With its signature mix of comedy, science fiction, and social commentary, Futurama has become one of the most beloved animated shows in history. From its iconic characters and sharp wit to its whacky storylines, Futurama remains a timeless classic for fans old and new.
But how did they make Futurama and what software did they use for animation?
The team behind Futurama used traditional hand-drawn drawings to animate the characters and scenes which were scanned, coloured and compiled using OpenToonz – now a free open-source 2D animation program.
The show was developed using a combination of traditional cel animation and computer-generated imagery (CGI). The art team used a process called “3D penciling” where they trace objects such as rockets from 3D models, making them look more life-like yet still “hand-drawn”. Computer animators then colored everything using OpenToonz. They also created animations for special effects and movements that weren’t possible with 2D hand-drawn animation.
OpenToonz is an advanced program used in the making of 2D animation, built on Digital Video’s “Toonz” technology and tailored to Studio Ghibli’s needs over time. Since the creation of Princess Mononoke, Studio Ghibli has utilised different versions of Toonz/OpenToonz in its production pipeline.
Ideal for hand-drawn animation, OpenToonz goes even further by providing rigging and cut-out animation skeleton tools. Developed to streamline the process of inking and painting scanned traditional paper renderings, Toonz also provides a platform for digitally created elements.
OpenToonz is one of many open-source software applications with an enthusiastic userbase passionate about its development. Many users are passionate about crafting their own tutorials to aid others in getting involved and mastering animation, making OpenToonz a fantastic choice for any novice. Not only is it completely free, but its advanced capabilities make the program an irreplaceable resource.
Who made the TV show Futurama?
Futurama was created by Matt Groening, the creator of The Simpsons. He wanted to make a show that could be enjoyed by both adults and children.
In order to do this, he enlisted the help of David Cohen, who had also worked on The Simpsons as a writer and producer. Together they developed a unique stylistic approach to animation that combined traditional hand-drawn animation with computer-generated elements. The show was produced by the studio Rough Draft Studios, which is located in Glendale, California.
Futurama was originally aired on Fox and later Comedy Central.
Today, Futurama remains a beloved show with a passionate fan base. It continues to inspire new generations of viewers who appreciate its unique blend of comedy and science fiction. The show’s creators have since gone on to create new shows such as Big Mouth and Disenchantment. It’s clear that Futurama was an important milestone in television history and it is still enjoyed by fans around the world.