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This article was published on March 20, 2016


The animation software behind Futurama and Studio Ghibli’s films is going open source

The animation software behind Futurama and Studio Ghibli’s films is going open source
Owen Williams
Story by

Owen Williams

Former TNW employee

Owen was a reporter for TNW based in Amsterdam, now a full-time freelance writer and consultant helping technology companies make their word Owen was a reporter for TNW based in Amsterdam, now a full-time freelance writer and consultant helping technology companies make their words friendlier. In his spare time he codes, writes newsletters and cycles around the city.

Toonz creates software you’ve probably never heard of but you’ve likely seen countless TV shows and movies made using its products.

The company’s main product is a piece of enterprise animation software that helps with scanning and cleanup of drawings, editing, animation and compositing.

Toonz was used to create the likes of Futurama, Princess Mononoke and Spirited Away over the years and was a

The app reportedly cost up to $10,000 per license, but as part of an agreement to be acquired today by Dwango the company is open sourcing its software.

Screen Shot 2016-03-20 at 9.45.22 AM

Atsushi Okui, Executive Imaging Director at Studio Ghibli said that the company used Toonz because it could “combine hand-drawn animation with the digitally painted ones seamlessly” and first used it for Princess Mononoke in 1995.

On March 26 the company will release “TOONZ Studio Ghibli Version” which includes features developed in collaboration with Studio Ghibli, so that independent animators can use the software without the high up-front cost.

Instead of monetizing on licenses the company plans to sell installation services, training and support – but ultimately wants to encourage animators to use it for free.

Toonz is going open-source