Medibang vs. FireAlpaca: Which Software Is Better For Digital Art?

Medibang and FireAlpaca were created by the same company. Many artists are confused; what is the difference between them since they are so similar to each other?

In this article, I will compare Medibang and FireAlpaca by looking at their differences, features, pros, and cons so you can select the drawing app that suits your needs. 

Key Takeaways

  • Medibang Paint is a drawing app geared to create comics and manga. Medibang Paint has a simple UI similar to a mobile drawing app.
  • FireAlpaca has a UI similar to Photoshop and Krita and is geared to more professional activities like photo editing and animation than Medibang.

Medibang Paint vs. FireAlpaca: Software Overview

Medibang Paint

Medibang Paint on iPad

MediBang Paint is a lightweight, user-friendly painting and drawing software designed for comic and cartoon work. It offers a variety of brushes and tools specifically tailored for this purpose, making it easy for you to create stunning comic-style art. 

Among the features of MediBang, you can find:

  • Versatile brushes and tools are optimized for creating cartoons, manga, and webtoons.
  • Efficient comic panel management and creation tools.
  • Built-in cloud storage, allowing you to access your work from multiple devices.
  • Seamless collaboration for a group project

Pros 

  1. Lightweight application
  2. Low learning curve and easy to master
  3. UI is highly optimized for mobile devices, especially for smartphones and tablets.
  4. Good for comic creation

Cons

  1. Lack of advanced features for drawing and painting 
  2. Required to register an account to use most of Medibang’s feature

FireAlpaca

FireAlpaca

Firealpaca is designed to be approachable and easy to learn, which resonates well with hobbyists and beginner artists.

Pros 

  1. Straightforward and easy-to-learn UI
  2. Low learning curve and easy to master
  3. Free drawing app
  4. Suitable for budget laptop and computer

Cons

  1. Lack of advanced features for drawing and painting 
  2. Have fewer brushes compared to other drawing apps

Medibang vs. FireAlpaca: Detailed Comparison

Compatibility and Integration

Regarding platform compatibility, both MediBang and FireAlpaca are available on several operating systems. 

I run both Medibang and FireAlpaca smoothly on my MacBook Air M2 with 16 GB of RAM.

I have also tested Medibang Paint on my Samsung Galaxy S21 phone and iPad Pro with M1 silicon. 

In terms of compatibility, Medibang Paint is available in more OS. This is useful if you want to use the same software on all your PCs, laptops, tablets and smartphones.

For more details about Medibang and its compatibility, check out our article on Medibang System Requirements

You can find download links and more information about MediBang compatibility on their official website.

To sum up the compatibility aspect:

SoftwareWindowsMacOSLinuxAndroid TabletAndroid OSiOS
Medibang Paint
FireAlpacaXXXX

File Format Support

Medibang and Fire Alpaca have similar file format support. Both support industry-standard image formats, which include JPEG, PNG, Webp, TIFF, and many more.

Medibang and FireAlpaca also support opening and editing PSD (Photoshop Document) files, ensuring that work can be exchanged seamlessly with Adobe Photoshop.

Brushes

Medibang Paint and FireAlpaca both provide an impressive array of brush options. Not only that, Medibang and FireAlpaca allow importing Photoshop brushes (.abr) to their software. 

Medibang Paint Brush

Medibang’s brush library is quite extensive, featuring brushes designed explicitly for cartoon and illustration work. 

They come with various textures and effects catering to different art styles. Medibang’s brushes are designed for raster and vector-based drawings, giving you more flexibility in your work.

Meanwhile, FireAlpaca has inferior brush selection and customization. 

Maybe because FireAlpaca is less popular than Medibang Paint, the developer focuses too much on Medibang Paint instead of FireAlpaca despite the same company creating them. 

FireAlpaca Brush list

From their website, FireAlpaca only provides up to 435 brushes. That’s too little, to be honest.

Overall, Medibang Paint has better brush selection and customization compared to FireAlpaca.

