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How does one make a viral animated video?

Blog, April 01, 2015

How does one make a viral animated video? Not as easy as it seems! The creation of promotion video “Mario Jumps into Battle”.

This article is dedicated to the creation process of viral videos (in particular, a Mario themed video) that at first glance seem very simple to produce, but in reality turns out to be the result of very hard and painstaking work of a dedicated artist. The object of today’s discussion is an amateur video starring Nintendo’s Super Mario. In the video one can see the most famous Italian plumber busy with shopping in an actual store of the capital of Japan before recalling that he had to urgently go to the Nintendo’s approaching event, Super Smash Bros. for Wii U and 3DS. To be in time for the event he had to hurry up and dart through the city.

The video took the game community by storm thanks to its fantastic artistic quality and talented merging of fictional and non-fictional elements. It was noticed and shared by quite a few of gaming websites and earned truckloads of views literally overnight. However, it is worth remembering that such small animations hardly ever appear out of nowhere. It take a lot of time and dedication to produce one.

The animation, in which a 3-D Mario was placed into our physical realm in several famous Tokyo places including the glorious Shibuya Scramble crossroad, is the epitome of high-quality viral videos. No wonder, the internet community took notice of it.

In case you for some strange reason managed to overlook it, here is a complete version.

Nevertheless, one thing is still unclear: how to create a video like that? If you are interested in the technical details there are available several tutorials in which 3-D artist Dean Wright paying tribute to the game clarified various unknown details about the production.

After shooting the photos of the places he planned to make Mario crisscross in the animation – even going so far as to capture these spherical High Dynamic Range images to make sure he had not made any errors with lightning – the Tokyo artist spent a whole month merge all the parts of the 1m3s video together.

video viral mario tutorial

Dean says he used only a laptop to accomplish the work. He spent days and nights busy rendering to get full use of the limited machine time. To stay close to the original Mario he employed the real models from the Smash Bros Brawl Wii game as a foundation and reconstructed and refined the textures to boost the quality for full HD rendering.

Oh, is that all!

Look at this part of creation process footage taken from Dean’s blog. After you realize how much time and effort was spent for the animation production, not to “like” it on YouTube is just a sin, isn’t it!?

The iconic game plumber using his “Suica” card to buy the train ticket


Stop, you say there was no real person taking a nap between those two passengers!?

metro (1)

Oh, and when you see Mario running around corners and jumping down those staircases in the film? That’s all based on photos the artist took of himself rashing around the city like a lunatic. silly mario tutorial video

He claims to be a strong believer in applying reference footage as a foundation for animated videos. He is used to act as an idiot on camera so this project was fun for him! Regardless of how you may feel about video games, such work of die-hard fans is inspiring!

If you want a similar video, it might be worth consulting with our video production team or just let them do the work for you.