Ten days ago I wrote a blog post and uploaded this video on to YouTube on why I think OpenToonz totally sucks despite its hype (derived largely from the fact that it’s free open source software that’s based on software that was actually used by the Japanese anime company Studio Ghibli for its feature films like Spirited Away).

Yesterday a friend who knows about my negative opinions regarding OpenToonz suggested that I download this upgrade that was just released online.  So I downloaded OpenToonz version 1.1.1 and played around with it for a bit. How does it compare with 1.0.3 (which I criticized at length in my video)? I have this to say: OpenToonz still sucks.

The graphics still won’t scale up and down and the Zoom tool still does not work. As for exporting the animation as a standalone video file, it didn’t add any of the popular video formats like .mpeg or .mov. I did see one new file format added that was exportable that was known as a “.tlv”. I had never heard of that format before but I hoped that it might be a video format of some kind.  I did some Google searches until I found the answer on this webpage:

TLV files are Uncommon Files primarily associated with TruLASER View Geometry Data (Majestic Systems Inc.).

As to what is TruLASER View Geometry Data? This web page has the answer:

TruLASER™ View Composites CAA V5 Based seamlessly integrates with CATIA V5 composite design data laser assisted ply layup. TruLASER™ View Composites CAA V5 Based automatically generates laser files from nested plies and projects actual ply shapes with laser accuracy.

Basically this is the file format you’d use if you were working with high-end laser machines. Which is a strange format for a 2D animation program like OpenToonz to be able to export as. Basically it’s yet another still graphic format like .bmp, .jpg, .png, .tga, and .tif in that it’ll export as a series of separate graphic files and you’ll have to find another graphics program to assemble those separate graphic files and export them as a standalone video file.

So whoever is responsible for updating OpenToonz for the Mac has decided that it’s more important to have an animation output to a file format that is relatively obscure and is used primarily by expensive high-end machines instead of going with .mp4 or even just plain .mpeg, formats which are commonly used by many people.

And then there was my previous complaint about how you can’t quit out of OpenToonz because the “Quit” command has been grayed out. The good news is that the “Quit” command is now colored black along with all of the other pull-down menu commands. The bad news: It still doesn’t work and neither does using the “Command” and “Q” keyboard shortcut.

I have news for whoever is working on OpenToonz for the Mac: Changing the color of a menu command from gray to black is NOT enough. It has to actually work when the user highlights on the menu command and its keyboard shortcut must work as well.

After using the “Force Quit” command to make OpenToonz go away I have this to say: OpenToonz still sucks and I am not going to change my mind unless someone makes the necessary corrections to the scale function, Zoom tool, the ability to export animations as standalone video files, and being able to really Quit out of the program. Avoid this program like the plague. If it weren’t for its association with Studio Ghibli, OpenToonz would’ve immediately sank into obscurity for being utterly awful software. As Public Enemy once said, “Don’t Believe the Hype.”

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