Clip Studio Paint has two versions available: EX and PRO. Both versions have their own unique features and benefits. The main differences between Clip Studio Paint PRO vs EX are the pricing and additional features that the EX version offers.

Hello, I’m Zoe, a freelance illustrator and graphic designer. A few years ago, I made the leap and purchased Clip Studio PRO during a flash sale, even though I wasn’t very familiar with it. After a year of using PRO and experiencing how it boosted my career, I felt confident enough to invest in the EX version.

In this article, we’ll compare Clip Studio Paint EX and PRO to help you decide which one is right for you. We’ll cover what they have in common, what sets them apart, whether the extra features are worth it, their pricing, and some money-saving tips for getting the EX version.

So let’s dive in!

Key Takeaways

  • Clip Studio PRO includes almost all the features that make the software popular, offering access to the same brushes, options, and tools as EX.
  • Clip Studio EX adds three key features: unlimited animation frames, multi-page comic support, and 3D object-to-illustration conversion.
  • EX is significantly more expensive than PRO, so think carefully about whether specialized professional tools are necessary for your needs.

Note: All screenshots from this tutorial are taken from the CSP Mac version.

Read on to learn all about the key differences between Clip Studio Paint PRO and EX.

Clip Studio Paint PRO vs Clip Studio Paint EX: Features

Both Clip Studio Paint EX and PRO share a core set of features that have made this software a favorite among digital artists. But of course, the EX version has more advanced features than the PRO version. 

Clip Studio Paint PRO Features

Extensive Brush Library: Clip Studio Paint PRO offers a vast collection of brushes catering to various artistic styles, including pencils, pens, watercolors, and more.

Precise Tools and Customization: The PRO version provides precise tools and customization options to enhance your artwork. You can adjust brush settings, customize tool properties, and create your own unique brushes to achieve your desired effects.

Community and Asset Sharing: You can join a vibrant community of artists and access a library of user-made assets, such as brushes, materials, and 3D models. You can download and contribute to this growing collection.​

Vector Layers: Clip Studio Paint offers advanced features for vector layers and linework. You can create smooth lines, bold strokes, and easily transform or scale your artwork.

3D Models: Clip Studio Paint’s standout feature is its ability to work with 3D models for reference. With the PRO version, you can easily add 3D objects to your canvas, pose them, change camera angles, and adjust shading to make the most of these references.

Comic Creation: You can create comics in PRO, but each page is saved as a separate file. While this can be a hassle for traditional comic creators, it may be enough for digital comics and webtoons. 

Animation: The PRO version supports animation, but it’s limited to 24 frames, making it suitable for simple animations like short loops.

Clip Studio Paint EX Additional Features

Clip Studio Paint EX takes things to the next level by offering all the features of PRO, along with some advanced tools tailored for complex projects. If you’re considering creating comics or animations, EX might be the way to go.

Here are the standout features exclusive to Clip Studio Paint EX:

Multi-Page Comics and Illustrations:

With Clip Studio Paint EX, you can create multi-page comics and illustrations seamlessly. This feature is especially useful for comic artists who want to organize their work and create longer narratives.

Unlimited Frames for Animation:

Clip Studio Paint EX allows you to create animations with unlimited frames. This feature is essential for animators who need to work on longer projects.

Additional 3D Model Functions: Clip Studio Paint EX brings extra functionality to 3D models. You can convert 3D models into lines and dot shading, which is a huge time-saver for manga artists creating backgrounds from various angles across multiple frames. 

Another noteworthy EX feature is the All Sides View tool, which streamlines the placement of 3D models in your scenes. It eliminates the need to constantly manipulate the camera to check if your model fits seamlessly.

Pricing Difference

Clip Studio Paint offers different pricing plans to cater to artists with varying needs. Here is a quick overview of the pricing plans for both EX and PRO versions. Clip Studio Paint PRO is significantly more budget-friendly than EX, making it an attractive choice for many.

Clip Studio Paint PRO Pricing:

  • Monthly Plan: $4.49/month
  • One-Time License: $49.99

Clip Studio Paint EX Pricing:

  • Monthly Plan: $8.99 per month
  • One-Time License: $219.00

Clip Studio EX: Trials, Upgrades, and Deals

While the price of EX may seem steep, there are ways to test the software or acquire it at a more affordable rate. Here are some tips to keep in mind:

Explore Free Trial: Unsure which version suits you best? Take advantage of the free trial period to explore Clip Studio Paint EX and determine if its extra features enhance your workflow.

Switching Subscription Plans: Adjusting your subscription plan is easy. If you want to try out EX’s features, upgrade your monthly plan. If EX doesn’t meet your needs, switch back to PRO. Remember to do this before your billing cycle ends to avoid unnecessary charges.

Upgrade from PRO to EX: If you initially opt for Clip Studio Paint PRO and later find you need EX’s features, you can purchase an upgrade at a discounted price.

Keep an Eye Out for Sales: Clip Studio Paint frequently offers sales and promotions throughout the year, where you can get significant discounts on the software as well as upgrades. Stay updated on their website and social media channels to catch these limited-time offers.

Clip Studio Paint EX vs PRO: What’s the Best Version for You

Choosing between Clip Studio Paint EX and PRO comes down to your specific artistic needs and budget. Here are some factors to consider:

Project Scope: If you draw as a hobby or primarily work on single-page illustrations, Clip Studio Paint PRO is a suitable choice. It offers all the essential features and tools you need to create impressive artwork without the additional cost.

Comic or Animation Projects: If you’re an animator or comic artist, Clip Studio Paint EX is the better option. Its additional features and unlimited frames for animation provide more flexibility and control over your projects.

Budget: Clip Studio Paint EX costs significantly more than PRO, but it only adds a handful of extra features. Think about whether these features, which are designed for certain professionals, are worth the higher price. If you’re on a tight budget or just starting, PRO is a more affordable option.

Final Thoughts

Clip Studio Paint EX’s additional features essentially revolve around three key features: longer animation, multi-page support, and the ability to convert 3D models to illustrations.

Whether these extra features are worth EX’s price tag depends on your specific artistic goals and budget. Both PRO and EX versions offer a wide range of features and tools tailored to the needs of digital artists. Whichever version you choose, with Clip Studio Paint, you’ll have powerful software to bring your artistic visions to life.

I hope this article has made the difference between Clip Studio Paint PRO and EX clearer. If you have any thoughts, tips, or feedback, please feel free to share them in the comments below!