Not only do know who Hayao Miyazaki, but you also aspire to be like him one day? Your dream is one step closer as Studio Ghibli has made its animation software free and open source.
At its origins, software package Toonz was created by Italian studio Digital Video as a tool for creating traditional 2D animation. Now it’s acquired by Dwango, the Japanese media and telecommunications company which plans to openly distribute it.
Starting 26 March, anyone who’s interested in the technology will be able to download Toonz Studio Ghibli Version. The package includes features the famous animation house has helped develop.
Moreover, Dwango’s purchase included in the deal the agreement that increased the software’s accessibility. Digital Video and Dwango have closed the deal after Dwango agreed to “publish and develop an Open Source platform based on Toonz.”
Toonz was first launched on the market in 1993, quickly becoming one of the most powerful tools in 2D animation. Studio Ghibli has used it to produce Futurama, Asterix, and even some video games like Discworld 2.
Its flexibility is one of its most valued abilities, as the software can work with old-school hand-drawn animation as well as completely digital productions.
OpenToonz, the open-sourced package included in the Dwango purchase, has the potential to expand the limits of the somewhat insular creative world of animation. Both amateur animators and established studios can now have access to a professional-level suite.
As Nobuo Kawakami, Dwango’s chairman, said, the fact that OpenToonz will be released as open source software is a move that’s meant to contribute to refresh the animation industry. The high-quality software will also be utilized by Dwango to present the company’s research and development results.
As OpenToonz becomes available universally, Digital Video will keep on developing the Toonz Premium software, aimed at animation professionals and marketed “at a very competitive price.” The kit will also come with implementation and training.
The fact that Toonz will become an open source platform has helped Digital Video to achieve one of its goals: to make Toonz a world standard for the 2D animation community. According to Claudio Mattei, managing director at Digital Video, “this deal will also be the starting point of a new exciting plan to endorse the Open Source business model.”
Mattei said Digital Video is “proud to share this path with Dwango and with Studio Ghibli, the renowned Toonz user since 1995.”
Image Source: The Comeback