ComiPo! – A Digital Manga Creation Suite

By Ishaan . October 23, 2010 . 3:01pm

 

Before we go any further, I’d highly recommend watching the demo video above to get an idea of what ComiPo! is and what it can do. It really is quite stunning.

 

All done? Great! ComiPo! is a digital manga-creation suite, in development at Web Technology Com Corp, based in Tokyo. The suite revolves around the idea of making it so anyone with a PC and can create manga by themselves. As demonstrated in the video, you use a collection of pre-made backdrops and 3D character models rendered to resemble black and white manga images in order to create your content.

 

ComiPo! comes with a bunch of default 3D models that you can use right off the bat, but you can also create your own characters for use. In addition, once ComiPo! is released commercially, monthly downloadable content in the form of new art assets will be made available for use. The software also includes a filter to give imported images and photos a 2D manga make-over.

 

Web Technology General Manager, Keiichi Tanaka, says that while ComiPo! can be used by amateurs to create manga, it will also be of use to professional manga-ka for creating storyboard layouts. This, he believes, could impact the need for assistants in the manga field.

 

While the initial version will not include the custom 3D modeling feature, an updated build set for next year will. Support for languages other than Japanese (including English) are all part of the plan as well. An open-beta of the software will be made available at the software’s official website in November.

 

ComiPo! is slated for a December release in Japan. Editor-in-Chief of Otaku USA magazine, Patrick Macias, has a detailed write-up and analysis of the software on his blog.


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  • http://thrust-the-sky.deviantart.com/ WildArms

    woa, interesting, but i wonder how will you do to make your own character? because not all art styles look the same, and as i’ve seen, mine is much different from a lot of people. And i imagine you can customize your own BG. Still, i wonder, when he means to impact the needs of assistans would mean leaving them jobless (or having less asistants) this could help the magazines though.

  • Code

    rarr, as a pencil artist this is the kind of stuff that scares me, I know it’ll never best traditional artists and artwork, but it’s still a lot like watching a robot trying to do what you’ve done for 20 years, it’s unsettling.

    • http://www.facebook.com/keishenra Kyle D. Johnson

      But it’s not a robot.

      It need a human to operate.

      And, as it is, not everyone is as proficient with the PnP, yet they want to create SOMETHING.

      • Code

        That would be why I said it’s “a lot like” sure it still needs a human to operate, but it is taking much of the artistic skill out of the task, much like how a robot likely would >w<; Still for people who want have fun or do casual work with it, their is nothing wrong with it. Although I don't know how I'd feel if “professional” level manga tried going this route.

        • http://twitter.com/Wakuseino Dustin Perrault

          Well, the people creating it primarily consider it as a “storyboard layout planner” at best for professionals, rather than a replacement for the actual art. The copyrighting chaos means that if anyone can actually tell you’re using it, you’re technically in trouble with the copyright, so I don’t think it will actually be used for “professional” stuff beyond what they indicated: storyboard layouts and possibly rough drafts to see how things look before committing it to paper.

          • MemeticRichard

            Hmmmmm… I guess…that’s a positive way to look at it. A drafting tool.

            I could definitely see that as a …sincere use for this tool.

          • http://twitter.com/Wakuseino Dustin Perrault

            As mentioned in the linked article: All the art assets contained within the thing are copyright of the company that’s creating the thing. In other words, technically they can sue anyone that tries to sell manga made with it. It’s unlikely to stop people making doujins with it and selling those, but it’s a consequence of the system.

            I’m probably going to use it to make things myself, as I have the drawing ability of a toothpick (I can’t even draw a toothpick, in fact), but I do intend to have a lengthy disclaimer pointing out that it was all made by ComiPo!, and that the character designs came from Kumi Horii. That disclaimer is very important and I’ll have to resist the urge to refer to ComiPo! as “Mangaloid” in it.

    • doomspeller10

      I bet you haven’t even considered how many more hentai doujinshi will come out thanks to this program… XD production will increase about 1000%.

    • Yusaku_Matsuda70s

      Adobe Photoshop Content-Aware Filling. Now that scares me.

