Software Used by Hayao Miyazaki’s Animation Studio Becomes Open Source & Free to Download

miyazaki gif2

By now we all know the name of Stu­dio Ghi­b­li, the oper­a­tion respon­si­ble for such ani­mat­ed-fea­ture-film-redefin­ing pro­duc­tions as Grave of the Fire­flies and Hayao Miyaza­k­i’s My Neigh­bor Totoro, Princess Mononoke, and Spir­it­ed Away. But unless we’ve paid a vis­it to the Ghi­b­li Muse­um, seen the doc­u­men­tary The King­dom of Dreams and Mad­ness, or tak­en part in the close scruti­ny to which Ghi­b­li fans sub­ject the stu­dio’s every pub­lic move, we won’t know much about their meth­ods for craft­ing such visu­al­ly and emo­tion­al­ly cap­ti­vat­ing sto­ries. Soon, though, we’ll be able to use their tools our­selves. On March 26, you will be able to down­load Open­Toonz, an open source ver­sion of the Toonz soft­ware used by Stu­dio Ghi­b­li.

“Includ­ed in the Open­Toonz are many of Ghi­b­li’s cus­tom tools, spe­cial­ly designed to cap­ture trees wav­ing in the breeze, food that looks too deli­cious to eat, and the con­stant run­ning Miyaza­k­i’s films are known for,” writes The Cre­ators Pro­jec­t’s Beck­ett , who quotes Ghi­b­li’s Exec­u­tive Imag­ing Direc­tor Atsushi Okui on why they start­ed using the Ital­ian-devel­oped pack­age in the first place: “We need­ed a soft­ware enabling us to cre­ate a cer­tain sec­tion of the ani­ma­tion dig­i­tal­ly. Our require­ment was that in order to con­tin­ue pro­duc­ing the­atre-qual­i­ty ani­ma­tion with­out addi­tion­al stress, the soft­ware must have the abil­i­ty to com­bine the hand-drawn ani­ma­tion with the dig­i­tal­ly paint­ed ones seam­less­ly.” Toonz, evi­dent­ly, could pull it off.

Ghi­b­li began using the soft­ware in 1995, dur­ing the pro­duc­tion of Princess Mononoke, and has kept using it since. In fact, reports Amid Ami­di at Car­toon Brew, “the new Open­Toonz is dubbed ‘Toonz Ghi­b­li Edi­tion’ because of all the cus­tom-fea­tures that Toonz has devel­oped over the years for the leg­endary Japan­ese stu­dio.” With Miyaza­ki retired, at least from fea­ture-film ani­ma­tion, and nobody quite sure whether 2014’s When Marnie Was There will be the stu­dio’s last pic­ture, as good a time as any has come for suc­ces­sors to the Ghi­b­li tra­di­tion. If you’d like to throw your own hat into that enor­mous ring, you can down­load Open­Toonz for free on March 26, 2016 (or, for a price, buy Toonz Pre­mi­um) from the offi­cial Toonz web site.

via The Cre­ators’ Project

Relat­ed Con­tent:

Watch Hayao Miyaza­ki Ani­mate the Final Shot of His Final Fea­ture Film, The Wind Ris­es

French Stu­dent Sets Inter­net on Fire with Ani­ma­tion Inspired by Moe­bius, Syd Mead & Hayao Miyaza­ki

Hayao Miyazaki’s Uni­verse Recre­at­ed in a Won­der­ful CGI Trib­ute

Hayao Miyazaki’s Mas­ter­pieces Spir­it­ed Away and Princess Mononoke Imag­ined as 8‑Bit Video Games

Based in Seoul, Col­in Mar­shall writes and broad­casts on cities, lan­guage, and style. He’s at work on a book about Los Ange­les, A Los Ange­les Primer, the video series The City in Cin­e­ma, the crowd­fund­ed jour­nal­ism project Where Is the City of the Future?, and the Los Ange­les Review of Books’ Korea Blog. Fol­low him on Twit­ter at @colinmarshall or on Face­book.

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Comments (4)
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  • Luke says:

    wait… you know that the first gif isn’t actu­al­ly a Miyaza­ki film but tak­en from a trib­ute made by stu­dents right? Great arti­cle by the way! Super excit­ed regard­less!

    Just thought that it might be impor­tant to point that out. Its a neat lit­tle film that can be found here:

  • George says:

    They should dis­count Princess Mononoke. That was at most 10% CGI (Com­put­er Gen­er­at­ed Images). These should give cred­it to the artists and not some soft­ware.

  • Steve Fahnestalk says:

    The first GIF I see is actu­al­ly from “Howl’s Mov­ing Cas­tle,” which is a Miyaza­ki film. But maybe the page has been edit­ed since that com­ment was made.

  • Cdrbsoftwares says:

    Thanks for the infor­ma­tion. Using soft­ware used by Hayao Miyaza­kis ani­ma­tion stu­dio will be a great expe­ri­ence. Keep Shar­ing

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