Clip Studio Paint Vs Krita: Which Is Better?

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If you’re an illustrator, manga artist, comic artist, digital drawer, digital painter, or some combination of these titles, then tools like Clip Studio and Krita are great options to help you further your skills. While there’s a lot of overlap in these two software, each has a bit of a niche skill set. 

While Clip Studio Paint often takes you further in the art world, there are plenty of people who have used Krita as a professional. However, where Krita excels is in the fact that it’s free and incredibly simple to learn, even for those without much digital art experience. 

If you want to get more in-depth about the pros and cons of both of the software, as well as their features and how they benefit you, you need to keep reading below.

This article covers how they differ, how they’re best used, and their downsides for a well-rounded review that will leave you feeling ready to decide by the end.

Check out this list of the Top Drawing Software For Beginners.

Key Takeaways

  • Clip Studio Paint has many uses but was made originally for drawing comics and manga. 
  • Krita may not be the best software out there, but it’s pretty competitive and free. 
  • Many artists say Clip Studio Paint is better in the long run, but the price and difficulty of picking up the tool make Krita a great starter program.

Clip Studio Paint and Krita Comparison Table


Clip Studio PaintProduct 2
PriceClip Studio Paint offers a monthly plan and one-time purchase options. The monthly usage plan starts at $0.99 per month, while the one-time purchase costs $49.99 at the base price.Krita is free and open source. While you can donate money, there’s no need to pay for the software. 
CompanyCelsysKrita Foundation
Main UsesIts main uses are the creation of comics, 2D animation, and illustrations.Krita’s software focuses on raster graphics, digital art, and 2D animation.
Experience LevelBeginner to intermediateKrita is great for beginners and up
Best ForClip Studio Paint is best for illustrators who need to draw and paint.Because it’s free and easy to use, it’s perfect for those trying to build up their skills and try out digital art or 2D animation. 
System RequirementsClip Studio Paint is available on Windows devices with a 64-bit operating system and Windows 10 or higher.  MacOS needs to be 12 or newer. Most must have at least three GB of storage space free.For Windows, the operating system must be 8.1 or higher. For MacOS, 10.12 or higher is required. Any tablet that’s compatible with your OS is fine for operating Krita. RAM needs to be a minimum of 4 GB, but 16 GB is recommended. For your GPU, OpenGL 3.0 or Direct 3D 11 or higher is best.
Key FeaturesPlenty of customizability, a large range of colors, and 3D models are the key features of Clip Studio Paint.Krita works best for digital art and 2D animating and drawing. However, it also works for 3D modeling and raster art. It does have some vector features, but they’re lacking.
PlatformsClip Studio Paint is available on both Windows and macOS devicesKrita is available on Windows, MacOS, Linux, Haiku, Android, and ChromeOS.
Acceptable Import File TypesClip Studio Paint FORMAT (extension: clip), BMP, JPEG, PNG, TIFF, Targa, Adobe Photo­shop Document (extension: psd), and Adobe Photoshop Big Document format (extension: psb)Krita Document, OpenRaster document, PSD image, PPM, PGM, PBM, GIF, JPEG, JEPG XL, BMP, XBM, XPM, TIFF EXR, PDF, SCML, ICO, TGA, CSV, QML, JPEG-2000, SVG, PDF, XML, XCF, ODG draw, Krita Flipbook, Adobe DNG, Camera RAW, Gimp image, WebP
Comparison table of  Clip Studio Paint and Krita across various categories

Clip Studio Paint

Clip Studio Paint is considered to be a professional tool, despite its relatively low cost. It’s a great tool for illustrations, animators, and manga artists.

You can use it on your computer or on the go on a phone or tablet. It’s really the perfect tool for all artists and allows you to do almost everything you could want to do with your art.

Key Features

  • Uses vector drawing
  • Customizable pen pressure to create highly realistic strokes
  • Multiple ways to choose colors including sliders, circles, midway colors, similar colors, and previously applied colors
  • Entirely customizable setup

Clip Studio Paint Uses

Clip Studio Paint was originally a software known as Manga Studio. Its main purpose was to cater to those making manga and comics. It had tools to organize the panels, create the perfect panel size, and easily add text and text bubbles to any software. 

