Gamers Can Soon Make Manga On The Nintendo 3DS With ‘Comic Studio’
Starting January 15 Nintendo 3DS owners in Japan will be able to download Collavier's new Comic Studio app, with a Western release planned down the road. Several manga making apps were released for the DS over the years, and the 3DS has built-in notepad functionality and educational game options like Colors! 3D and Art Academy: Lessons for Everyone!, but this new￥800 (roughly $7.63 USD) app looks to be the latest and most powerful way to put together comics on Nintendo's flagship handheld.
When the 3DS arrived back in 2011, I wrote about its potential both as a comic book reader and a tool for making comics. So far no other software has seemed as primed as Comic Studio for putting together pages and filling them with words and pictures.
As pointed out by sites like Kotaku, the app is pretty stripped down compared to Manga Studio or SketchBook Pro 6 and the 3DS stylus and touch screen tech can't compete with the iPad Air, Surface Pro 2 or professional grade drawing tablets like Cintiqs, but for kids or even time-killing pros, it's a fun-looking effort.
Artists can choose to either build their own page or pick from an assortment of existing panel layouts and start adding in art, speech bubbles and lettering from there using an assortment of tools (don't worry, there are screen tones and gradients aplenty). Canvas dimensions are a maximum of 896x896 pixels, which limits how sharp and sophisticated an artists can make their lines, but since the software supports up to five layers, smaller-scale creations still seem doable -- especially with essential undo/redo and copy/paste editing options. Photos can also be imported to provide reference images or otherwise be worked into the comic itself.
Once a comic is complete, Comic Studio users can export their work as a JPEG onto an SD card and popped onto a different device to share on the web or simply e-mailed to themselves from the 3DS. If this app or something like it comes to the US, I have a feeling people are going to want more robust share options. It seems like Tumblr would love 3DS comics. CA got in touch with Collavier to see if they had a timeframe for its potential American CS release, but the company isn't ready to announce a specific date just yet.
Unfortunately, users can't make 3D comics on Comic Studio, although John Padding and others have made the most of the 3DS' ability to display 3D works created on a Mac or PC and uploaded to the gaming system through its SD card slot.