"The Breadwinner" "The Breadwinner"

Moho, the popular vector-based 2d animation software, is back in the hands of its creator. It has been acquired from Smith Micro by Lost Marble, a company founded by Mike Clifton — who developed the program two decades ago — and Victor Paredes, an animation supervisor at Irish studio Cartoon Saloon.

Lost Marble will continue to develop the software, which is becoming more popular on mainstream productions. Paredes, who is also a former Moho product manager, said in a statement: “We are thrilled to continue developing Moho’s unique approach to 2d animation. Having Mike back working on his creation is a dream come true. We have received a lot of feedback from animators worldwide and already have many ideas we want to implement.”

The acquisition has received the endorsement of Cartoon Saloon, which has used Moho on a number of productions, including for parts of its features Wolfwalkers, The Breadwinner (image at top), and Song of the Sea.

Tomm Moore, co-director of Wolfwalkers and director of Song of the Sea, said: “We always call Moho ‘our secret weapon.’ We have been using it for years now and it’s amazing. At the beginning I was a purist, thinking that whatever we did had to be hand-drawn, but after seeing Moho in action, I just wanted to use it more and more.”

Clifton first developed and released Moho back in 1999. It was acquired in 2006 by E Frontier, which changed the program’s name to Anime Studio to mirror its existing Manga Studio software. Smith Micro then took over the program in 2008 and hired a team of engineers to assist Clifton in developing it. The company changed the name back to Moho in 2016 to clarify that the program is suitable for more than just anime productions.

Clifton said: “I am thankful we can continue developing this software, that’s allowed so many people to tell their animated stories. Thank you as well to all of the Moho Animation community on the forum, social media, studios, and wherever else they may be for all of your patience and support over the years. I am looking forward to a bright future with you all, our new users, and the rest of the Lost Marble team.”

Smith Micro CEO and president Williams W. Smith, Jr., also issued a statement acknowledging that the company will no longer be involved in animation software: “We remain laser-focused on maximizing the profitability of our three solutions for wireless carriers – SafePath, CommSuite, and ViewSpot. Divesting the Moho product line to Lost Marble is a win for all parties involved as it enables us to devote 100% of our energy to our wireless portfolio and customers, while enabling the original creator of Moho to carry on the software’s legacy in the 2d animation space.”

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