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Toonz, a piece of software for animation, will be open-sourced. Toonz was recently purchased by Dwango, who announced the changes today. On Saturday March 26, a free version of the software will be posted on the site. A paid, premium version of the software will be available, “at a very competitive price for those companies willing to invest in the customization of Toonz for their projects. “

Toonz is software used to draw for animated features. Notably, it is used by Studio Ghibli, responsible for critically acclaimed films such as Spirited Away, Princess Mononoke, and Castle In The Sky. It was also used on Futurama when it was in production.

As of this posting, Dwagno has not announced any information on the pricing of the premium version of the software, or what features will be lacking from the free version. They have also not announced which license they will be releasing Toonz under. The most commonly used open source licenses are the GNU General Public License (GPL), Lesser General Public License (LGPL), the MIT License, the Apache License, and the Berkeley Software Distribution (BSD) License. The GPL is a “copyleft” license that would require distribution of source code with binary distribution, and stipulates that all derivative works also be under the GPL. The MIT, Apache, and BSD Licenses are more permissive, primarily requiring attribution.


Quick Take

This is good news for the open source world. There’s a bit of a lack of open source software for professional creative use at this time. I’m also curious as to how they’ll license it. I would imagine they’d use either the MIT or Apache License, since they would more easily allow for two separate branches, one free, and one proprietary.  The GPL does allow for this, but care must be taken to strictly separate the two as to keep the proprietary branch proprietary. 


John Quilty

Staff Writer

I've been a lover of video games, writing, and technology for as long as I remember. I have a B.A. in English from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and I'm happy to write about gaming and technology for TechRaptor.