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Initial releaseMarch 26, 2016; 3 years ago (2016-03-26)
Stable release
1.3.0 / January 29, 2019; 3 months ago (2019-01-29)[2]
Repository Edit this at Wikidata
Written inC++ (Qt[3])
Operating systemLinux,[4] macOS, Microsoft Windows
Platformx86, x86-64
Type2D animation software
LicenseOpen-source (BSD license)[5]
Toonz Premium
Developer(s)Digital Video S.p.a.
Initial release1993; 26 years ago (1993)
Stable release
Repository Edit this at Wikidata
Written inC++ (Qt)[3]
Operating systemmacOS, Microsoft Windows
Platformx86, x86-64
Type2D animation software

Toonz is a family of 2D animation software. The base application is being developed by Dwango as open-source software under the name OpenToonz.[1] An extended commercial variant for professional individuals and studios, Toonz Premium, is being developed and marketed by Digital Video S.p.A..[5] Digital Video also developed programs like StoryPlanner, a set of tools focused on the creation of storyboards with graphical and textual information; Linetest, a 2D animation software for pencil animation tests; and The-TAB, a 2D animation software used to create animation for the Web and Broadcast. Toonz is used by many studios worldwide including Studio Ghibli[7] and Rough Draft Studios.[8]


First release: Toonz 3.0

Developed in 1993 for the IRIX operating system, Toonz was created and registered as trademark.[9]  An exclusive distribution agreement was signed with Softimage,[10] which distributed Creative Toonz. One year later, the product was used in a large scale production such as Balto, at Amblimation/Universal Pictures in London (produced by Steven Spielberg).[8]

Other major releases

Toonz 4.0

After the Softimage's takeover by Microsoft, Toonz is re-engineered to reach optimal performances in Windows environment, according to Microsoft requests, to sell the product with the brand Microsoft Toonz.[11][non-primary source needed] Toonz 4.0 provided more powerful tools compared to Toonz 3.0 and an extremely intuitive user interface for traditional cell animators working in the film, video, interactive games and new media industries. Softimage Toonz 4.0 offered greatly enhanced key features such as a new pencil test module, Palette Editor, Xsheet, Ink and Paint module, and flip module,[clarification needed] and allowed users to further customize the software by adding separate modules for scanning and rendering.

Toonz 5.0

Toonz 5.0 Harlequin was designed to meet the evolution of creative and technical standards in animation by loyally supporting its traditional approach based on raster drawings. It also introduced vector drawings support to allow users to step into paperless animation[citation needed]. Toonz 5.0 Harlequin brought a brand new user-friendly environment, where animators can either scan hand-made drawings and draw vector drawings from scratch directly into Toonz and animate them. Toonz 5.0 is the first Toonz release compatible with both Windows and Mac OS X.[12]

Toonz 6.0 Harlequin and Bravo

Toonz 6.0 was released in two versions: Toonz Harlequin for traditional and paperless animation workflow and Toonz Bravo for the paperless animation. Toonz Harlequin was realized on the base of a strict collaboration with Studio Ghibli,[7] the studio that produces the films of Hayao Miyazaki and Isao Takahata among others. While Bravo allows the user to create only paperless animations, Harlequin can scan hand-made drawings, giving the user the possibility to digitize traditional drawings. Like Toonz 5.0, the 6.0 edition is compatible with both Windows and Mac OS X.

Toonz 6.4 ML

As per Toonz 6.3, the 6.4 edition is available in two versions: Toonz 6.4 Bravo! for the paperless animation only and Toonz Harlequin for the traditional and paperless animation process and it introduces new or improved features to the world of Toonz. The Cleanup Module has been widely improved: now you can check the process in the before and after processing preview area, and remove spots and marks from the scanned drawings by using a specific option. You can also use the Morphological Antialias technique at the end of the Cleanup Process using the associated parameter to set the intensity. Another new feature is the scanning in Black&White mode in order to save time and hard disk space. You can also choose the output format for the scanned images. Also, the camera DPI parameter is now editable both in the Camera and in the Cleanup Settings and a completely new algorithm for the Raster-to-Vector Converter traces the outline of your drawings while adjusting few parameters in order to achieve high quality results even starting from mid-resolution images. Other new features are the Interactive Color Editing or the Smart FX Schematic Editing, while the already wide range of Output Settings and the Preview Window has been improved.[13][non-primary source needed]

