Animation Software Used by Studio Ghibli to Be Free

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New World Standard for Animation?

Exciting news has hit the world of animation. Dwango, a Japanese publisher, has acquired Digital Video’s software Toonz. With the closing of the deal came one very important condition—Dwango will publish an open source version of the highly regarded software.


What does that mean?

Less of this:

animation studio ghibli toonz-2


And more of this:

animation studio ghibli toonz-1

Photo from IGN

For years, Toonz has been the go-to software for Studio Ghibli, best known for iconic movies like Spirited Away and Princess Mononoke, and Rough Draft Studios, creators of Futurama.

Studio Ghibli has used Toonz since 1995 with the production of Princess Mononoke.

“… We needed a software enabling us to create a certain section of the animation digitally,” explains Atsushi Okui, Excexutive Imaging Director at Studio Ghibli. “Our requirement was that in order to continue producing theatre-quality animation without additional stress, the software must have the ability to combine the hand-drawn animation with the digitally painted ones seamlessly.” And Toonz did just that.


No More Premium?

The free download, OpenToonz, “will include features developed by Studio Ghibli,” while Digital Video continues to develop Toonz Premium, the for-sale version for those who wish to invest.

“The contract with Dwango … has enabled Digital Video to realize one of its strategies, i.e. to make Toonz a world standard for 2D animation,” says Claudio Mattei, Managing Director of Digital Video.

OpenToonz was officially presented in Tokyo at Anime Japan on March 26th and 27th. For more information, visit Toonz’s website.

animation studio ghibli toonz-3

Photo from Film4

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