Good news everyone! The 2D animation software which has been used for years by the likes of Studio Ghibli and Mat Groening’s Futurama is now Open Source, which means that it is both free and legal to download and use.
The programme, which is called OpenToonz, is a fantastic resource for anyone with even a passing interest in cartoons and animation. The software was made public a few days ago (March 26th) and, while it might take some time to familiarise oneself with the ins and outs of it all, there are an almost limitless amount of tutorials and step-by-step guides available online.
The momentous release spawned from the Japanese Publisher Dwango, who decided to launch the OpenToonz project in cooperation with Digital Video (an Italian tech company who develops and markets the animation software) and Studio Ghibli themselves.
The aim is to make Toonz the ‘standard of 2D animation‘ according to an announcement by Dwango. A Premium version will also be available at a ‘competitive price‘.
The software is available through Github and there are formats for both Windows and OSX. It may take a while before users get to create the next Spirited Away or My Neighbour Totoro, but the tools have now been left out for the taking.