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Tech Beat: Developer shows off game face tech
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If you want to know how it's done, the secret lies inside a bubble: "it" being how sports video games are able to make the virtual players look so similar to the real ones.
EA Sports recently gave YNN’s sister station NY1 a behind-the-scenes look at what it calls a head scan session, inviting our cameras to the English Premier League's Tottenham Hotspur photo shoot for FIFA 13 due out in September.
"It actually uses digital SLR cameras, 18 of them, and they're paired into nine pods as we call them which are surrounding each of the subjects in a 360-degree volume, and they all take pictures, they're all synchronized they take pictures at exactly the same moment to capture 360-degrees around a player's head, three minutes in and out the players are done just like that," Nigel Nunn with EA Sports said.
Developers say it takes about four days to then make the photos into an avatar and they insist the quality is so good that they have to bump them down a few notches just to work with today's consoles, meaning the images taken now should last about 10 years into the future.
Many of the players will tell you no matter how many medals or trophies or championships they win there's still nothing quite like seeing themselves playing as themselves in a video game to help them realize they've truly made it.
"When you're young the first time you ever see yourself is great, you know. Not if you're rubbish in the game though," Tottenham Hotspur Midfielder David Bentley said.
"It's maybe a little bit strange, the kids out there playing with you, pushing you and the team, I suppose. You know as kids you always play the games and now to be in it, it's good," says Tottenham Hotspur Captain Michael Dawson.
EA says it's actually trying to capture images of about 11,000 pro soccer players for FIFA 13. Those it misses have new renderings done by hand or old ones are just spruced up.
As for facial expressions and the ever-changing hair styles, again due to the limitations of today's consoles, generic versions are layered over also by hand.