Blog

Just some thoughts and musings.

Mograph Sketchbook : Mini Mario

Growing up I there was nothing I loved more than Mario. I don’t know why. There must have been something about rushing through another world at high speed, bouncing off enemies and breaking apart the scenery looking for coins that distracted me from how boring reality actually was. 

Mario has certainly changed these days but there is definitely a growing appreciation for these old NES era graphics. Their simplicity and minimalism couldn’t be more effective. In the original Super Mario Bros., Mario is composed of only three colors!  His walk cycle is just three frames!

In interviews Mario’s creator  Miyamoto mentions that his design was dictated by the constraints at the time. How do you stuff so much personality into something 12 pixels high? A smile would have been massive so it became a mustache. His overalls created some definition between his arms and torso.

I am still enamored by the old school graphics, and have been watching a lot of gaming history series on Youtube. One of the opening features a 3D model of an 8-bit Mario, and I wanted to try my hand at recreating the look but in Motion 5 (which doesn’t support 3D models). I used a common work around that involves replicating the graphic multiple times close tother along the X axis, and it worked out pretty well. A spin of the camera reveals his depth.