Manga Studio 3 adds screen tones, special effects

E frontier on Wednesday announced the Mac release of Manga Studio 3.0, a major upgrade for the tool for manga and comic book artists. Manga Studio 3.0 is available in a “Debut” version for $49.99 and an “EX” version for $299.99.

Manga Studio includes all the tools an artists needs to create manga-style comics without needing other graphics software. It also works with Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop, as well as e frontier’s other software like Poser and Shade. The Debut release is intended for hobbyists, while the EX version is aimed at professionals.

Features in this release include a wide selection of screen tones — more than 1,800 in the Debut version and more than 3,000 in the EX version. The new release also features single-click effects and filtering options. New drag and drop tools have been added, along with word balloons and floating palettes.

Both versions include support for pen tablet systems’ file format support for TGA, PNG, PICT, TIFF, BMP, JPEG and PSD; built-in page templates and more.

Manga Studio EX adds support for vector images, the ability to render 2D line tone images using photos; 3D figure import; an Action palette; Custom Tools palette and more.

Manga Studio 3.0 is based on a Japanese software release called ComicStudio.

Manga Studio 3.0 is available for download from the e frontier Web site. The publisher expects to get boxes on store shelves by the end of March, 2006.

System requirements call for Mac OS X v10.2.8 or later, PowerPC G3/500MHz or faster, 512MB RAM, 1.8GB disk space, 1024 x 768 display. Wacom tablet and flatbed scanner recommended.

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