Studio Ghibli – Animation Software Used by Popular Studio Will Soon be Free

Published: 22 March 2016Updated: 25 March 2016

Many do not know about Toonz animation software before but it is the program being used by the popular Studio Ghibli. They have used said software to create films such as Spirited Away and Tale of the Princess Kaguya. Other animators also use Toonz, such as those who worked on Futurama. Now, the animation software, used by legendary Japanese filmmaker Hayao Miayazaki, is going to be open-source. What does this mean? It means that it’s going to be free for use by studios everywhere. Even novices that are willing to learn a thing or two about animation can make use of it.

Studio Ghibli - Animation Software Used by Popular Studio Will Soon be Free

Toonz Animation Software, the Program Used by Studio Ghibli, is Going to be Open-Source

The deal pertaining to this Studio Ghibli used software came after Japanese publisher, Dwango, acquired the software from the Italian developer Digital Video. The software will not focus on customization and training, but there will still be a premium version to be sold at companies. It has been reported that this premium model will be sold “at a very competitive price.”

Atsushi Okui, imaging director of Studio Ghibli, has the following to say about the move pertaining about the animation program: “we are happy to hear that this open-source version contains the Ghibli Edition. We hope that many people inside and outside of the animation industry will utilize this software for their work.”

Toonz was first released back in 1993 and it was used to convert rasterized and hand-drawn art into vector graphics. From that point, the art can then be animated in 2D by way of using “skeletons” for characters. This provides an animation style that is similar to the workflow found in 3D projects.

With the announcement of the program becoming open-source, it means that a production-ready version of the software is now free for aspiring editors. The animation studio where Hayao Miyazaki worked with chose this particular software for their 1995 film Princess Mononoke. During that time, they have combined hand-drawn animation with digital painted ones, and they have done so seamlessly. The program also allowed them to continue producing theater-quality animation without stress.

While it is no walk in the park to learn animation as deep as Toonz, since the program is now going to be free of charge for use, it will be easier for aspiring artists and animators to maybe become the next Hayao Miyazaki of Studio Ghibli. The application will be presented officially at Anime Japan in Tokyo, which is going to start on the 26th of March.


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