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Monday, July 17, 2006

EA Talks UCAP and Tiger Woods

The San Francisco Chronicle talks with D.J. Powers of EA and some of their next gen tech:

"The details of creating art assets for the next-generation platforms are much greater," said Powers. "With the Xbox and PS2 we had it down. But with the next- gen titles, we're having to relearn new hardware systems. It's a burden and there's more learning on the art side."

The new systems, while generating myriad challenges, are also creating plenty of new opportunities to outdo past games. For example, the advanced hardware has enabled Tiger Woods' facial features to come alive through a new technological leap EA has mastered called UCAP, short for universal capture. A mixture of more traditional motion-capture photography and video imaging, the program charts points on Woods' face and blends it together with actual video from three different camera angles, providing the most accurate portrait of a player ever, Powers said.

The UCAP technology is making its premiere on Tiger Woods PGA Tour 07 but it will soon make its way to other titles.
-- Gamemakers keep pushing the envelope

EA's ability to maximize this kind of tech is big money for it's huge library of titles, if they can utlitize it all correctly. Tiger Woods and Sims might seem like completely different games ... but obviously GameFace and dressing your Sim is extremely similar. If EA can package that so that developers can use the same code repeatedly, it would make for a powerful toolset for it's games.

And obviously no article like this can go without a reference to the Uncanny Valley. So here it is:

Uncanny Valley.

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