User Interface and Experience

Medibang has a UI similar to Procreate and Clip Studio Paint combined. The UI is not clunky and easy to learn. Because they are optimized on lower-end configuration, you can run Medibang without lag quickly on any device.

The user interface in FireAlpaca is less complex than Krita and Photoshop but is still more similar to them than Medibang. FireAlpaca has a good combination of simplicity and advanced features.

Both software are designed to be lightweight, making them excellent choices for beginners or those with less powerful hardware. 

Pricing

Both Medibang Paint and FireAlpaca are free to use. So, they are ideal for artists who have just started learning digital art.

But remember, you need to upgrade to the premium version to use the drawing app without ads, which is not worth it since CSP and Procreate are better choices for a premium drawing app than Medibang and FireAlpaca. 

If you want to draw digitally without any ads, Krita is your best choice.

Layer Management and Blending Modes

Layer management is a crucial aspect of both Medibang and FireAlpaca. 

Medibang Paint has many features related to the layers panel. You can work with layers in Medibang, from creating a layer folder to renaming the layer, locking it, reducing layer opacity, and much more.

Pre-made templates are more abundant in MediBang, with manga templates with pre-defined panels, making it my go-to for comic creation.

Meanwhile, FireAlpaca has a more limited tool for layer management and blending modes. But, it maintains a more streamlined approach, which can be advantageous for faster workflow.

Vector and Raster Graphics Support

Both Medibang and Firealpaca have similar vector and raster graphics support, allowing users to integrate different mediums in their work. 

For vector graphics, both Medibang and FireAlpaca only provide primary features for artists to create vector art. Adobe Illustrator should be the software you learn and use for vector art.

But for raster graphics, Medibang Paint has more features that can help an artist create comics, illustrations and digital art than Firealpaca.

App Responsiveness

MediBang Paint has a responsive interface but offers advanced features, including cloud syncing and a vast resource library, which can sometimes affect its performance. 

Also, android and iOS users will have ads that can affect performance and annoy the artist when drawing.

I notice it may take a few extra milliseconds for brushes to respond when multiple layers or effects are applied.

FireAlpaca has a minimalistic design, often translating into faster load times and smooth performance. 

I’ve observed that brush strokes appear almost instantaneously with little to no lag, even when working with large canvas sizes. It’s particularly beneficial for older computers with less processing power.

Project Sharing and Collaboration

For project sharing and collaboration, MediBang Paint clearly takes the lead. It provides an integrated cloud service that enables you to share your projects with other artists and work collaboratively. 

This is particularly useful when my project involves comics or teamwork, where real-time feedback and iterative updates to images or content are essential. 

Remember that you need to register an account on Medibang Paint to use this feature.

On the flip side, FireAlpaca lacks such a feature, requiring you to rely on third-party services like Google Drive or Microsoft One Drive for collaborative efforts.

Community and Support

  • Documentation

Medibang and FireAlpaca have extensive documentation to help you learn and master their respective software. 

Medibang also provides a support page with helpful information, step-by-step guides, and FAQs on using their software.

On the other hand, FireAlpaca provides a topic page filled with helpful information and step-by-step guides for their software. 

After comparing each link, I found that Medibang Paint has a more comprehensive and easier-to-understand guide for English-speaking users than FireAlpaca.

The English page for FireAlpaca only has a small number of guides and tutorials. Only when I opened the Japanese version of the FireAlpaca website did I know that FireAlpaca is more popular in Japan than Medibang Paint

  • Medibang Community

Medibang has many users uploading their art on its website. 

You can access a discussion board on the Medibang website at https://medibang.com/tags/unjoined/ and then choose the Medibang Paint community.

But if you open that link, you realize it’s a non-active community, and the discussion is unrelated to Medibang Paint.

The only community I found for Medibang for English-speaking artists is the Medibang Reddit community, with only 5 thousand members.

  • FireAlpaca Community

FireAlpaca has a smaller community than Medibang. I can’t find any active forum for FireAlpaca users who speak English. 

The only active community I find for FireAlpaca is a subreddit dedicated to FireAlpaca. But even the FireAlpaca subreddit only has 2k members, fewer members than the Krita, Clip Studio Paint, Procreate and Medibang subreddit communities.

