WA WA Welcome to the Paper Mario tutorial!
After you finish this video, you’ll be able to design, draw, and animate any character
you want in the Paper Mario style. The art style between games is significantly different,
so I’m focusing on The Thousand Year Door. By the way, promotional art for the games
doesn’t match the actual style, so be careful if you use those as reference. Even though
it would be amazing to get a Paper Mario game like this. We’ll be doing everything in 2D. Use your
programs of choice – this tutorial isn’t specific to any one program. I’m drawing
in Illustrator and After Effects today. Let’s start by sketching a character design.
The game has tons of unique creatures, so there are really only a few guidelines to
follow. Eyes. Most are some type of plain dot, dot
inside a circle, or accessory that covers eyes.
Mouths. Some characters have one, some don’t, and some only have a visible one when talking.
Arms tend to be stubby – an upper part and a hand.
Legs are very rare. Most characters have floating shoe feet, partially or fully covered feet,
or no feet at all. Due to the variety of species in Mario, it
helps if there’s something in game that looks even a little like what you want. For
instance humans will be similar to Mario, Luigi, Peach, or one of the other humanoid
characters. A mouse could be this or this or this. So if you wanted to do a tiny wolf
and used Ms. Mowz as inspiration – bam. Then you also have an idea of what its animations
would look like. Waluigi’s mouth is inspired by Flavio. When
he talks it’d be animated like this. As we move to the next step, I’d like to
thank this tutorial’s sponsor Skillshare. Since you’re here on YouTube I’m sure
you’ve seen your fair share of tutorials like the following:
Here is the Skillshare version: Skillshare has thousands of classes, many
of them specifically for artists and animators PLUS all of the business stuff you need to
know if you want to make art for money. I’m already freaking out seeing the classes in
Skillshare that are so important for beginners but are hard to find anywhere else because
they get buried in the usual deluge of internet garbage. And if you’re not a beginner, then
you’re like me getting excited because Skillshare has advanced courses and workshops – stuff
you’d normally pay a ton of money to get in college or direct from a famous artist. So if you’re tired of wading through crummy
tutorials, use the link in the description to get 2 free months of as many high quality
classes and workshops as you can handle on Skillshare! It’s time to draw the Paper Mario puppet
pieces. I’m vectoring each piece to have better control over lines. Outlines are not black. Except for eye pupils,
every character part has a colored outline that is a darker shade of the main fill color.
This applies to things inside the body line too, so accessories get their own line. Line
ends are sharp at the tips. Line thickness varies a lot. In some places
Luigi has thicker outlines than Mario. Bowser has pressure sensitive lines, but the Punies
have even, thin lines. The general rule is the bigger the character, the thicker their
lines. So characters of the same size have about the same type of lines. Details are
thinner. There are rare no-outlline exceptions. Mario
and Luigi’s overalls, hat emblem, white pattern on Yoshis. So if an outline is causing
too much clutter, try removing it. Color your pieces. Probably the hardest thing about Paper Mario
style is pieces have soft shading. On the edges of a piece you have a hard highlight,
but it’s not a lighter color, the shadow is simply erased. Use gradient fills and an
inner-facing stroke color to get this effect, or brush the shadow on and erase or transform. Rig your character. Set the pivot points.
Duplicate arms and feet. The first animation I’ll show you how to
do is a turn because it is affected by how you rig your character. When Paper Mario characters
turn around, they are NOT flat art. This would be wrong. If your program doesn’t have 3D space, you
can make a turn by squishing and skewing your art. The art will be flat but honestly only
people who’ve watched this tutorial are likely to know *this* is what a style accurate
turn looks like. The fastest way to properly set up a turn
is to slightly space out key pieces on the Z axis. Too much and limbs will fly off. Most
professional 2D animation programs have a 3D multiplane feature you can do this in.
Free ones generally do not. In order to make sure your pieces don’t
end up like this on the flip side, only rotate the puppet halfway. Then flip the puppet on
the X axis and rotate back to 0 degrees. Adjust the starting angle of the rotation’s second
half. Add easing. To flip the other way, reverse keyframes.
Every character has a unique idle animation. Most characters with feet rock up on their
toes. Set your down keyframe. Set your up keyframe. Copy and paste the first keyframe
to the end. Add easing. You can give your character personality by changing the timing
of individual puppet parts and the cycle itself. Run animations with feet are incredibly easy.
The feet swing around the body the same as a pendulum. Arms move barely, if at all. The
body moves up and down, so you may add some bounciness to accessories and hair. In the end you’ll have three keyframes with
your character up in the air and two keyframes touching the ground. Mario has a back facing run, but his partners
stay the same perspective. If you want to be fancy like Mario, you need to frame-frame
animate shoes. Regular shoe, bent shoe, unbending ¾ shoe, and ¾ shoe. Now you have a Paper Mario character with
basic animations. You’re free to experiment with other actions, poses, and animations
you want to add to them. Visit my channel for other tutorials on how
to copy various popular 2D animation styles, plus lessons about animation in general. If
you love Scribble Kibble, I have official merchandise at my Redbubble store. And you
can help create original animations by joining my Patreon. — Oh. Ohhh. That’s horrifying. It’s like