Sometimes the biggest news of the year isnt from the biggest names.
Some times out of the noise, there is a moment where things are made free.
Toonz is a program used by Studio Ghibli since 1999 with Princess Mononoke. They have used it in the rest of their films up until their recent work. It was originally part of the Silicon Graphics Suite of workstations (remember them?) and for a while Microsoft owned the product, before it was spun off and that became Autodesk. (Autodesk became more 3d CGI focused and later sold Toonz to the Italians)
But Toonz isnt just for Ghibli. It was used for Futureama, and other films.
So the Italian company Digital Video, sold it to Dwango, a Japanese firm. Dwango has decided starting with the 7.1 version of Toonz (Harlequin), that the program becomes open source.
As Adobe changes the name of Flash to Animate and Toon Boom starts to get long in the tooth, this program comes at a time when 3d work and other forms of animation (world wide) becomes more popular.
This is a game changer, for a whole lot of reasons. One the Studio Ghibli name has momentous cache throughout the industry. Two, OpenToonz will help the lower end studios all over the world produce animation. And as we have seen in such places like India, The West Indies and even in Africa, they will be most pleased with the program.
A similar thing is taking place in both the 3D spaces with both renderman, and as well as Unreal Endgine 4 in the video game industry.
The Japanese Anime artform, giver of the gifts to the west, may have saved the Global Animation Industry and transformed it forever.