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Manga Studio Debut - Creating Word Balloons

For owners of Manga Studio Debut 3.0

Here's how to create your own custom word balloons in Manga Studio Debut!Manga Studio Debut is a very useful program for drawing and laying out comics and graphic novels, but Debut does not include the word balloon feature that's a big feature in Manga Studio EX. Word Balloons can be created in Debut but it's a longer process, and with a little know-how we can build our own word balloons and save them out for re-use.

To begin, we'll import an image, over which we'll create a layer containing our word balloon. For this tutorial I've used an image of the Poser® figure Terai Yuki, rendered in toon mode. and saved as a PNG. Any supported image would work for this purpose, though. Open a page in Manga Studio (either a new page or one that's part of an existing project) and choose File>Import>Image File, then locate and import your image. To preserve color, be sure to set the imported layer to be a Sketch layer.

Now, with the image in place, we can use the Layer>New Layer command to create a new empty layer (either a Raster layer or a Sketch layer, either works) and name it 'Word Balloon'. Choose the settings for the layer and click OK.

Now we can build our word balloon in the new layer (since it's on its own layer we can move it around, erase parts, etc. without affecting the image behind it.) Choose the Polygon tool and, in the Polygon palette, set the number of sides to three (to make a triangle.) Then click and drag to draw the triangle.

After you let up on the mouse button, Manga Studio lets you drag to rotate your triangle around its center, then click again to 'finalize' the triangle- this might take a little getting used to but don't worry, you can always Undo if it doesn't come out quite right. Sometimes it helps to hide the image layer, since the tool and the lines can get lost in the background.

Once the triangle is in place-

- it's time to choose the Ellipse tool. Right-click (or Control-click for OS X users with one-button mice) on the Polygon tool to select the Ellipse tool, then click and drag to make your ellipse as shown.

So far so good- but now we need to get rid of the lines in the middle of our word balloon. This is where it helps to have the balloon on its own layer; we can select the extra lines inside with the lasso and delete them, then clean up with the eraser. It can help to zoom in a bit, to make sure we don't delete too much. Remember, we can Undo if we erase anything we want to keep.

Now it's time to fill our balloon- we can use the paint bucket with the color set to white-

- and all that remains is to add text!

Advanced tricks-

You can move individual word balloon layers around as needed using the Move Layer tool.

You can also create a new blank page and follow the above steps to create one or more layers with different word balloons on them, then save this page and copy and paste from it into future projects (on new layers, of course) so you don't have to create new balloons from scratch every time.