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Madden 2010 News Post

EA has posted another Madden NFL 10 blog, as they break down the first screenshot, posted a couple of days ago.

Quote:
"Two days ago, Peter Moore released the first official Madden NFL 10 screenshot on his blog [link]. These are pretty exciting times for the community and for us on the development team. For us it is a chance to see what the community thinks of our hard work to this point.

Some of you may know me from last year, but if not, I'm Michael Young, the Art Director for Madden NFL 10 and NCAA Football 10. I'm in my second season as Art Director for Madden NFL and first on NCAA. I'm also an avid sports photographer, and through my roles on Madden and NBA Street, I have been able to shoot some amazing events from the sidelines of big time sporting events, including Super Bowl XLIII. In today's blog, I'm going to go to really dive into some detail on one of our new features that you likely will have noticed right off the bat: Depth of Field. In addition, I will talk about the 9 other Madden NFL 10 enhancements shown in the shot unveiled on Peter's blog."

Madden NFL 10 screenshot gallery - Click to view
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Madden NFL 10 Videos
Member Comments
# 1 Obelysk @ 03/25/09 09:15 AM
Errr.. I cant see the link, I am at work can you post them on your opening post?
 
# 2 frankrizzo380 @ 03/25/09 09:15 AM
MY is so passionate about his work this game is gonna own!!!
 
# 3 sportzbro @ 03/25/09 09:16 AM
got up early just to read it before school.

thanks for the link
 
# 4 frankrizzo380 @ 03/25/09 09:17 AM
for u hard workin ppl out there;
Quote:
Breaking Down "The Shot" - The first Madden NFL 10 screenshot

Posted On: Mar. 24, 2009 6:13 PM EST By: EA_IanCummings 1 Comments
Two days ago, Peter Moore released the first official Madden NFL 10 screenshot on his blog [link]. These are pretty exciting times for the community and for us on the development team. For us it is a chance to see what the community thinks of our hard work to this point.

Some of you may know me from last year, but if not, I'm Michael Young, the Art Director for Madden NFL 10 and NCAA Football 10. I'm in my second season as Art Director for Madden NFL and first on NCAA. I'm also an avid sports photographer, and through my roles on Madden and NBA Street, I have been able to shoot some amazing events from the sidelines of big time sporting events, including Super Bowl XLIII. In today's blog, I'm going to go to really dive into some detail on one of our new features that you likely will have noticed right off the bat: Depth of Field. In addition, I will talk about the 9 other Madden NFL 10 enhancements shown in the shot unveiled on Peter's blog.










Ben Roethlisberger scans the field looking to pass in Super Bowl XLIII. Can you find all 10 Madden NFL 10 upgrades?


Depth of Field
For Madden NFL 10 and NCAA Football 10 we have an all new realistic Depth of Field system calibrated to match real world cameras. This single enhancement not only improves the visual quality of the game but it will allow us to reproduce a broadcast experience unlike ever before.
What is depth of field (DOF)?
DOF is a film/photography term used to describe the part of an image that appears sharp or in focus. In the image below Adrian Peterson is within the DOF thus appears to be sharp while the players in pursuit appear soft. These blurred or fuzzy areas are referred to as Bokeh. Notice how this bokeh allows the viewer to clearly isolate Peterson from the rest of the pack.

A shot I took of Adrian Peterson as he broke away for one of his two TDs against the Eagles in their 2009 playoff matchup.


How it Works:
The DOF is determined by 3 factors: The subjects distance to the lens, the lens focal length (In general terms how wide or zoomed in you are), and the lens aperture. In previous Madden's none of these were factored into determining the DOF.
Madden NFL 08 was the last time we feature DOF in the game, and there was simply a fixed point in space with everything beyond it being simply 'blurred'. See image below.
In Madden NFL 10, there is now both a near and far plane. In addition, the near and far plane will dynamically adjust based on the subject's distance to the lens, the focal length, and the aperture. See image below:

