Manga Studio 5 hidden gems: posable 3D models!

A neat, but overlooked, gem within Manga Studio 5 is the wealth of posable 3D models that are available to use for reference. To find these references, go to Window > Material > Material and select any one of the posable models from the list.

MS5 poses

Once you have selected your model, you can manipulate its pose AND camera with the aid of MS5′s built-in 3D tools. Simply select the appropriate area you want to move (the selected area will be highlighted in red), and (depending upon the area you choose) an orbit of X,Y, and Z rotation axes appear. Here is a character I posed using the “Shriek” pose as a starting point.


Want an easy way of manipulating the hands? No problem. MS5 offers many varied hand models that you can choose from. Simply drag the hand pose you want and place it ontop of the hand on the existing 3D figure model. I had a “WOAH!” moment the first time I saw it.

MS5 hand poses

MS5 pose

Here’s how I used the initial pose in my workflow:


As an artist, having posable 3D models within a tool is an invaluable asset. And with tools to make you an even better artist already built in, MS5 is even more of a must-buy for digital artists.


P.S. Want more digital workflow tips? Here ya go!

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About the author

Krishna Sadasivam creates custom comics and illustrations for organizations, magazines and companies. A champion of comics advocacy, Krishna speaks, blogs, and writes articles on illustration and sequential arts techniques and the importance of the comics medium in both education and brand awareness. His clients have included Microsoft, Mashable, Other World Computing and EE Times. His work has been featured on many notable websites, including TechCrunch, Gizmodo and CNET. His portfolio can be found at

  • Andrew Jones

    Awesome tip. My copy of MS5 arrives tomorrow and I can’t wait to crack into it.

    Speaking of hands, I just picked up this iPad app for hand reference and it’s pretty darn slick:

    • Krishna

      I have that app as well – it is, as it’s billed, Handy. :)

  • Daemos Chronicles

    Thank you for writing how to access the “materials.” Not even the Manga Studio 5 homepage said how to, as if it’s just “obvious.”

    • Krishna M. Sadasivam

      Happy to help, Daemos!

  • Evike

    Hi, so i just installed ms5 and my material folders are empty, i just can’t find them could you plz tell me what to do?

    • Krishna M. Sadasivam

      Not sure Evike. Did you buy the CD or did you download the software from Smith Micro?

      • Evike

        Downloaded it even installed material like in the guide but it still wont show :I

        • Krishna M. Sadasivam

          this sounds like a bug. Your best bet would be to contact the folks at Smith Micro…