So, Medibang users have a better art community than FireAlaca

What You Can Do with Medibang and FireAlpaca

Creating Digital Art

In my experience with digital art and illustration, Medibang Paint and FireAlpaca have similar capacities for creating good digital art.

Your skills matter more than the software you use to create digital art. 

Both software has enough features for professional artists to create digital art and illustration.

Creating Animation 

Medibang Paint, until the current version, doesn’t offer any animation feature outside of the Timelapse feature.

On the other hand, FireAlpaca also has animation features like Krita. 

But the animation features in FireAlpaca are not as good as Krita, Clip Studio Paint EX and Procrate Dream. So, it’s hard to create a professional animation with FireAlpaca. Possible but doable

Drawing Comics, Manga and Webtoons

When it comes to manga and comic creation, both tools offer compelling features. I often lean towards Medibang Paint when creating manga due to its dedicated panel tools, text tool and preset library of screentone, which are vital for authentic manga-style artwork.

FireAlpaca, while versatile, requires additional steps to set up similar manga features. 

Comparisons and Alternatives

Here’s a comparison summary:

Medibang PaintFireAlpacaKritaClip Studio Paint
FreeFreeFreeOne-time fee and subscription-based
LightweightLightweightProfessional featuresComprehensive brushes for manga artists
Ideal for Comic artists and manga artistsPerfect for artists searching for a jack-of-all-trades drawing appVersatile for all kinds of creative projects, the best free drawing appIdeal for illustrators and comic artists

Comparable Software

  • Adobe Photoshop

Photoshop is the industry standard for professional digital art projects. Photoshop offers an extensive set of tools for both raster and vector graphics. 

Most artists draw in Photoshop. You can easily find any YouTube tutorials for creating art in Photoshop.

  • Autodesk Sketchbook

Sketchbook caters to users requiring a more streamlined digital drawing experience. It’s a versatile option that balances functionality with user-friendly design.

Sketchbook is also the most popular free drawing app on Android and iOS

  • Procreate

The most popular drawing app on iPad OS. It’s the best drawing app that is easy to use and recommended by many artists. Procreate is my favorite drawing app, followed by CSP and Krita.

  • Paint Tool SA

 A niche drawing app that is similar to FireAlpaca. Manga artists usually prefer creating manga in Paint Tool SAI

  • ibisPaint

A niche drawing app that is similar to Medibang Paint. It’s one of the most popular drawing apps on Android, just like Medibang Paint

For another comparison of Medibang and FireAlpaca, check out:

Krita Vs. Medibang: In-Depth Comparison for Digital Artists

Krita vs FireAlpaca: Which Software Is Better For Artists?

Frequently Asked Questions

In this section, I’ll address some of the most common inquiries regarding comparing Medibang Paint and FireAlpaca.

What are the main differences between FireAlpaca and MediBang Paint regarding features?

MediBang Paint generally offers more extensive features for manga and comic creators, including panel templates and cloud storage. In contrast, FireAlpaca tends to be more straightforward, focusing on basic painting and drawing tools.

Which program, FireAlpaca or MediBang Paint, is more user-friendly for beginners?

FireAlpaca is user-friendly with a simple interface, making it more approachable for beginners. 

Meanwhile, MediBang Paint, while also beginner-friendly, has a somewhat steeper learning curve due to its additional features.

Wrapping Up

Medibang Paint, a free drawing app, offers more value in function and capability than FireAlpaca. 

If you’re looking for an app that’s easy to use, great for drawing comics, manga, and webtoons, and compatible with all your devices, Medibang is the perfect choice.

Meanwhile, FireAlpaca is user-friendly and well-suited for beginners or those looking for simplicity. Additionally, the program is lightweight, which allows for a smooth performance on most computers.

Both software are free, so you can try them both and see which suits you best as an artist.

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Author
Kenny Houle
Hi, I’m Kenny. I’m a digital artist who began learning art at the age of 21. I enjoy drawing cartoons and fan art.

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