MediBang Paint - interesting free comic drawing software

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MediBang Paint - interesting free comic drawing software

Postby exile » Thu Jul 13, 2017 7:54 pm

Just discovered this by chance, mentioned in a tutorial for OpenToonz: https://medibangpaint.com/en/pc/

There are also versions for Mac, Android and mobile Mac devices.

What makes it interesting for me is the intuitive interface with a surprising amount of functionality. It doesn't have 2 and three-point perspective rulers like Clip Studio, but its one point perspective is set up in no time. The depth pen allowed for some awesome perspective work as well. The curve tool is extremely easy to use, the points can be moved simply by pressing Ctrl with the vector point tool selected, and unlike Dogwaffle or Gimp the brush can be manually applied (and the line responds to pen pressure like drawing freehand). That works well with a low quality tablet or even just a mouse. Stabilization and response are good even on a slow computer.

Some brushes and features are only available if you register - at no cost. There is even a free cloud, so something started on a mobile device can be continued on a computer or shared with associates. One guy did some amazing stuff with his finger on an iPhone.

It might not be the most powerful software I've tried in recent months, but it goes way beyond the bare basics. If you don't need all the advanced features of more complicated programs and want to master your software quickly and concentrate on your art, you will probably like MediBang. The free program is the full version.

There are some good YouTube tutorials by jayanam (in English) and clgart with written tips in English - just mute his repetitive ukulele music and keep your sanity.
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Re: MediBang Paint - interesting free comic drawing software

Postby exile » Thu Jul 13, 2017 9:28 pm

Sorry to reply to myself, but I just found out that MediBang is related to another free program called Fire Alpaca. Alpaca supposedly gets new features sooner, such as 3D perspective. It also has a frame by frame animation feature. It lacks some of the comic/manga functionality of MediBang. Source: http://fpacatuto.tumblr.com/post/155175 ... dibang-and
Last edited by exile on Mon Jul 17, 2017 5:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: MediBang Paint - interesting free comic drawing software

Postby Greenlaw » Thu Jul 13, 2017 11:12 pm

Thanks for the tip...I'll check it out when I get home.

BTW, my 10-year old uses Fire Alpaca for FBF animations and she loves it. She uses is to paint animated sprites and other elements for her Scratch projects. Personally, I think it's a bit limited for animation but it's free so I'm not telling her that. :P
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Re: MediBang Paint - interesting free comic drawing software

Postby exile » Thu Jul 13, 2017 11:47 pm

I'm sure it's limited from a professional animator's viewpoint. No audio support and exports images to be compiled in another software. Probably best suited for Gifs. However, it's straightforward and lets your 10-year-old unleash her creativity. No frustrating searches for that command that worked once upon a time but can't be found when it's needed.
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Re: MediBang Paint - interesting free comic drawing software

Postby Greenlaw » Fri Jul 14, 2017 12:06 am

Oh, of course. Sorry, I didn't mean to sound down on the software. I actually think Fire Alpaca is a very capable paint program and, as mentioned, it's my daughter's favorite paint AND animation program.

She uses it nearly every day, and by now she's way more knowledgeable about it than I am. She mainly uses it to collaborate on animated music videos with friends (also using Fire Alpaca and Scratch,) and I'm completely blown away by what they're producing with it.

She also likes to make comics so I'll let her know about MediBang after I get a chance to look at it myself. :)
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Re: MediBang Paint - interesting free comic drawing software

Postby obtusity » Fri Jul 14, 2017 12:21 am

More recent post about the differences (between FireAlpaca and MediBang Paint), with links to more information about some features.

3D perspective layers in FireAlpaca are an interesting approach.

FireAlpaca and MediBang Paint can produce layered PSDs for image-based cutout/deformation animation in Moho, and include layer folders which will readily convert to switch layers.
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Re: MediBang Paint - interesting free comic drawing software

Postby exile » Fri Jul 14, 2017 1:59 pm

No reason to apologize, Greenlaw, I have no vested interest in this (or any other) software.

Thank you, Obtusity, saw a couple of your tutorials but didn't know you were also in this forum. Great to have comments by someone who knows the software inside out - along with Greenlaw's kid. :) Do you use MediBang and Alpaca with Moho? If so, please tell us about it.
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Re: MediBang Paint - interesting free comic drawing software

Postby jahnocli » Fri Jul 14, 2017 4:12 pm

Greenlaw wrote:Oh, of course. Sorry, I didn't mean to sound down on the software. I actually think Fire Alpaca is a very capable paint program and, as mentioned, it's my daughter's favorite paint AND animation program.

She uses it nearly every day, and by now she's way more knowledgeable about it than I am. She mainly uses it to collaborate on animated music videos with friends (also using Fire Alpaca and Scratch,) and I'm completely blown away by what they're producing with it.

She also likes to make comics so I'll let her know about MediBang after I get a chance to look at it myself. :)

There is a program called Comic Life. If your daughter hasn't tried this, I recommend it; the text handling is especially good. It's not a drawing program -- you have to import all your artwork -- but it's really good for assembling all the various imports into a finished comic.
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Re: MediBang Paint - interesting free comic drawing software

Postby Greenlaw » Fri Jul 14, 2017 5:24 pm

jahnocli wrote:There is a program called Comic Life. If your daughter hasn't tried this, I recommend it.

That sounds good too!

I let her try my copy of Clip Studio Paint for a while. She knocked out a few pages of a comic but then went back to FA. She said the feature set was 'too much' and she wanted something 'simpler'. That's completely understandable; I've been using the program for years and I still haven't tried everything in it.

