Medibang Paint is a full-featured drawing application that I've been using for a few weeks and my goodness, it's damn good.
Medibang Paint is available for the desktop, tablet and smartphone platforms. You can run this app on Windows, Mac, iOS and even Android. And it's free.
The names are slightly different on each platform:
- Windows & Mac: Medibang Paint Pro
- iPad: MedibangPaint iPad
- iPhone: Medibang Paint iPhone
- Android: MedibangPaint Android
For desktop apps, it uses the menu system, tool bars and palettes.
For tablet apps, it has tool bars and palettes while the menu system is moved into buttons. When you're looking at the workspace for the first time, the tools are located at the top. Menu functions are to the left, a shortcut bar at the bottom, layers palette on the right.
I'll go through the important features one by one.
When you launch the app for the first time, it will ask you to create an account. This account lets you access several cloud features.
There are two ways to save. Auto-save is turned on by default and will save to the internal storage. The other is the ability to save your file to the cloud. When you want to export it to other applications, there's the option to export it as a Photoshop file with the layers intact.
Auto-save is nice but there are occasions when my iPad Air crashed and I was unable to recover the file. So it's still better to save manually.
A lot of drawing tools and functions are available. Many of these tools are similar to those you'll see in Photoshop. Below's a list of some tools
- Brush & Eraser
- Eye Dropper
- Paint Bucket
- Many selection tools
- Comic panel
- Magic wand
- And many more
Within each tool, there are multiple settings you can change.
The selection tool is quite robust. You can choose what kind of selection you want to make, a polygon, eclipse or some free-form shape. You can add, subtract or intersect selections. You can expand the selection or inverse the selection. All these functions are something I use everyday with Photoshop and to see them all here is just fantastic!
Keyboard shortcuts are similar to Photoshop
For the desktop app, the keyboard shortcuts are mostly similar to Photoshop's. B is Brush, E is Eraser and  for changing brush sizes, etc. It makes switching over from Photoshop so much easier. You'll feel right at home if you're a heavy Photoshop user.
Medibang is a dedicated drawing app not a photo editing app
Medibang is an app dedicated to drawing. As such it doesn't have many photo editing features of Photoshop. What it does have are many tools that make drawing more convenient. For example...
There are templates for different paper sizes included doujinshi comic paper sizes.
There's a comic panel creation tool that helps you create comic panels very easily. You can click on the dedicated button and choose how thick your lines are and a big panel will be created with padding on your canvas. You can then sub-divide the panels by cutting the big panel. The gap between each panel can also be set. Very nifty.
If you're using this on the 9.7-inch or smaller iPad, palm rejection is not flawless. I found myself making accidental finger gestures at times. However, you have the option to turn on strict palm rejection where your iPad can only detect the stylus. If you need to use finger gestures, you can then turn off palm rejection with the Hand tool.
Palm rejection on the iPad Pro is close to flawless.
Medibang supports Wacom and Adonit styluses. You need to sync the styluses in order to use pressure sensitivity.
Pressure sensitivity works very well. Apple Pencil provides a wonderful drawing experience. Adonit and Wacom styluses also work very well. The strokes taper nicely.
On the iPad Pro, I noticed very minor lag and tracking issues. On the smaller iPad, the lag is more noticeable. However, the lag has never been a source of frustration when it comes to drawing. The iPad Pro would be better for quick sketching though because the strokes come out faster.
The default set of drawing brushes is fantastic. Brushes are customizable and you can create new ones or just download the new ones from the server.
Tablet apps are optimized for tablets
The buttons are sized just big enough for finger presses. And there's a shortcut bar that you can customize with your frequently used tools and functions.
There's a layers palette with many familiar functions such as the ability to change the blending mode, move them around, merge, hide, lock and more.
There's a resource library where you can download things like background images, manga action lines, fonts and patterns. These are quite convenient if you need them.
While you can insert type onto the canvas, the experience is not the best. My main complaint is there's no way to see how your font will look like before you commit them to the page. E.g. If you want to change font size, it does not update the size instantly on the canvas. It would be better to set your type with another software.
The feature set that Medibang has is something I would expect from a paid software. But it's free so it is just AMAZING!
I'm not sure how they actually make money from this because the app is really well developed, and for a software that came out in 2015 and they are releasing it on so many platforms. Anyway, quality control for the app is good except I had occasional crashes on the iPad so I would recommend you use the manual save because the auto-save wasn't working as expected.
I highly recommend this to all digital artists, especially those who like to draw manga. Photoshop users will feel right at home.
You can download it at https://medibangpaint.com/en/