When designing this effect, what we wanted was to build a camera model so that anyone on the team (regardless of their knowledge of cameras) could create a shot and the DOF would 'just work' in a real and believable way. In real life a photographer doesn't build the camera before he or she can take pictures right? What we had done for years in our games was develop tools that allowed people to essentially tweak the insides of the camera, even if they had no idea what they were doing. This unintentionally allowed people to create cameras that just felt wrong. One of the most common things seen in games is the over use of narrow DOF, which I'll illustrate in the images below. The first is of a cityscape. On the right is the original photo, and on the left is what happens when DOF is too narrow. The image on the left is altered and feels wrong - the narrow DOF his essentially makes everything look like miniatures. The next image is of Madden NFL 08, which suffers from the same issue. The players portray more of an action figure feel, than that of large NFL players.

An example of unnatural use of DOF. An effect referred to as tilt shift lens, simulated here in Photoshop.


Madden NFL 08 with unnatural DOF. The players and stadium feel like miniatures
.
To avoid these pitfalls and get our DOF system correct we put together a library of real world tests that we shot at NFL games. Shooting the reference ourselves allowed us to understand exactly what we were looking at back at the studio. Once the charts were created, our amazing programmer Andre Pham calibrated our in-game system to match each instance. From there he was able to generate formulas and algorithms to drive the dynamics of the system.

Pictured is Madden senior lighter and fellow photo buff Jeff Ostergaard on one of our many research trips to NFL games.

The diagrams below show the effects of focal length and subject distance to lens on DOF. Notice that the further away the subject is from the lens the larger the DOF (larger area appearing in focus). In the above chart you can see that shooting a subject that is 10 yards away (With the same focal length) has a more narrow DOF than shooting a subject 30 yards away.

A lens can focus at only one distance and the sharpness will gradually falloff on both sides of the focus distance. In Madden and NCAA this gradual falloff to the blur effect mimics what one would expect in a real camera. In past implementations of DOF there was no concept of varying amounts of blur.


A graphical representation of the gradual falloff of DOF in Madden NFL 10.


A visual representation of the gradual falloff of DOF in NCAA Football 10.

Below you can see a study on the effects of getting the same framing using the same f-stop, but getting two dramatically different DOF sizes based on distance to the lens and the focal length.


Benefits:
Depth of Field helps direct the eye - making busy and distracting shots appear ordered. Artists often use a narrow DOF to remove the subject from distracting background elements. Check out the following shots to see an example of how DOF can improve an otherwise busy shot.


For years we have avoided telephoto focal lengths in our cameras - post play especially - to avoid these very messy images. Unfortunately a large portion of broadcast cameras are very telephoto. Now with our DOF we can match broadcast cameras and create more visually appealing shots in both NCAA Football 10 and Madden NFL 10.

Other Improvements Explained
Single Digit Helmet #s
We have added the ability to center single digit #s on our helmets. Although a small touch, I know Steeler Nation (Including myself) will sleep well knowing Big Ben's helmet is accurate in the game. Ian was happy that we have the Giants correctly emulating this as well.
Super Bowl Patches
Teams will wear Super Bowl patches on their jerseys for the big game, whether you are reliving Super Bowl XLIII or in year 30 of your franchise.
Custom Super Bowl Fields
Utilizing the same tech as NCAA for custom bowl endzones and field art, Madden NFL 10 features team specific end zones, midfield logos, and player boxes that are dynamically configured whether you are reliving Super Bowl XLIII, or in year 30 of your franchise.
Towels
Authentic player towels are in and fully animating, complete with Wilson and NFL Equipment logos. They can be assigned to any player, but can not be moved to the middle of the body (unfortunately due to major clipping issues that were occurring).
Referees on the Field
Unlike last-gen which only had 5, we were able to get all 7 referees in to Madden NFL 10 with AI and a full suite of avoidance (and collision) animations.
Chain Gang on the Sidelines
Because you see it on Sunday, the chain gang has been added back. They dynamically move up and down the sideline giving clear indication of the first down spot and line of scrimmage.
Steelers Don't Wear Captains Patches
And they won't in our game either. Same goes for the Cowboys.
Secondary Color Equipment
Each player will be tagged with the proper color gear. Santonio Holmes wears yellow gloves, so expect him in yellow gloves.
Better Nameplates
Since Madden NFL 06, the letters on the back of the jerseys have all been somewhat squished to account for longer names like Houshmanzadeh. This has been fixed with a new dynamic sizing algorithm, so all names now look correct.


