Prior to working on Smash Ultimate, Yusuke Nakano notably served as the main character designer for The Legend Of Zelda: Twilight Princess, and has been illustrating since as far back as Ocarina Of Time. According to Nakano, the idea for the “Everyone Is Here” mural was Masahiro Sakurai’s, and a great deal of care went into ensuring that all the characters in the mural were accurately represented there.
Check out what he had to say below:
How the idea got started:
Nakano: “The idea came from Sakurai-san of creating a giant mural that could show off how impactful the game was at E3 and other promotional events. It was decided that it would feature hand-drawn art with realistic proportions, and I would be the main person working on it as it would be the quickest.
Regarding the artstyle, I first showed off Breath of the Wild’s Link, and Mario in an oil painting style and showed it to Sakurai-san. He liked it and gave the go-ahead, and it was a smooth start. Out of all the characters, the first two I illustrated were those two.”
The magic trick behind the changing artwork:
Nakano: “First, with the 66 Fighters revealed at E3, I considered ‘what pose they would make’ and ‘how they would be placed’ on the long canvas, by drawing rough linework and piecing it together like a puzzle. The Fighters in Smash Bros. are all main characters, so I didn’t place them focused around the center, but averaged them out around the artwork. The theme was that no matter which part you cropped, there would be sights to behold.
Furthermore, by averaging out their positions, it had the advantage of being easier to add in the additional characters. Regarding the additional characters, I already had an idea of where to place them, but they were mostly placed through trial and error.
While thinking of the overall compositional balance and character poses, I would check on the poses with all the characters’ original creators, and also think about how it would look both horizontally and vertically… This was all done in parallel, so it was quite a pain, but the overall sketch was finalized surprisingly smoothly. It felt like something descended upon me.”
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