The Mario Artist
series was a collection of creativity programs for the Nintendo 64
add-on drive. Since the 64DD
was only released in Japan
, the series never saw the light of day in the USA. The main premise behind each of the Mario Artist
titles is to create art and share your work with others.
Paint Studio was the first Mario Artist title to be released (December 1999). Regarded as Mario Paint on steroids, this title was also bunded with the Nintendo 64 Mouse (which also never was released in the USA). Some of the interface from Mario Paint was recycled to give the program a familiar feel. Some of the features of this title included the ability to export creations to other games, such as SimCity 64.
Talent Studio (February 2000), a simple movie-maker program, included the Nintendo 64 Capture Cartridge that allowed budding artists to connect their 64DDs and Nintendo 64s to a VCR or camcorder to record their creations on to tape. This capture cartridge was also compatible with Paint Studio, allowing still-shot creations to be exported to tape as well. The Game Boy Camera could also be connected to the unit to allow pictures of faces to be imported into the program.
The Communication Kit (June 2000) took sharing artwork beyond simple video tape and allowed artists to upload their creations in Talent Studio and Paint Studio to the Nintendo RandNet service. Aside from simple sharing the service also served as the gateway to art contests and offered real-world print services. Of course all of this was provided for a monthly fee. The service was shutdown in February 2001, severely diminishing the value of the Communication Kit.
The final release in the series, Polygon Studio (August 2000), took the tools in Paint Studio and extended them into the world of 3D art. Artists could now sculpt and create work in 3D. This title also connected to the Communication Kit.
When future development on 64DD titles was cancelled there were several additional Mario Artist titles in the works. The following titles were never completed or released:
Some have speculated that the Mario Artist series could see a revival on the Nintendo GameCube, but at this time Nintendo has not announced plans to do so.