This is a rundown of some notable new features in the recent (2019 September 26) Clip Studio Paint 1.9.4 update.
Here we go!
I don’t have the Mac+iPad setup, but let’s get this out of the way! Because for people who do have a Mac and an iPad, this could (if it works well) be the biggest deal in this update.
The gist of this is: Clip Studio Paint 1.9.4 now supports Apple’s Sidecar feature. You pair your iPad with your Mac, and you have macOS (10.15) Catalina installed, and iPadOS 13, and you can now use your iPad as a pen display for your Mac. Sidecar works both wired and wirelessly.
This update allows you to use the Pencil and touch gestures in Clip Studio Paint. But you can’t use touch on the UI buttons. I think that’s standard behavior with Sidecar.
This additionally means that if you weren’t keen on getting Clip Studio Paint on iOS, you could still use the macOS desktop version of Clip Studio Paint, and your iPad as a sort of Cintiq. (I’m not actually sure how it measures up. This is all theoretical. Maybe this is good for frequent intensive home use more than for light use on the go.)
I wish I had more firsthand experience to talk about it, especially the pen latency and response quality. Does it work well? I don’t know.
I’ll probably update this article at a later date and post some other people’s opinions on it. (I don’t see myself going out and buying a Mac and iPad for this.) Hopefully, we can shed some light on it for people who are deciding on their next computer or tablet.
Update 1: It’s come to my attention that Catalina is not out of beta yet, and with that, Sidecar too. Brad Colbow‘s beta impression (tweet with sample photos) seems to show that it’s not great in its current state. The promise of “someday” continues…
This particular bullet point caught my eye, mostly because Clip Studio Paint’s stabilizer is sort of a sticking point, especially for people coming from (or still using) Paint Tool SAI. SAI’s stabilizer is probably the single thing that keeps people from switching to Clip Studio Paint, and I don’t blame them. Their stabilizer behaviors worlds apart.
So I tried this new option out. It supposedly increases the stabilization as you draw more slowly.
I tried different combinations of both modes, enabled and disabled stabilize by speed, and by different amounts from 6 to 20 to 50 to 100, I drew fast then slow, slow then fast, slow all the way, fast all the way. And… I can’t seem to notice any difference with both modes? That was underwhelming. I’ll update this too if I ever find out what this is for in practical terms, I guess.
Okay, so I know what this is good for. This has the effect of giving you noticeable stabilization on slow strokes, even if your stabilization is set really low or zero, which you’d want for freehand sketches.
It also lets you draw small regular shapes that you have to draw slowly, like small circles or lines or squares. For example, patterns on a shirt, or buttons, or irises, small letters.
Someone from Twitter also helpfully pointed out that, according to the new documentation, this only works with Stabilization set to 30 and below. (The person who tweeted that deleted the tweet though.)
I imagine this helps a lot for smaller tablets or tablets that have digitizers that have bad accuracy. At least this will eliminate some of the worse stroke wobble when you draw slowly on them.
So, this isn’t the increased stabilization that some people were hoping for (I see the question “Can we make the stabilization go past 100?” a lot). But it’s handy for some other situations.
Here’s some that I think are important features but I have little to talk about, but you might still find them interesting and even extremely useful.
- Filter>Effect>[Artistic…] is a new filter. There’s an image of what it looks like in the release notes. It looks like a combination of smart blur, posterization and edge detection (to draw lines). I think this is meant to be a quick starting point for background painters in case they need to get something done quick based on a photo.
- Smart Smoothing is now a “standard function”. This was a “technology preview” in the 1.9.1 update. Now I guess they’re confident enough in how it works to bump it up to a reliable feature status without extra labels on it.
- More multi-file/multi-page management for stories and comics – if you work on comics/stories, you can now drag and drop pages between Page Manager windows (move pages to other folders). You can now also import multiple pages at once, and import an entire cmc file.
Release Notes and Download Link
You can find the official release notes and download link here: http://www.clipstudio.net/en/dl/release_note