Toonz 7.0

As per Toonz 6.4, the 7.0 edition is available in two versions: Toonz 7.0 Bravo! for the paperless animation only and Toonz Harlequin for the traditional and paperless animation process and it introduces new or improved features to the world of Toonz. l A new tool introduces in Toonz the possibility to create a complete animation sequence using a single drawing. Building specific meshes and skeletons structures gives the users the way to make stretching and bending deformations with no need for drawing each pose. Another new powerful feature of Toonz Harlequin is the ECMAScripts support. Using the Run script command and the Script Console window it is possible to run scripts to automatically perform different tasks. A group of new effects joins the already consistent list of effects available in Toonz. Adding new functionalities as the erasing of small dirt and scratches, or creating symmetrically designed backgrounds, or generating a raylit effect using the colours of the source image. Moreover, some Layer Blending FXs supports now multiple sources, in this way it becomes easier reordering the levels of a scene one on top the other or apply an effect to multiple levels. Using the z value of the scene elements and the Camera Shift parameter this Render option creates two render sequences (right and left) that can be composited for building a 3D stereoscopic sequence. Other new features are the Merge TLV levels and the Message Center pane.[14][non-primary source needed]


On March 19, 2016 it was announced that Toonz will be released as free and open-source software in a week.[15] The source code of "OpenToonz" was released under BSD license to a GitHub repository on March 26, 2016.[3][16][17] Digital Video will also continue to develop and market a Toonz Premium version.[5]




The animations of many popular games such as Psygnosis's Discworld 2[22] and Monolith's Claw[23] were made with Toonz.


  1. ^ a b "Here's Where To Download OpenToonz, Studio Ghibli's Free Animation Software". Cartoon Brew. 27 March 2016.
  2. ^ "Release OpenToonz V1.3".
  3. ^ a b c "LXer: Toonz is Open Sourced (OpenToonz) and source code is ready for download!".
  4. ^ "opentoonz/opentoonz".
  5. ^ a b c "Toonz goes Open source". Archived from the original on 2016-12-27. Retrieved 2016-12-27.
  6. ^ "Toonz Premium 7.3 at MIFA". Archived from the original on 2016-12-27. Retrieved 2016-12-27.
  7. ^ a b Moody, Annemarie (2009-07-14). "Studio Ghibli, Digital Video Team on Toonz". Animation World Network. Retrieved 2012-07-08.
  8. ^ a b c "Interview with Serena Guidobaldi" (PDF). Retrieved 2012-07-11.
  9. ^ "Toonz". Trademark Electronic Search System (TESS). United States Patent and Trademark Office. January 23, 1996. Retrieved 29 July 2012.
  10. ^ "TheFreeLibrary". TheFreeLibrary. 1995-01-06. Retrieved 2012-07-08.
  11. ^ "TheFreeLibrary". TheFreeLibrary. 1995-08-08. Retrieved 2012-07-08.
  12. ^ "DesignTaxi". DesignTaxi. 2006-01-26. Retrieved 2012-07-08.
  13. ^ "Toonz 6.4 Datasheet" (PDF). Retrieved 2012-07-08.
  14. ^ "Toonz 7.0 Datasheet" (PDF). Retrieved 2012-07-08.
  15. ^ Amid Amidi (3 March 2016). "Toonz Software Used by Studio Ghibli and 'Futurama' Being Made Free and Open Source". Cartoon Brew.
  16. ^ "OpenToonz". OpenToonz.
  17. ^ opentoonz on
  18. ^ The Art of Princess Mononoke, Page 169
  19. ^ Piero Angela. Superquark Matematica e Cartoni Animati con Digital Video Toonz. Retrieved 2012-07-11.
  20. ^ Oscar Cosulich. "Ecco Anastasia principessa Fox". La Repubblica. Retrieved 2012-07-08.
  21. ^ Jones-Quartey, Ian (2013-11-11). "Hey hey! I hope you don't mind me asking but…". Tumblr. Retrieved 1 January 2017.
  22. ^ "Section 3.1". Retrieved 2012-07-08.
  23. ^ "Interview with Donald Wallace" (PDF). Retrieved 2012-07-08.

External links

  1. ^ "Toonz Harlequin 7.1". Retrieved 31 December 2016.