Lastly, we saw a lot of feedback about people thinking that Roethlisberger wasn't quite big enough. So, we made a quick pass and tuned him up a little bit - things like shoulder pads, arms, chest, etc. So here it is - a bigger, better "Big Ben".


I've revealed 10 Madden NFL 10 enhancements here, but there are even more improvements in the shot that we aren't quite ready to talk about.
As you can see we are very serious about getting to those little details. Our feeling is that every single player is probably someone's favorite, so if we get that character wrong in any way, the Madden experience is less than what it could be for that fan.
Hopefully you have enjoyed reading about DOF and the other enhancements. As Ian has said in past blogs, "Everything you see on Sunday, see it in Madden NFL"...cameras are no exception.
Thanks for reading,

Michael Young
Art director, Madden and NCAA Football


Tagged: Madden, NCAA Football, Screenshots, Depth of Field, Mike Young
 
# 5 drlw322 @ 03/25/09 09:19 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Obelysk
Errr.. I cant see the link, I am at work can you post them on your opening post?
here you go
 
# 6 Bgamer90 @ 03/25/09 09:21 AM
This is some very interesting stuff.

Good job on the blog Mike.
 
# 7 thmst30 @ 03/25/09 09:21 AM
Great blog, very technical but awesome.
 
# 8 Unforgiven @ 03/25/09 09:22 AM
This is the year my friends..

When's the last time something technical in MADDEN was confusing to most of us?
 
# 9 Phobia @ 03/25/09 09:23 AM
This will help the presentation greatly. Making it feel more TV like
 
# 10 Phobia @ 03/25/09 09:25 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by boucher
I don't get the pic of big ben look at the receiver without the ball
The ball was thrown, it is in the upper right of the screen
 
# 11 ngoulding @ 03/25/09 09:28 AM
A little technical for me but main thing is that the game looks stunning. I wonder if we'll be able to take pictures in replay to take full advantage of these additions? Would be nice to keep a scrapbook of the best action shots from your franchise
 
# 12 RGiles36 @ 03/25/09 09:34 AM
Definitely a little technical!! But I can appreciate that and the additional information. New screens look great.
 
# 13 Phobia @ 03/25/09 09:37 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by boucher
Ahh thanks man
np bro
 
# 14 Hassan Darkside @ 03/25/09 09:41 AM
That screen showing DOF with Kurt Warner looks amazing. His face looks so realistic.

Also love to hear this:

"As you can see we are very serious about getting to those little details. Our feeling is that every single player is probably someone's favorite, so if we get that character wrong in any way, the Madden experience is less than what it could be for that fan."
 
# 15 djordan @ 03/25/09 09:47 AM
HELL YEAH BAYY!!! AHHHHHH WHAT!!!!

CUSTOM CAMERA'S ???????? I SAY YES!!!!

Quote:
Hopefully you have enjoyed reading about DOF and the other enhancements. As Ian has said in past blogs, "Everything you see on Sunday, see it in Madden NFL"...cameras are no exception.
 
# 16 shad_moss93 @ 03/25/09 09:50 AM
I was not expecting the blog to come this early, but great work.
 
# 17 shad_moss93 @ 03/25/09 09:52 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Derrville
Animated jerseys?!?!?!
OL/DL interactions
 
# 18 green94 @ 03/25/09 09:53 AM
Love it.
 
# 19 nightcreeper @ 03/25/09 09:54 AM
still kinda too early to tell
 
# 20 polamalu82 @ 03/25/09 09:55 AM
Looking pretty good. In that screen of Ben with the endzone behind him, is it just me or does the towel look pinned to his waist? I understand having towels in the game are important to people but I'm not sure how I feel about that....Sorry to be a downer.
 

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