These alternatives seem more her speed. I'll show her MediaBang and Comic Life this weekend. Thanks for the suggestions!
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Re: MediBang Paint - interesting free comic drawing software

Postby exile » Sat Jul 15, 2017 10:09 pm

Greenlaw wrote:
jahnocli wrote:There is a program called Comic Life. If your daughter hasn't tried this, I recommend it.

That sounds good too!
...

I'll show her MediBang and Comic Life this weekend. Thanks for the suggestions!


I'm looking forward to her response - she might just say she can do everything Comic Life does in Fire Alpaca. I downloaded a trial version of Comic Life, it does have some nice comic effects for photos. It costs $29 ($15 more if you want to use it on up to 5 computers). It has a lot of templates for different projects, including school reports and even baseball cards! To help layering, there is an instant alpha tool to select and remove backgrounds, so it's transformable selections and not real layers. The documentation is a 20 page PDF. The biggest drawback about all this information is that it keeps me testing software instead of getting productive. I suspect Greenlaw's daughter is more clever than me and will decide to stick to what works for her.

MediBang and Fire Alpaca are so similar that she won't have to learn anything new if she can work with one. MediBang is more for printed works, Alpaca for online, but both allow for flexible page settings.
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Re: MediBang Paint - interesting free comic drawing software

Postby obtusity » Mon Jul 17, 2017 2:19 am

exile wrote:Do you use MediBang and Alpaca with Moho? If so, please tell us about it.


Not yet, past a few basic tests, but I intend to do more. From my brief testing, Moho imports FireAlpaca layered PSDs without any problems.

Personally, I've also found Clip Studio Paint too feature-rich for some hobbyist cartooning - although a wonderful program, I spent more time looking for features than using them, and I have no career interests or burning need to learn the program that intimately.

Comic Life does speech bubbles a lot more easily than FireAlpaca, although it is possible to make them in FireAlpaca.

Another new program for comic drawing that has been released recently is JugiPaint (Windows only, US$30) - the features of FireAlpaca with the vector layers of Paint Tool Sai, and an interface that reminds me of Artweaver (functional, but not exceptionally pretty). I posted a brief review here. The occasional early bug, but the developer is very responsive.
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Re: MediBang Paint - interesting free comic drawing software

Postby Greenlaw » Mon Jul 17, 2017 5:50 am

obtusity wrote:Personally, I've also found Clip Studio Paint too feature-rich...

I use Clip Studio Paint often and love the program, but I also know what you mean. There's so much stuff in that program. Recently, it even got its own 2D animation tools.

The way I manage using CSP without getting lost is the same way I use Painter (another overwhelming program): I limit the number of tools I'm going to use on a given project and create custom palettes/workspaces for it. This way I'm not distracted by the other bells and whistles in the program, and the final work winds up looking more cohesive and aesthetically pleasing. If I didn't limit the tools, I don't think I'd ever get any work completed in the program.

Re: Fire Alpaca and Moho. Coincidentally, I started teaching my daughter how to combine these programs. She finds the vector tools in Moho too confusing so I'm showing her how to break down her Fire Alpaca bitmap art for rigging and animation in Moho. She seems to be getting the rigging part and is looking forward to using the Switch layer for lip-sync. Up to now, she's been drawing her head/mouth shapes, as well as frame by frame elements, in Fire Alpaca, and syncing the images and animated GIFs to audio and music tracks through Scratch coding. (Fire Alpaca itself doesn't support audio.) I don't want to discourage her interest in coding but I think she's going to find lip-synching in Moho is easier. :)
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Re: MediBang Paint - interesting free comic drawing software

Postby chucky » Mon Jul 17, 2017 6:18 am

obtusity wrote:Personally, I've also found Clip Studio Paint too feature-rich...

Is that a thing? :mrgreen:
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Re: MediBang Paint - interesting free comic drawing software

Postby exile » Mon Jul 17, 2017 4:01 pm

chucky wrote:
obtusity wrote:Personally, I've also found Clip Studio Paint too feature-rich...

Is that a thing? :mrgreen:


Well, it's a quality. If feature-rich is not a word, it should be.

Thanks to all for making this an interesting thread. I personally not only have problems with the many features of CSP, I find it hard to use the ones I need practically and efficiently. What good is it to have a vector line you can correct when it takes forever to reduce the points and pull them into place? I've never learned how to set up the rulers quickly. The "cheat" (snap) functions in MediBang, on the other hand, are good to go in no time, whether it's parallel lines (press the settings icon to change the angle), crisscross, perspective, the curve tool or symmetrical brushes. Of course it would be better if we could all draw so well that we didn't need any crutches at all, but if you need them, it's nice if you don't have to search until you lose the flow of your work, that's not just an advantage for 10-year-olds.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_VLOkFDWLXo shows nearly every "cheat" tool except the very easy conversion of circles into other oval shapes and the mesh transform tool for selections.

It's all subjective, and I have no intention of convincing anybody, except maybe to give Alpaca/MediBang a try.
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Re: MediBang Paint - interesting free comic drawing software

Postby herbert123 » Wed Jul 19, 2017 8:41 am

MediaBang Paint looks interesting, in particular on mobile platforms. I tried it on my Android tablet, and it works well.

But I love painting in Krita, and MB Paint is a bit too shallow for my taste, and I really missed all the options and brush sets I have available in Krita. That said, Krita is more complex.
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