Without question, soccer is the most popular sport in the world, so it comes as no surprise that EA Sports’ FIFA series has become one of the most popular video game franchises in the world. With their latest offering set to release on Sept. 27, EA Sports upped the ante again, using new technology to create still more authentic player models.
EA Sports is known for their use of motion capture technology, which brings a level of realism to FIFA that many thought impossible. “The list of players we have used for motion capture during the current console cycle for PS3/X360 includes Ronaldinho, Wayne Rooney, Miroslav Klose, Sergio Ramos, Franck Ribéry and many, many others,” says producer David Rutter.
For FIFA 12, EA Sports traveled throughout Europe for 18 months taking 3D head scans of players on teams like Chelsea, Marseille, Aston Villa and Man City. These head scans add yet another level of realism to the game—for example, even Rooney’s hairline got updated in FIFA 12.
According to Rutter, the process takes about five minutes per player. “The [athlete] sits in what we call a diffusion dome with nine stereoscopic camera pairs [18 cameras total] positioned to get a 360-degree capture of a person in a split second. These high quality images are used to build a 3D head and resurfaced player model. The images are digitally molded together to texture the face. The post-production process involves an artist refining details for ‘true-to-life’ likeness.”
Given the game’s recent win as Best Console Game at Gamescom, FIFA 12 is sure to impress soccer fans and players. And fans have themselves to thank for the added jolt of realism. “The development team really trolls the forums and listens to what the kids are saying, trying to incorporate their ideas into features in the game,” says Steve Frost, EA Sports communications strategist. “That’s been a huge reason for the success of the game in recent years. We actually build the features that kids are talking about in the forums. Not many people realize this, but our producers all read the forums looking for hot button ideas that are resonating with the gamers.”
Stay tuned for more updates on FIFA 12 by checking in with STACK Gaming.