How Konami brings the world’s great footballers to life in astonishing detail
Getting players to feel like they’re on the pitch and playing alongside their favourite team has always been a huge part of the PES series. And one of the ways we can achieve this is by making each football star immediately recognisable, not just from the player names, but also visually.
Back in the PSone and PS2 days, all that could be done was apply a skin to a model, but now with the new generation of consoles, we can delve into it much deeper. We can now make the faces and hairstyles much more detailed and can even replicate the nuances in his running or shooting style in what we call our “PES ID”.
The beauty about all of this is that we are not the only ones who get excited with recreating our favourite players, but the fans throughout the years have also joined in, creating some really incredible mods which range from just a few more faces, to complete re-skins of our teams and even our game menus!
That’s one of the reasons why every year we try our best to bring the latest technology into our process; to continue showing our fans that we put as much effort into our game as they do. Because bottom line, we love PES too!
This year, with our debut on next-gen, we had to step up our game. To re-create faces in our football game, the most common method is for the clubs themselves to send us high-res pictures of their players from different angles, and then the 3D artists sculpt on model them free-hand, trying to make them as accurate as possible. But now, thanks to the new engine and console capabilities, we brought in 3D scanning, as seen in our recent capturing session with Mario Götze.
The setup is like something taken out of a futuristic movie. It takes around three hours to set up a small area which is carefully mapped with between six and eight high resolution cameras. The player, in this case Mario, then sits in a revolving chair in the middle while we take hundreds of simultaneous photos.
Interestingly enough, while the set-up takes several hours, the actual capturing takes around 10 minutes. It gives for a pretty surreal image when you’re watching from afar!
But why is this process so lengthy and meticulous? One word: lighting! Everything needs to be illuminated just right, to make sure it is as much of a controlled environment as possible. This allows the development team to get the in-game textures just right, bringing the player to life on the pitch.
This process takes around two to three days, because it’s not just about mapping the photos on a 3D model, but the model itself also needs to be sculpted to match the player’s face. It’s an extremely strenuous and detailed work, but the results are worth it in the end!
In PES 2015, using a mix of both 3D modelling and 3D sculpting, the team has managed to generate over 1,000 real player faces, but the work doesn’t stop there! We’ll keep implementing more and more faces throughout the year in our efforts to make every player look like their real life counterpart.
Make sure you don’t miss the behind the scenes video of our Mario Götze 3D capture below. It should make for an interesting watch and will wet your whistle for our epic launch trailer!
Don’t forget PES 2015 releases on 13th November for both PS4 and PS3 and if you pre-order on the PlayStation Store today, you’ll get exclusive content for our new myClub mode! The king is back and the pitch is ours!