It still excels in these areas and is heavily used by online manga artists who post their work online. However, it’s also expanded its skills, and now it’s a great option for those who want to do any kind of digital art. 

If you want a more realistic design that looks hand-drawn, you can use Clip Studio Paint with a tablet computer or graphic tablet. The numerous features allow you to create a drawing unique to you with all your favorite features and touches. 

Clip Studio Paint Pros and Cons

ProsCons
Flows smoothly once it’s set up how you want it. Steep learning curve
Vector-basedMobile versions don’t offer one-time payment plans and are a bit rough to use
Default options for commercial-use tools to make licensing hassles easy.
There is a lot of flexibility when it comes to setting up your project

Popular Companies That Use Clip Studio Paint

For the most part, Clip Studio Paint is more popular in Japan than in places like the United States. It’s a tool originally designed to be used by manga artists. Though it’s expanded to be useful for many more jobs and artists now, it’s not the most widely used.

  • Gameloft
  • Shutterstock
  • IBM
  • Instagram
  • California State University
  • Create Motion
  • Various manga artists

Krita

Krita

Krita is a tool made by artists for artists. It’s free, with no need for short free trials or annoying subscriptions. Just download the program and get started.

Not only are the creators looking to help all artists who want to get started, but the community is helpful and supportive as well.

If you’re ever stuck or confused on how to use the software, there are plenty of forums you can ask a question, or videos you can watch to get better. All of it is free and easy to use. 

Key Features

  • Used for editing raster graphics
  • An interface that’s intuitive and doesn’t block your work
  • Exceptional brushes preloaded and more are available for download
  • Every stroke is unique with nine brush engines
  • 2D animation that’s powerful, but simple to use. 

Krita Uses

Krita is used for animation and art. Though it’s free, it offers professional-level tools and layouts to help you create work on par with any professional artist. It’s made by a group of artists who want to see all artists succeed, whether they have the money for a professional tool or not. 

Many people enjoy using Krita for digital painting. It’s compatible with graphic tablets, so it’s the perfect option for someone who wants a more physical method to create their artwork. 

It’s also the perfect tool for those just getting started with digital art. Unlike programs like Clip Studio Paint and Photoshop, the software is easy enough to pick up and use without previous experience. Everything is intuitive and adjustable to suit your needs. 

Krita Pros and Cons

ProsCons
Free and open-sourceNeed external plugins for some basic features, like exporting animations as videos
There are some amazing and useful brush optionsDue to it being open-source, sometimes there are bugs or features don’t work as they should for a while
The UI is simple and easy to navigate, even for beginners
Works extremely well with a graphic tablet for mobile artists

Popular Companies That Use Krita

Not many companies use Krita. There’s a mentality that you get what you pay for, so a lot of companies don’t use Krita on a professional level, or at least don’t mention it.

A lot of artists also use Krita, but they don’t often mention what tool they’re using unless specifically asked, so it’s not always easy to tell who uses what. 

  • Auburn University
  • GDQuest
  • Neilsoft
  • Gamechuck
  • Blender Institute

Which Is Better?

Clip Studio Paint will likely take you farther, but if you’re willing to work on your skills, even Krita can take you far. The better one depends on your preference and which one works better for your needs. 

Is Krita Similar to Clip Studio Paint?

The two tools are very similar. The main difference is in their features, layout, and which artists they cater to more. While both are general applications that work for most artists, they do some styles better than others. 

What’s The Difference Between Clip Studio Paint and Krita 5?

The main difference is the type of artist they cater to. Krita 5 works best for painters and illustrators while Clip Studio Paint Pain works best for comic artists.

What’s the Best Alternative to Clip Studio Paint?

There are a few alternatives to Clip Studio Paint that may fit your needs better. Krita is one, of course, but there’s also Affinity Designer, CorelDraw, Inkscape, and Adobe Illustrator.

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