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Redskins Players Have Heads Scanned For Madden Video Game

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Ever wonder how the EA Sports Madden NFL video game gathers faces for their life-like graphics?

Ever wonder how EA gets player faces into their "Madden" series? This is how. Redskins received their Madden facial scans at Redskins Park on Wednesday, June 10, 2015.

Wednesday afternoon at Redskins Park, players had the opportunity to witness the process, turning their faces into virtual replicas thanks to some unique new technology set up inside the cafeteria. 

Video game designers and representatives from EA Sports sat players down in front of 12 HD cameras, lined tightly in two rows, which were rigged to a computer that helps transfer all of the data and imagery. Sitting for about two minutes, the cameras took a series of photos as players turned different directions to capture the full contours of their face.

"It's important to the players and their families to be, in game, as authentic as possible," said Patrick Bellanca, an EA Sports designer. "So we've got this piece of technology that we've taken out to all of our sports titles. We're using it for basketball, we're using it for hockey and soccer and football."

Several years ago, the process would have taken much longer. Designers would source for AP images and have artists paint faces of each player. Now, the enhanced technology speeds up the process and makes artists' jobs easier.

"This lets us do hundreds of faces in a very short amount of time, which has given us the ability to just dump hundreds and hundreds of players into Madden last year and this year," Ballanca said. "Moving forward, it's just a win all the way around."

As more Redskins waited in line -- some tried to make the others laugh – the rookies seemed to enjoy the prospects of being in a popular video game the most.

"They love it," Bellanca said. "Guys are excited to be a part of it. Rookies will say, 'this experience has all been very cool, being drafted and all that, but I really feel like I made it to the NFL when I sat down to get my head scanned for Madden.'"

Players received backpacks and will get a copy of the game when it officially releases before the season, a time when many will be eagerly awaiting their personal rating results.

The EA Sports team will continue touring all 32 NFL teams' facilities to acquire the most amounts of scans before adding them to the game, which Ballanca is looking forward to this year.

"Madden is going to be great this year," he said. "It's a little early to talk features. E3 is coming next week. A lot of great stuff is going to be announced at that point. People are going to love the way Madden looks, our graphics are always on point, lots of new player faces in our game this year and just a lot to look forward to." 

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