adobe Photoshop Document (extension: psd), or Adobe Photoshop Big Document (extension: psb) format. [PRO/EX]

·Images in CMYK format are converted into RGB format when opened. To display images in the CMYK color space, turn on [Preview] from the [View] menu > [Color profile]. [PRO/EX]

·To save an open image in CMYK format, go to the [File] menu > [Save Duplicate]/[Export (Single Layer)]/[Export (Single Layer)], then specify .tif (TIFF), .jpg (JPEG), .psd (Photoshop Document), or .psb (Photoshop Big Document) formats and select [CMYK color] as the expression color. For details on these settings, see "[Export settings] Dialog Box"and "[Export settings] Dialog Box (for Photoshop Document and Photoshop Big Document)". [PRO/EX]

·To open a page file in EX, select the management file (cmc) or page file (extension: clip) in the [Open] dialog box. For details, see "Opening a Multi-Page File".When you open an ibisPaint work file (extension: ipv) in Clip Studio Paint, the canvas size, resolution, layer information, and title are kept. However, tone layers may appear differently to how they are displayed in ibisPaint.

Importing IllustStudio/ComicStudio Documents [Windows/macOS] [PRO/EX]

Clip Studio Paint supports the following IllustStudio document and ComicStudio page file layers. Some layers can be imported but not edited.


Clip Studio Paint layer


Raster layer (1 bit)

Raster Layer
(Monochrome (Black))

Raster layer (2 bits)

Raster Layer
(Monochrome (Black and White))

Raster layer (8 bits)

Raster Layer
(Gray (Only Black))

If [Tonization] or [Pseudo tone] is set for [Color reduction method] in ComicStudio, the layer will be imported with [Tone] on the [Layer Property] palette turned on.

Raster layer (32 bits)

Raster layer (color)

Vector layer (2 bits)

Vector layer
(Monochrome (Black and White))

The shape of the image may change when imported.

To prevent shapes from changing, go to [Pref­erences] > [File] and turn on [Rasterize vec­tor].

Vector layer (32 bits)

Vector layer (color)

Base Layer

Raster Layer

Reference layer

Reference layer

Text layer

Text layer

If text is edited in Clip Studio Paint, it is replaced with Clip Studio Paint's text.

Furthermore, the following text layer settings will not be maintained.


·[Text/Background color]

·[TateChuYoko (Horizontal in Vertical)]


In addition to those listed above, the text may be substantially different due to differences in text specifications and so on.

Balloon layer

(Ruler balloon)

Balloon layer

(Including balloon and text)

In the cases below, the balloon is imported as a balloon layer and the text is imported as a text layer:

·The color of the balloon line is not black

·The color of the balloon fill is not white

·The balloon is inside a text layer

Balloon layer

(Raster balloon)

·Image material layer (Balloon)

·Text layer (Text)

Patterned tone layer

Image material layer

[Normal] tone

Fill layer

[Tone] on the [Layer Property] palette is turned on.

[Gradient] tone

Gradient layer

[Tone] on the [Layer Property] palette is turned on.

[Background] tone

Image material layer

[Tone] on the [Layer Property] palette is turned on.

Frame folder

Frame border folder

In the cases below, a raster layer will be added immediately above the frame border folder, and the border drawn there.

·[Rasterize vector] is enabled in the [Pref­erences] dialog box

·When the frame is double-lined

If the border is outside the red line indicating the frame range, the [Frame folder] will be duplicated to handle the frame range as one frame border.

Layer folder

Layer folder

3D workspace folder

Layer folder

3D material cannot be edited.

3D preview layer

Raster layer

3D material cannot be edited.

Clipping folder

Layer folder + Clip to layer below

Clip to Layer Below

Clip to Layer Below

Filter layer (Brightness/Contrast)

Tonal Correction layer (Brightness/Contrast)

Filter layer (Tone curve)

Tonal Correction layer (Tone curve)

Filter layer (Level correction)

Tonal Correction layer (Level correc­tion)

Filter layer (Inverse)/
Inverse layer

Tonal Correction layer (Reverse gradi­ent)

Filter layer (Mask (Whole area hid­den))

Layer mask

Filter layer (Mask (Whole area dis­played))/Mask layer

Layer mask

Filter layer (Gradient map)

Correction layer (Gradient map)

Filter layer (Hue/Saturation/Luminos­ity)

Tonal Correction layer (Hue/Satura­tion/Luminosity)

Filter layer (Texture)

Image material layer + Overlay texture

Filter layer (Color balance)

Tonal Correction layer (Color balance)

Saturated line layer

Raster layer

Saturated lines cannot be edited.

Stream line layer

Raster layer

Stream lines cannot be edited.

Vanishing Point Layer

Raster layer

Vanishing point cannot be edited.

Sub ruler layer


When there are drawings on the ruler, the ruler is converted into a raster layer.

Ruler layer


Selection layer (1 bit)

Selection layer

Selection layer (8 bits)

Selection layer

Paper layer

Paper layer

Guide layer


Grid layer


Crop mark/Default border layer

Crop mark/Default border

Not displayed on the [Layer] palette.

Border ruler layer

Raster layer (gray)

·When you import an ComicStudio page file, a white paper layer will be added.

