Mistakes are inevitable. One of the best things about drawing digitally, though, is that you can undo your mistakes.
You are already familiar with the power of CMD-Z (CTRL-Z on Windows) from a lifetime of computer use, I’m sure.
It works the same way in Clip Studio Paint. CSP remembers a bunch of your most recent commands and artistic flourishes. You can usually step back in time a few steps. If you catch your mistake fast enough, it’s super easy to back it out and try again.
There are two settings for Undo that you should know about, though. The defaults settings are pretty good, but for certain types of artists, those controls might change the way you use CSP.
On a Mac, go to the Clip Studio Paint menu option in the upper left corner of your screen.
Click on the “Preferences” item there.
That brings up the Preferences window. You want to click on the Performance option in the pane on the left side of the screen now. That will bring up a section dedicated to memory management, and one related to the Undo command. While the two are related in ways I’ll discuss later, skip over the “Memory” area and let’s go straight to the “Undo” options. There are two settings there to play with.
That first number in the “Undo Count” option is pretty straight forward.
It’s how many steps CSP will remember and be able to Undo back from.
You can choose any number from 1 to 200. The double arrows to the right of the number will increase or decrease that number in steps of 10. The single arrows will go one step at a time. I think typing in a number is faster. I’d go with 20 or 30 to start, to play it safe.
Mild Warning: I haven’t run tests, but it’s common sense that the more steps you ask it to remember, the more memory CSP will likely use. Be careful with this if your computer isn’t superpowered. You might be able to tweak the settings in the “Memory” section above these preferences, but I wouldn’t recommend it. Keep a lower “Undo count” number if you are memory constrained on your computer.
20 or 30 gives you plenty of wiggle room in case you’ve just realized the horrendous mistake you made. That will buy you time without slowing down your computer.
Secondary Warning: You can’t just undo your 20th previous command. You need to first undo the 19 you made afterwards. Maybe someday we’ll get full version control types of changes, but not yet. (Likely, not ever.) So keep in mind that if you leave yourself the opportunity to undo your last 200 changes, you also will lose your more recent 199 changes first. Ouch. At that point, it might be easier to zoom in and do some crazy manual corrections, depending on the situation.
Delay Before Recognizing New Object to Undo After Drawing
The second setting is a little more complicated to explain, but does an important job. It’s also quite the mouthful.
Let me give you an example. Say you’re crosshatching. You just drew 20 short lines in a row next to each other in the span of a few seconds without taking a break beyond picking your stylus up and moving to the starting position of the next line.
Pop quiz: How many times will you need to use the Undo command to erase those 20 lines?
It’s likely you’ll only need to do it once and that’s because of this delay setting. It batches together a series of commands that happen in quick succession. You did that crosshatching very quickly without taking a break. Clip Studio Paint treats those 20 commands as one step for the purposes of the Undo command.
By default, the value is set at 200 milliseconds.
You can increase that number up as far as 2000ms, or 2 whole seconds. (The extra arrows to increase/decrease that number work in increments of 10 and 100 instead of 1 and 10.) I wouldn’t recommend this, though, because it’ll remove that fine grain control your Undo button has. You can paint a lot of strokes or ink a lot of a figure without ever taking a two second break between marks. One Undo command could erase a lot more than you wanted to.
One tap on CMD-Z (CTRL-Z if you’re stuck on Windows) will undo all the most recent commands back to when you last took longer than 200 ms between any two commands. It’s NOT the number of commands you hit in the last 200 ms. One step is the package of commands you issued since the last 200 ms break you took.
The Delay time is how Clip Studio determines when you’ve completed a step. Every time you take a pause of 200ms in your drawing, you’ll effectively batch your previous set of commands into one step for Undo’s purposes
Here’s one more way to look at it:
- If you draw ten lines in your crosshatched drawing, then take a breath for 500 ms, then draw ten more lines, you’ll need to hit CMD-Z twice to get rid of everything. That half-second breath you took when you weren’t drawing creates that wall separating batches of commands (i.e. steps).
- If you drew twenty lines in a row without taking a break, you only need to hit CMD-Z once, even if it took longer than 200ms to draw them all. (And it probably did.)
Or, just play with the settings, draw a bunch of lines, and see how many get erased. Then play with it some more. Keep changing the setting, draw a bit, and undo. Just don’t go too crazy; it’s not worth it.
I think knowing about that Delay time is the biggest takeaway you should get from this article. Adjust those numbers to taste, and you’ll find a sweet spot for using Undo in Clip Studio Paint that will make producing art slightly less frustrating.