Toonz, the program used by Studio Ghibli, will be open source from March 26.
It doesn’t matter if you’re a follower of Japanese animation, or if you’ve only seen a couple of scenes in passing; the name of Studio Ghibli surely sounds familiar to you.
Commanded by the genius among geniuses Hayao Miyazaki, the Studio Ghibli is behind some of the best animation works ever, regardless of its origin. Her stories always surprise, her characters always reach our hearts, and the artisan of her animation always leaves us in another world.
Toonz, the program used by Studio Ghibli
During the last 21 years, Studio Ghibli’s animation has been supported by one program in particular: Toonz, developed by Italians Digital Video.
It all started with Princess Mononoke(Mononoke hime), when the study realized that it neededto a tool for a particular section that was to be animated digitally.
The problem they faced, recalls the CEO of GhibliAtsushi Okui, is that they had to put together traditional animation, created by hand, with digital animation without being noticed and maintaining a level of production typical of a film in the studio.
After much searching, Toonz was the show they picked, and they liked it so much that since then the show has been used on almost every Studio Ghibli tape.
Now Digital Video has announced that the Japanese company Dwango has acquired the rights to Toonz, and that from now on its development will continue in another way: based on open source.
Animation in the purest open-source style
Toonz source code will be released under the name OpenToonz, so anyone can download it and use it for their own animation projects, and the community can participate in the development of the code from now on.
From now on, Digital Video follow the open source model, whereby the program will be available to everyone, and the company will offer related services such as installation, configuration, technical support and development of personalized tools for each study. This is a common type of business in free software, and companies like Red Hat have made significant income from this scheme.
Not only that, but a free version called Toonz Studio Ghibli Version has also been announced, which includes many of the tools that the animation studio has used to create its latest films, since its 2010 film,Arrietty and the world of the tiny (Karigurashi no Arietti).
OpenToonz will be presented on March 26 in Tokyo, opening the possibility that More animation studios, whether professional or amateur, can use the same tools than one of the most charismatic companies in the industry.
It can even be the perfect tool for The next Hayao Miyazaki enters the world of traditional animation, which in recent years is suffering at the hands of 3D animation.