openCanvas is a Windows graphics editing tool that combines the functionality of top-notch graphic designers (such as Adobe’s Photoshop) and drawing software tools (such as Corel Draw). It incorporates many of the features of high-end professional editors, like the use of layers, or intelligent coloring.
openCanvas has been for many years a very popular drawing tool among amateur and professional Japanese users. It is true that it lacks some of the features that are common in other widely-used editors, but it was never its intention to compete with them. On the contrary, this Japanese tool wanted to be the reference for sketch drawing software (aware of the ever-growing demand from the manga market), rather than becoming the “Japanese Photoshop”, as some have called it. Thus, it has focused its development on the use of pressure-sensitive tablets, and on the possibility of saving different versions of the same drawing, thus having a complete “history” of the whole drawing process saved in different files. These files can be used by other fellow-artists, who can then finish off the job starting from any stage of the work. Do not confuse this feature with the use of layers (also supported in openCanvas) – each “event file”, as they are called, is saved in a different physical file, and each of them may contain as many layers as needed.
When it comes to file formats though, the number of supported types is not as impressive as in other tools. In fact, except for openCanvas projects and Photoshop files, the program only opens BMP, JPEG, and PNG files.
The interface is not very different of what you would expect to find in any similar tool, and the workspace is completely customizable, so that you can choose which windows and frames are shown or hidden, and which size and position they will have.