Clip Studio Paint 1.8.6 released! New brushes, Pose scanner, many helpful changes included.

Celsys has released the new 1.8.6 update for Clip Studio Paint! (Tweet)

Its highlight additions for this new version are the addition of new included brushes, and the new Pose Scanner (as an in-development “technology preview” feature, similar to their “Colorize” and “Remove Tones” features.)

But there were a bunch of other changes and additions that I really appreciated.

Pose scanner

Pose scanner image from their release notes.

Pose scanner receives a photo of a person and tries to extract the pose from it, and apply it to the 3D model.

12 new brushes

Sample use of the Rough wash brush

Clip Studio Paint 1.8.6 update comes with some new brushes included:

  • Realistic Watercolor (new group)
    • Round watercolor brush
    • Flat watercolor brush
    • Soft bleed
    • Rough wash
    • Textured blender
    • Watery brush
  • Thick Paint (Oil Paint if you are updating from a previous version)
    • Gouache
    • Dry Gouache
    • Thin Gouache brush
    • Pointillism
    • Gouache blender
  • Eraser
    • Kneaded eraser

Not a huge fan of the Gouache additions, but it seems more like a limitation of the brush engine than just them being “bad” brushes. I like the look of the watercolor stuff but they’re quite a “one-stroke” set of tools. I personally find that stressful, but I’m sure some people are used to more unforgiving conditions in natural media.

The “Textured blender” brush is definitely making it into my blender brush collection though.

Lots of little improvements

As usual, I went through the Release Notes and tried to find what interesting new stuff they changed or added. And I was pleasantly surprised. Here are a few of my favorites:

Welcome Pen Pressure Wizard

When starting Clip Studio Paint for the first time (or if you have not set up pen pressure), a pen pressure adjustment wizard will appear upon starting up.

You’re a wizard, CSP.

I was greeted by this new Pen pressure “onboarding” wizard after the update. While I didn’t need it myself, I think this will feel like quite a hospitable gesture for new users.

That’s the hope anyway.

Complex tools now load faster

The stroke preview in the [Sub Tool] palette and [Tool Property] palette has been changed. You can now switch between tools more quickly.

The menu now loads for immediate use. Previews are loaded after.

If you’ve previously tried to switch to the Effects or Spray tools/brushes, you may have noticed that Clip Studio Paint used to stutter for a good second or so before it manages to load that subtool menu. With the new update, they seem to have made it so that the loading of stroke previews are deferred which allows the tool to load more immediately while the previews load in the background. Ultimately, it means switching to complex tools is more responsive now!

Show unselected vector paths

You can now show vector paths.

[Show vector paths] has been added to the [View] menu. You can choose from the following options: [Show all vector paths on vector layers], [Show vector paths on selected layers], [Show control points at beginning and end], and [Show all control points].

The option [Vector path opacity] has been added to the [Preferences] dialog box > [Layer/Frame].

(Main menu) View > Show vector paths > …

I was looking for this feature before and I just couldn’t find it. Previously, you could only see vector paths if you selected it using the various Object or vector manipulation tools. Now you can set it so your selected layer or all layers show their vector paths, and/or some/all control points.

I’m glad this was added in this update!

Make strokes more responsive maybe (Windows)

(Windows) [Input frequency] has been added to [Tablet Settings] under [Preferences].

(Windows) Slightly reduced line jitter when drawing on tablet computers.

(Main menu) File > Preferences… > Tablet > Tablet Setting

After the update, it was set to “Prioritize speed” by default.

The options confused me a bit. But it sounded intriguing so I investigated further. From what I gathered, this affects how often pen position is reflected on the current stroke.

“Prioritize quality” means it updates more frequently, but at a performance cost to your computer. But if your computer is fast enough, it might not be a problem.

Slowmo comparison of “Prioritize speed” vs “Prioritize quality”.
120 Hz desktop refresh rate, Intuos 5, basic brush with 0 stabilization.

I’m not sure how this affects complex sprays/custom brushes or the details of how this affects fast strokes, or in combination with pen position processing solutions like Lazy Nezumi Pro.

I work on a reasonably-specced desktop so I changed my settings to “Prioritize quality” for now to see if it causes any problems or improves anything. I’ll update this post if I discover anything notable.

For now, “Prioritize quality” makes drawing strokes feel so zippy!

And more…

There’s a lot more changes in the release notes than I mentioned here but these were sort of the most interesting to me. Some of the other changes were nice quality-of-life stuff which I highly welcome. You can find their full Release notes here.

I also kinda tweeted the same as a Twitter thread here:


(2019 March 1)

I got to play around with the brushes for a bit and I think I understand them a bit better now.

The Gouache brushes in particular look terrible up close. But if you’re drawing for high-resolution or you work at around 2x final art size, they look totally fine and are usable. CSP’s brush engine does weird thing with textures where it does a weird one-or-zero thing when it evaluates opacity, and you end up with a strange highly-aliased-looking artifacts.

The watercolors are still tricky to use but they posted a tips article shortly after the 1.8.6 release about how to make it so watercolor brushes aren’t just one-stroke brushes. You can find the Clip Studo Tips article here:

The gist of it is that if you don’t want individual strokes to naively add their opacity when you overlap them, you need to set your brush’s blend mode to “Replace alpha” or “Compare Density”. Try both blend modes depending on the brush you are using as different brushes can have different opacity/density behavior.

I also recorded a clip of it used in the Vector Layer, because, as a bonus, yes, the Replace Alpha and Compare Density blending modes do work even on Vector layers!

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