Wednesday, April 5, 2017

The Clip Studio 1.6.x Assets App (English Version)

The release of the English language 1.6.2 version of Clip Studio Paint FINALLY added a built-in method for those of us outside of Japan to download some of those over 10,000 assets they have on the Japanese “Clip Site.”  It also meant some changes to the user interface, chief of which is the entirely separate "Clip Studio" asset download app, which is what I’ll go over in this post.

NOTE: The actual name of this app is simply "Clip Studio" but I usually refer to it as the "Launcher" or CSL (Clip Studio Launcher) because in the Japanese version it is a front-end for running the entire suite.  Also because CSL won't cause any confusion with another app in the suite, CSA (Clip Studio Action).

Getting Started

This is new for us Westerners, but will look familiar to anyone who has been using the unofficial language hack versions of the suite.  Unfortunately we’re getting a feature-limited version of it.  Here’s what you see when you fire it up:

Clip Studio Launcher 1.6.3 Start Screen

It loads the Clip Studio Assets site inside of it.  One thing you’ll probably notice right away is that everything is FREE!  Actually that’s because it will ONLY show the materials that are free, because their payment system still isn’t really set up for users outside of Japan.  But don’t worry there are a LOT of free materials available.  And if you click on any of them there is even an built-in button to translate the item description from Japanese, but it’s also an obvious reminder that first and foremost this is really a Japanese app.

Install, Organize, and Reset Materials Have Moved!

Prior to version 1.6.2 you would Install, Organize, or Reset materials from within Clip Studio Paint’s main menu:

Those functions are now all moved to the Clip Studio Assets app under the “Gear” icon in the top bar:

Install is front and center, and the old Organize and Reset are now under the “Maintenance Menu” fly-out.  But you’ll notice some new things on that menu too:

Location of Materials - the default location is in your Documents folder, but now you can point it somewhere else if you want, for example a secondary drive (note: as far as I know network/cloud drives don’t work)

Reset Materials Installed from Cloud - when you install 1.6.2 it will go grab updated versions of a ton of the default materials you used to have to install from a gigantic zip file. I think it also includes any additional materials you download from the Clip Site. Reset will re-download them ALL (be sure you want to do that, it’s like 1400 something files!)

Sync All Materials Installed from Cloud - I think what this does is just re-download any materials you downloaded before that are missing (because you accidentally deleted them from your Materials palette, maybe).

In the top bar of the Clip Studio Assets app there is a button with two arrows going this way and that.  If you are downloading/syncing from the Clip Site it will show you the number of communications going on.  You can click the button, and it will show you the details in the Communications Management dialog:

Clip Studio Launcher Communication Management

Downloading Assets with the Clip Studio App

Since the Clip Site is actually in Japanese they were nice enough to integrate a Microsoft Translate “View Translation” button on each of the item descriptions:

Assets Item View in Launcher 1.6.3

As you can see, though, the translation will only work with actual text.  Any text that is part of an image cannot be translated.  So you go ahead and click that “Download” button and…it tells you to log in first!  So you click the “Log In” button at the top and it opens this dialog:

You’re going to need to press “Register as New Member…” which will open your web browser and take you to this page:

Registration Page opens in web browser.

Sign up, click the verification e-mail they send you, and then you’ll get to your Account to set up your profile.  But this is all happening in your web browser, NOT the Clip Studio Assets app.  So let’s go back to it.  If you need to click the “Log In” button again to get the Login Dialog, enter your email and password.  NOW you can go download that freebie!

Materials you download from the Clip Site will appear in your Materials Palette under “Downloads” and not under the category type of the material.  However, once you have them you can manually drag-and-drop the downloaded materials to the desired Materials folder to organize things.

Downloaded Materials List in Clip Studio PAINT 1.6.3

Regardless of where you put the downloaded Material, when you mouse over it you will see a little icon appear in the upper right-hand corner.  If you click that it will open the Clip Studio Assets app and take you to the Item detail page on the Clip Site.  This is useful if you downloaded a “Limited License” material and want to check the terms of use before including it in a project.

But what do you do if you downloaded something and accidentally deleted it?  You go re-download it!  Once you’re logged into the Clip Studio Assets app look for your profile drop-down in the upper-right of the Clip Site window, click it and select “MyDownloads” from the drop-down menu:

Clip Studio Launcher Assets drop-down menu

That takes you to a page showing, unsurprisingly, everything you’ve downloaded!  You can either click on the thumbnail to go look at the item details again (there will be a big, red “Re-Download” button waiting for you there) or…just click the little download icon in the bottom right-hand corner of the item thumbnail.

"My Downloads" in Launcher 1.6.3 Assets

If you are looking at items on the Clip Site in your web browser and click the “Download” (or “Re-Download”) button it will want to open the Clip Studio app.  If you still have it open and are logged into it, no problem - the activity just jumps from your browser to the app.  (Note: if you have the Japanese versions installed as well, like I do, the Clip Site in the browser will try to open the Japanese version of the Clip Studio app *unless* you already had the English version open).

Ok, so you downloaded stuff.  Where does it actually GO?!?  Assets downloaded from the Clip Site are treated as local (user-level) registered materials rather than “installed materials.”  They’ll be located somewhere in one of the numbered sub-folders (NOT "Install" or "Install2") inside of:


But if you want to know specifically where you’ll have to look through the sub-folders and their thumbnails.  Not that you can edit them, registered materials are obfuscated and can’t be disassembled.  But you could, for example, copy the entire folder with the UUID into another Clip Studio installation (it is functionally just like my work-around for installing custom materials packs).  However, I’m not quite sure what happens if you sync or reset to the cloud.

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