Tuesday, February 5th, 2019 Posted by Jim Thacker

OpenToonz developers release OpenToonz 1.3

OpenToonz developer Jeremy Bullock’s tour of the highlights in OpenToonz 1.2. The update to the open-source 2D animation software adds a new horizontal timeline, brush engine and lip sync window.

Originally posted on 5 January 2018. Scroll down for news of the 1.3 update.

The development team for OpenToonz has released version 1.2 of the open-source 2D animation package, adding a new horizontal timeline, new brush engine, autotweening for vector strokes, and a lip sync window.

The update – it actually came out last month, although we didn’t get a chance to write about it at the time – also gets shader effects working properly in the software.

As used on a range of major commercial animation projects
Formerly a commercial animation package used on Futurama and many Studio Ghibli movies, OpenToonz – then just plain ‘Toonz’ – was made open-source in 2016.

Since then, there have been a steady stream of updates: initially, mainly bugfixes and UI changes, but also adding new features including support for hi-DPI monitors and new options for scrubbing through projects.

New in the core release: new brush engine and guided vector drawing
To that, OpenToonz 1.2 adds support for the open-source MyPaint brush engine, adding a number of new options for raster painting, including the option to make any brush an eraser.

There is also now support for automatic tweening of vector drawings on a stroke-by-stroke basis, along with a new ‘guided drawing’ feature to indicate the order in which strokes should be drawn in the target frame.

The vector brush also gets support for snapping strokes to the grid or to other strokes; and for drawing a straight line when the [Shift] key is held down, as in many other painting packages.

New in the core release: horizontal timeline and new lip sync window
More structural changes include a new horizontal timeline, on top of the existing exposure sheet, with the option to zoom in and out to show a custom frame range.

There is also a new lip sync window, which enables users to set up custom mouth shapes, then have OpenToonz apply them automatically to a character animation based on a text file of the dialogue.

New in the core release: true support for shader effects
According to developer Jeremy Bullock, another key feature of OpenToonz 1.2 is that shader effects “now work” – while they were present in previous releases, the results could be unpredictable.

Bullock notes that as a result, there may be a performance hit on low-end hardware, but that affected users can download OpenToonz Portable, a shader-effect-free edition created as a temporary workaround.

The update also adds two new shader effects: a standard timecode burn-in, and a rather nice Bokeh effect, with the resulting light blur controlled by a source greyscale map.

New in the Morevna Edition: new advanced colour picker
Several of these features were first introduced in the Morevna Edition: an experimental version of the codebase maintained by the Morevna Project, responsible for crowdfunded open-source anime Morevna.

Version 1.2 of OpenToonz (Morevna Edition) also adds a new resizeable advanced colour picker (shown above), described as having similar functionality to commercial Photoshop plugin Coolorus

Updated 5 February 2019: OpenToonz 1.3 is out. It’s a stability-focused update, with a long list of bugfixes.

However, there are new features, including touchscreen support on Windows via Windows Ink, a new text generator effect, and a new Separate Colors command.

The software’s MyPaint brushes also now work with its Toonz Raster Level system – used, among other things, to keep outlines and fills separate.

System requirements and availability
OpenToonz 1.3 is available for Windows 7+ and Mac OS X 10.9+. The Morevna Edition also runs on Linux.

Read a full list of new features in OpenToonz in the online release notes

Read more about the Morevna Edition of OpenToonz

Download OpenToonz 1.3 from the official website