OpenToonz utilized in production of “Batman Ninja” animated feature film

Dwango has announced that the 2D animation production software OpenToonz which they developed and open sourced March 2016 has been used in the production of Kamikaze Douga’s First Animated Feature Film ‘BATMAN NINJA’.

Tokyo, Japan (July 12th, 2018) — Dwango Co., Ltd. has announced that the 2D animation production software “OpenToonz” which they started distributing in March 2016 as an open source software program has been used in the production of Kamikaze Douga’s first animated feature film BATMAN NINJA (Director: Junpei Mizusaki / Script: Kazuki Nakashima) which came out in theaters on June 15th in Japan.

Batman and all related characters and elements are trademarks of ©DC Comics. and ©Warner Bros. Japan LLC

A scene from Batman Ninja edited in OpenToonz.
Completed scene.

OpenToonz is a 2D animation software program based on “Toonz” which was first developed by the Italian developer Digital Video S.p.A. After Dwango acquired Toonz it was then developed/distributed as an open source software program that anybody can use and modify free of charge. OpenToonz has several features which include functions customized by the longtime Toonz user Studio Ghibli. Dwango has developed visual effects that utilize their artificial intelligence technology and plugin features that enable any user to add effects. Since its release, Dwango has been making additional modifications based on on-site feedbacks. The team of Morevna Project is maintaining Linux version of OpenToonz and also developing modifications, providing them for early access with a special edition.

OpenToonz utilized to process brush strokes, effect composition and cinematography

BATMAN NINJA is an animated film created mainly by 3DCG. However certain scenes incorporate traditional 2D animation. OpenToonz was used in the production of those scenes to process strokes, effect compositions and cinematography (e.g. camera works).

One of the reasons why OpenToonz was chosen for this film was because it processes drawing in a special format which preserves the halftone information required to replicate the natural look of a pencil’s stroke and subtle faint lines. Additionally, OpenToonz uses a palette system which enables the user to work flexibly – a user can for example work on the cinematography of materials before the colorization process or change the color specification without having to go back to the finishing process.

From BATMAN NINJA compositor Yoichi Senzui:

I was able to make a good use of OpenToonz to complete this film – however not without a slight trepidation as this was my first time working on a large-scale project with this software. I found it particularly useful during the last few sequences of the production where we needed to correct colors and Xsheets. OpenToonz had many well thought out features that helped me along the way such as – the color management system which utilized palettes and the Xsheet interface. The camera work configuration was also visually intuitive. Although I was the sole staff working on OpenToonz for this project, I hope that more people will learn how to use this software to produce more works.

Download OpenToonz (Morevna Edition)

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