I’ve been open source for a really long time while producing my comics. Nearly 10 years. And I just bought Clip Studio Paint – the artist tool formerly known and Manga Studio Pro.
There’s a Prince joke in there, but no typeface that supports it on WordPress in my current theme.
I had been using a batch of open source applications to make and publish my comics and they have been doing the job happily for free for the whole time. But I needed a change of scenery. I also needed to speed things up a bit as I want to finish the latest graphic novel in less than a year if possible.
So the first casualty of that lineup was Gimp. In it’s current release, 2.10, Gimp has finally added higher bit depth workflows and some other common features found in paid apps. But like many releases of this magnitude, the kinks have yet to be worked out – I started to run into performance issues that even in paid apps were going to take too much time to address.
The second app to take a dive was Inkscape – the vector illustration app I use for lettering, various graphics and any vector needs. I love inkscape. Ever since the death of Macromedia’s Freehand, I have been at odds with Adobe Illustrator. I even used CorelDraw in impotent protest JUST to NOT have to use Illustrator.
The next app on the list is more problematic and not completely cut. I have so far only purchased the Pro version of Clip Studio – the version which doesn’t included the project management features of the software meant for comics production. That addition and upgrade may finally put the nail in the Scribus coffin – as I had been both a Pagemaker and Quark Xpress user for decades. But as It stands, Scribus is hanging on, waiting for the inevitable.
SO the first comparison is in speed – specifically the speed Clip demonstrates at the exact same resolution and page dimensions I had been working in while in Gimp. Gimp 2.10 exhibits extremely long load times on multiple layer pages while Clip breezes through the same layouts. This alone shaves days from the total time of production and did more to save my nerves than anything.
Lastly the issue of price is beyond consideration – Gimp might be have been free and perfectly usable before, but Clip Studio Pro is priced so affordably it makes no sense to NOT buy it even if just to play around. It’s full EX price during their seasonal discount is less than what I spend on COFFEE in a year. Makes no sense not to do it eventually, but I am happy with the Pro version – until I want to start animating some of the content in my comics – which was always a wishlist thing.
So eventually Clip Studio will overtake my entire Open Source approach as ONE application – impressive stuff.
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