·Content made with ComicStudio's [Work] menu > [Edit Memo] will not be applied.

·When text entered in the Story Editor of ComicStudio EX is shown in the Story Editor of Clip Studio Paint EX, the text order may be changed.


This section covers some important points when importing files created by PRO/EX versions in DEBUT.

Layers imported as uneditable layers

In DEBUT, the following layers are imported as uneditable layers.

·Gray/monochrome raster layer

·Vector layer

·Frame border folder

·Balloon layer

·Fill layer

·Gradient layer

·Selection layer

·Tonal Correction layer

·Layer including ruler

·Layer with [Edge] set on the [Layer Property] palette

·Layer with [Tone] set on the [Layer Property] palette

·Layer with [Expression color (preview)] displayed in [Expression color] on the [Layer Property] palette

Canvases imported as uneditable canvases

In DEBUT, you cannot edit the canvas if any of the following layers or canvases are imported.

·Tonal Correction layer

·The expression color of the canvas is [Monochrome]

·The timeline has more than 25 frames

·A negative number is set as the start frame of the timeline

Other points to consider

·You can edit text layers and image material layers regardless of the expression color.

·In DEBUT, you cannot use the layer color or draft layers options, but layers with these settings can be edited.

·Crop marks, default borders, and grids will not be displayed.

·Canvases larger than 10000 x 10000 pixels cannot be imported.

(c) 2020 CELSYS,Inc.

CLIP STUDIO PAINT Instruction manual (2024)


Is Clip Studio Paint good for beginners? ›

It is widely used by both beginners and professionals in the animation industry. In addition to customizable brushes, Clip Studio Paint offers an onion skin view, which makes it intuitive to add animations as you draw.

What's the difference between CSP Pro and EX? ›

PRO is ideal for single-page comics and illustrations and is more affordable than EX. EX has all the features of PRO, plus extra features that are useful for creating multi-page projects. etc. etc.

How to color in Clip Studio Paint for beginners? ›

Use the circle on the outside (1) to select the hue and the square at the center (2) to adjust the brightness and the saturation (how vivid the color should be). 3Click the area to be colored to fill the area surrounded by the lines.

What's better than Clip Studio Paint? ›

Other important factors to consider when researching alternatives to Clip Studio Paint include features. The best overall Clip Studio Paint alternative is Sketchbook. Other similar apps like Clip Studio Paint are ArtRage, Procreate, Krita, and PaintTool SAI.

Why can't I draw on Clip Studio Paint? ›

Check to make sure the scaling bar is set as in the “Scaling bar” section under “When the cursor looks normal but nothing is drawn” above. If this is not applicable, there may be a problem with the pen tablet's driver or its drawing coordinates.

Can you use Clip Studio Paint without paying? ›

‎Enjoy all features for 30 hours in a free trial that refreshes monthly with no ads! Clip Studio Paint makes drawing a piece of cake, in any style!

Is Clip Studio Paint one-time purchase? ›

Clip Studio Paint PRO/EX perpetual one-time purchase users can sign up for a monthly plan at a discounted price. This offer can only be used once per perpetual, one-time purchase license you own.

What do you need for Clip Studio Paint? ›

Main Computer/CPU:
  • Intel processors compatible with SSE2 or an AMD CPU.
  • GPUs compatible with OpenGL 2.1.
  • 2 GB memory or more is required, 8 GB or more is recommended.

Can you animate in Clip Studio Paint? ›

In addition to Illustrations and comics, you can also create animations with Clip Studio Paint.An animation is comprised of cels that sit in frames along a timeline. A timeline can also hold audio, camera movements, and other transformation effects.

How long can you animate in Clip Studio Paint? ›

Animations with more than 24 frames can only be created with CLIP STUDIO PAINT EX. In CLIP STUDIO PAINT PRO/DEBUT, animations with more than 24 frames (3 seconds for 8 frame/sec animation) cannot be created.

How many frames can you have in CSP pro? ›

Create animated illustrations or full-length animations. *In PRO and DEBUT, you can create animations up to 24 frames long (3 seconds at 8fps).

How do I get started with Clip Studio Paint for free? ›

How to register
  1. Start Clip Studio Paint. Click Draw.
  2. Click [Up to 3 months free for first-time users]
  3. Log in with your Clip Studio account.
  4. Click [Get 30 days free!]
  5. Click [Open Clip Studio Paint]
  6. Click [I already have a license / Sign up for a free trial].
  7. Start Clip Studio Paint. Click [Activate].

What is Clip Studio Paint best for? ›

It's best known as a painting app, but it can also be used for graphic design and is a favorite among experienced designers.

Is Clip Studio Paint user friendly? ›

Clip Studio Paint is an intuitive program that is easy to learn. It has an abundance of user-made assets and tools available to the artist that can be customized within the software.

What age is Clip Studio Paint for? ›

・Users who are 13 years of age or younger must obtain the approval of a legal representative such as a parent or guardian in order to create an account. ・You can start using the Clip Studio Profile service ( after creating a CLIP Studio account.

Why is Clip Studio Paint so popular? ›

Clip Studio Paint is a popular digital art software used by comic artists, manga artists, and illustrators. The software program provides specific tools and features that meet the needs of artists, such as Real Pencil and G-Pen.


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