The Mario Artist franchise is a series of programs that were released only in Japan to help showcase the power of the Nintendo 64DD attachment. The series could be thought of as a spiritual successor to the SNES classic Mario Paint. Every game in the series has been developed by Nintendo EAD and published by Nintendo. The franchise mostly consists of "games" that serve specific purposes, such as a simplistic raster graphics editor and a limited 3D rendering program.
As well as the released games, there were a number of planned releases, such as Mario Artist: Game Maker, Mario Artist: Graphical Message Maker, Mario Artist: Sound Maker, and Mario Artist: Video Jockey Maker. All of these games were later canceled.
Ultimatly because of the 64DD failure the franchise made up about half of the 64DD library. (4 released Mario Artist games vs 9 64DD games released total)
Mario Artist: Paint Studio
Released on December 1, 1999, Mario Artist: Paint Studio is a simple raster graphics editor that is very similar to the previous SNES release, Mario Paint. Paint Studio is even bundled with a Nintendo 64 Mouse. The game allows players to create drawings with a variety of simple tools that are standard for raster graphics editors, such as the pen or pencil tool, fill tool, rectangle tool, etc. In addition, Paint Studio has a variety of pre-created Nintendo based stamps. As well as the single player mode, Paint Studio supports a four player mode where four different players can draw simultaneously on the same canvas.
Mario Artist: Paint Studio is compatible with the Japanese version of the Game Boy Camera, so that players can transfer their drawings and print them out with the Game Boy Printer.
Mario Artist: Polygon Studio
Mario Artist: Polygon Studio is a simple 3D graphics editor released on August 29, 2000, allowing players to edit and render simple 3D renders. The game also features support for a capture cartridge, which supports a connected camera directly to the Nintendo 64. Polygon Studio is also compatible with Mario Artist: Talent Studio, allowing users to take still images from videos and other still pictures (even pictures imported from the Game Boy Camera), and then put them into Talent Studio.
In addition to having a simplistic 3D graphics editor, Polygon Studio has a variety of minigames predating the WarioWare franchise (many of these styled minigames are later used in that franchise).
Mario Artist: Talent Studio
On February 23, 2000, Nintendo released Mario Artist: Talent Studio, an animation production program which allows players to create short videos and animations using still images and 3D models. Still images could be imported from Polygon Studio, the Game Boy Camera, or through the Nintendo 64 Capture Cartridge, and then pasted onto a 3D model. Players could then animate this 3D model into a custom animation. These simple models and the method on which faces are pasted onto them are said to be a predecessor to the Miis on the Nintendo Wii.
Talent Studio is notable for the fact that Totaka's song is believed to be in the game.
Mario Artist: Communication Kit
The last game released in the franchise was released on June 29, 2000. Mario Artist: Communication Kit allows players to connect to the "Net Studio," an online portal where Randnet users could connect and share Paint Studio, Polygon Studio, and Talent Studio creations. In addition, players could organize competitions and order prints of a particular work. The service only ran until February 28, 2001.
As well as the online services, Communication Kit allowed players to unlock certain items that were available in Paint Studio.