Guest Post – Manga Studio 5 Quick tour with Tracy Bishop

With so many people looking for alternatives to Photoshop I thought it would be good to share a post today about Manga studio 5. Read and watch on as Tracy Bishop give you a quick tour.

Quick Tour of Manga Studio 5 from Tracy Bishop on Vimeo.

For the past year I’ve been using Manga Studio 5, an $80 program from SmithMicro, as my primary tool for digital painting. I still use Photoshop for certain things but for the most part, the bulk of the work is done in MS5.

Why did I switch to Manga Studio 5? In a nutshell- it’s because it’s a speedy program with powerful features made just for digital artists.

The video below will give you a basic tour of what Manga Studio 5 looks like and what features I use and find the most helpful for digital illustration.

The main idea I want to convey is that this is not a scary program to learn. There are a lot of similarities with Photoshop. Have fun and the only way to learn is just to dive in and mess around.

Next week I will post a demo video of me actually painting something in Manga Studio 5. If you have any questions, feel free to comment below or find me on twitter @TracyBishopArt.

guest_posttb001 Hello! My name is Tracy Bishop and I am a children’s book illustrator working in San Jose, CA.I grew up on an U.S. Army base just outside of Tokyo, Japan. From an early age, I fell in love with drawing and telling stories through pictures.I attended San Jose State University and graduated with a degree graphic design with a concentration in illustration/animation. For the next decade I worked as a graphic and web designer. In 2010, I left the design job at a children’s museum to focus full-time on illustration.You can now find me working from home in San Jose, CA. My inspirations are my son, husband, and a hairy dog named Harry.
Links to Tracy’s work can be found at
Group Blog


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  1. Lisa

    Thank you so much for this overview of Manga Studio 5! I’ve been looking into the program and seeing your video was a big help in deciding to purchase.

  2. Randy Arnold

    Thanks for the excellent demo. Since PhotoShop is going over to a “No standalone license” policy, Manga may be my best out. I can’t afford PhotoShop at this rate. They made it clear when CS6 came out that you would not be able to upgrade to CS7 from CS5 and below. I bought CS6 and now they want to charge me monthly for my next upgrades. Nonsense. I went along with MicroSoft Office on line, 99 bucks a year. It made sense. I may try Manga again. I didn’t like their page setup back then, but I have always said no one has a more expressive brush. Can Manga do large pages like 36 x 48?

  3. Michelle

    Thanks, Tracy, for an excellent overview of Manga Studio 5, and thanks Norm for posting the review on your site. I look forward to seeing more videos.

  4. Dave Miller

    Thank you, Tracy, this is the sort of help I need. I’ve just started using Manga Studio 5 and am viewing as many videos on it’s use as I can find. Your video has given me some very useful tips.

  5. Yosi Mishan

    Dear Madam
    Before I buy the software Manga Studio 5 I wanted to consult with you and understand what is the difference between Physical version Digital version.
    Also I would love to know where to find this software tutorial.
    Thank you if you can help me on these issues.
    Thanks Yosi.

    • WilsonWJr

      Hello Yosi,

      The physical version is one that would be sent to you on a disk. This can be handy to keep for backup. The problem is you would need to wait for it to be mailed to you.

      The digital version is one that you can download immediately via the web. There would be no difference between the actual software or program. The only difference is the method of delivery. If you go this route then I would suggest saving your download to a different location for safekeeping should your hard drive crash or some other problem happen with your computer.

      If you are looking for more videos from Tracy, those can be found here.

      If you meant some other videos then let us know. Please know that their are a LOT of videos out there that give instruction on using Manga studio and it’s techniques. Doing a search on Youtube should garner a variety of results for you.

      Good luck!

      Wilson W, Jr.


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