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Atsushi Okui (奥井敦 , Okui Atsushi, born in 1963 in Shimane, Japan), also went by the pseudonym おくいあつし, is a Japanese director of photography for animation.

He first worked at Asahi Production before moving to Studio Ghibli in 1993. He has since been involved in nearly every major Ghibli feature film and animated short until the production studio was shut down in 2014. He has since worked with Hiromasa Yonebayashi on Mary and the Witch's Flower.

Okui helped pioneer the adoption of digital animation at Ghibli, notably with the animation software Toonz, which became available as an open source platform in 2016.[1]


In 1981, Okui joined Asahi Production to work in animation photography. He first served as photography supervisor on the theatrical film Original Dirty Pair: Project Eden (1987) and Armor Hunter Mellowlink (1988-1989) series. He then worked as director of photography on Mobile Suit Gundam: Char's Counterattack, Mobile Suit Gundam F91 and Mobile Suit Gundam 0083.[2]

In 1993, Okui moved to Studio Ghibli after they established their photography department. He has since worked on nearly every Ghibli production beginning with Porco Rosso to When Marnie Was There (2014).[3]

Digital Animation

In 1995, Studio Ghibli adopted Toonz, an independently developed animation software published by Japanese publisher Dwango. “During the production of Princess Mononoke in 1995, we needed a software enabling us to create a certain section of the animation digitally,” said Atsushi Okui. “We checked for what was available at that time and chose ‘Toonz’.”

In 2016, the animation software was released as an open source platform by the developers called OpenToonz. Okui went on to add that the software permitted friction-less theatre-quality animation with the ability to combine hand-drawn animation with digitally painted animation. Studio Ghibli began using Toonz and followed it through multiple major updates that embraced ease-of-use and enhanced its capabilities.

“We are happy to hear that this open source version contains the Ghibli Edition,” Okui continued. “We hope that many people inside and outside of the animation industry will utilize this software for their work. We would like to extend our gratitude to the staff of Digital Video.”


  1. Studio Ghibli animation software platform Toonz sees open source release, Silicon Angle
  2. Chihiro no God, の大智険.ふゅーじょんぷろだくと, (2001) p.111
  3. From Up on Poppy Hill MOOK, 2011

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