  • NeoTechni

    I’m sold. Just add anti-aliasing.

  • doomspeller10

    oh crap I almost j*zzed my pants, this is really epic. First it was RPG maker now this. I’ve wanted to scan my own manga to work on a digitized version but the cleaning up phase is too much for me, it’s like 500+ pages. This woul really speed up the process, though using the default characters would be way too generic. Hopefully the character design tools are not that hard to grasp.

  • Yesshua

    I think that this is fantastic. Now anyone can at least make a competent looking project, letting writers without artistic skills get their names out into the industry. I also think that the story boarding idea is great. It’s a quick and simple way for artists to make rough drafts of pages to see if they’ll work how they want them too.

    And imagine if this expanded to new art styles! Or rather, imagine what the online communities could do with this! This could create any sort of comic imaginable if someone tech savvy made new model styles.

    I wonder if this will be compatible with current art creation software, to allow manual editing? Imagine, making a draft of a page, and then copying it over to add your own touches with corel painter or whatever you use.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Alexander-Groce/100000039461956 Alexander Groce

      The article mentioned downloads in the future, so they will more than likely have tools to allow new download styles.

  • MemeticRichard

    I dunno… Something about this feels really…not genuine.

    It’s interesting, no doubt, and I’m sure some cool stuff might come from it, but it still just…I dunno. It just feels jarring. Can’t explain why.

    I was a comic book baby from day one. I read comic books and manga at an age where most kids didn’t even know the full alphabet. And I have this sort of appreciation when true art, and true storytelling blend it to form a wonderful piece. But this feels like it strips away the majority of what really makes comic books, well, comic books.

    It doesn’t feel right.

    • Code

      rar, I think me and you share the same feelings about this, I’m glad I not the only one who finds it a little unsettling.

    • neogeno

      Generated content/productivity/art… Its yet another thing this digital age brings that is both very amazing and disheartening. Amazing because of the technology behind it and how easy it makes things but also disheartening because it is ultimately devoid of a soul. A long time ago things like the Adobe Suite didn’t exist and artists made their effects the hard way without going to Filter > Render > Lens Flare. You could tell who the artist was because they drew with their own style.

      I really dont mind a program like this and I honestly would like to try it out myself. I’m glad that its possible to input your own images into it so at least some of your soul is in the production. Its just when stock models and presets are overused, everything just starts to get piled in the same fodder heap. Individual style just isn’t something a program can generate.

  • Exkaiser

    It reminds me of how the author/artist for Gantz inks over 3D renderings, which I felt always made the manga look stilted and awkward.

    This thing basically just cuts out the hand-drawing and hand-inking part entirely.

  • Yusaku_Matsuda70s

    The design of this is brilliant, yet all at once terrible.

    On one hand, anyone can indeed try their hand at manga now. On the other hand, used to the fullest extent, it severely limits the artist’s abilities (now matter how good or poor they are), reducing them even, to create truly unique visions.

    It’s literally a cookie cutter board with several included recipes that ensures your creations will have a certain shape and quality while preventing you from transcending the boundaries. Some people can still fail with included recipes, others might only use the cookie cutter and not the recipes. Yet no matter how the cookie tastes, it will always be star shaped, the size of your palm, or fudge/almond/sugar flavored. (Flawed analogy, but I hope the point gets across).

    In the end the tools are only as useful as the artist’s sensibilities. That’s something I’d like to believe will never change. But if nothing else, this is a stepping stone to get the less skilled on higher ground and ease the work of those already skilled.

  • karasuKumo

    90% of the appreciation I have for Manga is the effort the artists put into it. I like the way this looks but it seems rather … cheap. The good and bad part of the software is anyone can create Manga, you’ll have some great creations and others that you can only imagine how bad they’ll be.

    It could be great if it had more customization options, obviously I haven’t seen them all so I wont make harsh judgments but it looks like everything that is created by it will look very similar. I guess it’s a personal choice but it’s still going to be Paint tool SAI and a tablet for me XD

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