Manga Studio 4 improves text input, adds more screen tones

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Smith Micro on Tuesday announced the release of Manga Studio 4 for the Mac, a new version of its manga and comic art creation software. It’s priced starting at $49.99.

Manga Studio 4 is aimed at professional artists who create manga — Japanese comics — and Western-style comics. It incorporates the ability to sketch original art using a mouse or tablet, scan in existing art, add screen tones, color and fill, add word balloons and special effects, then output to a variety of file formats.

New to the 4.0 release — already available for Windows — is a “Beginner’s Assistant” interface that helps artists new to the software get started. A new color palette lets you choose preset colors or create your own. More than 100 preset, editable word balloons are now included, which let you adjust the font, size, style and spacing of text and add a curved or straight “tail.”

Other features include advanced text input, with support for Katakana and Hiragana characters, more screen tones and patterns, and additional preset page templates.

System requirements call for Mac OS X 10.4.11 or later, G4/867MHz or faster CPU (including Intel), 1GB RAM, 2.6GB hard disk space, DVD-ROM drive. Pen tablet recommended, TWAIN-compliant scanner optional.

Manga Studio comes in Debut and EX versions for $49.99 and $299.99 respectively; the EX version adds color correction tools, enhanced filtering and special effects, new vector-based illustration tools, 3D objects and other enhancements. Upgrades from previous releases are available.

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