Grid view of new functions of Clip Studio Paint
Grid view of new functions of Clip Studio Paint
Clip Studio Paint Version 2.0 | image courtesy of CELSYS

Clip Studio Paint Version 2.0 – Before You Buy

After last year’s announcement that CELSYS is not going to continue with their policy of updating the one-time purchase version of their popular digital art software, the company released the 2.0 version of Clip Studio Paint.

To celebrate the launch, discounts are being offered for customers who want to buy a license for the first time or those who want to upgrade their 1.0 version to the new 2.0 version. If you want to purchase Clip Studio Paint, you can do so here.
However, if you are unsure what is right for you or what the new features are, we got you covered!

What is Clip Studio Paint?

Clip Studio Paint is a software for digital art and most suitable for users who want to create illustrations, manga, comics, animations or paint digitally, for example while doing concept art. Clip Studio Paint can be downloaded as one of two versions: PRO for most standard use cases for hobbyists and professionals and EX with more features for professional animators and comic artists.
Free trials are available on the website.

Clip Studio Paint is a popular alternative to the industry-standard Photoshop by Adobe because CELSYS offers one-time purchases for their products, making them more affordable for a broader audience.

What changes with the release of version 2.0?

From now on, users who own a license for the 1.0 version of Clip Studio Paint will still be able to use their software like they are used to with all the features the version currently has. However, the 1.0 version will no longer receive updates with new features. Bugs will still be fixed in updates.

The 2.0 version comes with a range of new features (outlined below) and improvements. Users may choose to purchase a subscription or perpetual license to use the 2.0 version, they will receive a new product key after purchase.
Users owning the 2.0 version will not get additional new features unless they purchase an Update Pass.

At some point in the future, a 3.0 version will be released, which will be available to buy as a standalone application or upgrade from version 2.0. Details regarding 3.0 release dates, features or pricing are not known at this point.

What are the new features of version 2.0?

The main new features of version 2.0 are:

  • New Brush Blending Mode
    Brushes can now be switched from Standard Blending Mode to Perceptual Blending Mode. This allows for more realistic colours when blending them in your art.
    You can access this feature in the Sub Tool Settings in the Ink section.
  • Shading Assist
    This feature can add shadows based on the lineart and colours of your artwork. You can adjust the position, angle and colour of the light source.
    This feature can be accessed from the Edit menu.
  • 3D Head Models
    You can now use head models in the 3D section of the materials menu. You can adjust head shapes and facial features.
  • Hand Pose Scanner
    After adding a 3D model to your space, you can now use a hand scanner to quickly adjust the hand poses of the characters. The hand scanner uses the device camera to scan the hand pose and uses that information to change the hand pose of the model.
    You can access this via the Tool Property palette of the 3D model.
  • Fisheye Perspective Ruler
    You can now select a fisheye perspective in the perspective ruler section to help you draw environments and characters in this perspective.
    This can be accessed in the perspective ruler tool.
  • Liquify on Multiple Layers
    The liquify tool can now be applied to multiple layers at the same time.
  • Align & Distribute Objects
    You can now align and distribute multiple objects and control points within one or multiple vector layers.
    You can access these via Edit > Align/Distribute.
  • More 3D Features
    Camera tilt corrections and fog effects can now be used in 3D spaces.
  • Improved Text Tool
    The text tool now supports word wrap and ligatures can be added.
  • Spin Blur Filter
    A spin blur can now be accessed in the blur filter menu to add motion to spinning objects.

You can view the full list of changes in the Release Notes.

Is it worth upgrading to version 2.0?

From testing the new features for the last few days I can say that they all work very well and are enjoyable to use. They are not game-changing though and won’t give you a completely new feeling while using Clip Studio Paint. Upgrading if you have a 1.0 license is relatively cheap though, and if you can see yourself using just one of the new features, I think it’s worth it. Buying CSP has never been a huge investment and the developers are constantly working on the product to improve it. They can use the extra money and the cost is very reasonable.

Another thing to keep in mind is that the 2.0 license only includes usage for one device (the 1.0 allowed you to use one license on two devices). This might not affect you if you are only using one device but I use a desktop setup and a mobile tablet to be flexible and having to switch between activating and deactivating licenses is really annoying.

We do not know yet whether the updates included in the update pass will be worth the money. Whether the complicated system of licenses and versions will work in the long run will need to be examined once the changes have been out for a while.

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