In an article from the Orlando Sentinel's Walter Pacheco, EA Tiburon is now utilizing new technology to aid in capturing realistic and authentic environments for NCAA Football, Tiger Woods PGA Tour, and other franchises.
Developed locally, the new Focus3D scanner from FARO Technologies allows for the capture of environments while also being travel friendly. Continue on to read an excerpt of Pacheco's article on the scanner.
A Lake Mary, Fla., company's new portable scanner is helping EA Sports improve realism and accuracy in some of its popular sports franchises, officials at the video-game giant say.
EA Sports environmental artists and other employees have been traveling the country since August scanning stadiums, courts, putting greens and cheerleaders using a Focus3D scanner from FARO Technologies.
The FARO scanner, the size of a small toaster, shoots a laser beam into a rapidly spinning mirror that captures every nook, cranny, blade of grass and other minute detail as individual points - about 1 million of them per second.
Those points compose an image called a point cloud that is later manipulated with photographs to create even more realistic-looking environments for EA's forthcoming Tiger Woods PGA Tour, NCAA Football and NBA Live video games.
"The levels of accuracy in the FARO scanner help us deliver a more sophisticated surface detail," said EA Sports art director Paul Kashuk. "We're already seeing the benefits of this across our label as more of EA's teams are becoming interested in the technology."
Accuracy rules in the video-game industry because it helps drive the player's experience, especially in EA's sports franchises.
Kashuk said officials at EA Sports will slowly phase out the current Leica scanner, which was used to develop the 3D scans of Augusta National Golf Club featured in Tiger Woods PGA Tour 12: The Masters and for many of the company's games. The cost of the FARO scanner is about $42,000.
"Despite the higher level of accuracy, portability was a key factor in acquiring the new scanner," Kashuk said. "The Leica scanner is big and has to be shipped in a massive container. We really needed to find an alternative. The FARO scanner fits in a backpack or carry-on luggage." Officials can now scan more venues with added detail and less hassle.
Greg Richards of FARO Technologies said portability and speed in capturing images add to the scanner's accuracy. "We've made the Focus3D very fast, and it's about 11 pounds," Richards said. "It's a more versatile product that delivers a very accurate image."
The images captured by the scanner can also be rendered in true 3D - which means users can use special glasses to make images appear as if they are jumping off flat-screen, 3D televisions. However, EA's CEO John Riccitiello said the company currently is not exploring that option.
Click here to read the entire article from the Orlando Sentinel.