Taking a real world arena or stadium and replicating it into video game format is a process that takes time, energy and effort from a wide range of experts across multiple different fields.
That’s no different for Madison Square Garden, the World’s Most Famous Arena, which recently went through a historic three-year Transformation.
To peel back the curtain a bit, we chatted with Eric Sherwood, Senior Environment Artist on NBA LIVE.
Scroll down and go behind the scenes at The Garden.
How long did the process take to render Madison Square Garden?
We started with several hours of exclusive access to The Garden where we captured the arena using laser scanners and photography reference. Then it took one month of work for completion of The Garden asset based on that data.
How many real world images did you need to take in order to replicate The Garden?
We used a laser scanner to survey the arena down to millimeters of detail along with over 400 pictures covering details from the court, stanchions, and the arena itself.
How many cameras in total did you need to use to render Madison Square Garden in game?
We used one laser scanner to plot the arena, a Spheron camera to capture the game lighting, and three traditional SLR cameras to capture photography of the arena for textures and general reference.
Madison Square Garden is The World’s Most Famous Arena. What are some of the smaller details that had to be replicated in game?
One of the most iconic elements of The Garden is its world famous ceiling, which was restored as part of the Transformation, so we paid extra attention to capture those details.
What were the challenges in making sure the Transformed Madison Square Garden was captured in its entirety?
The challenge was some of the areas were still under construction when we were there to capture it so we had to compare our data with the end result of the arena’s Transformation, too.
What would surprise some people about the process of capturing The Garden?
That we laser scan the arena for a 4-6 hour period of capture where we are primarily the only people in the arena.
How many people worked on the team capturing images? Was it one person or a big team?
It was a team of three people. Two of our environment artists and our lead lighter.