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3D Graphics Outsourcing

The process of creating the content for EA Sports starts by downloading the image data that EA Sports 3D Graphics Outsourcing team had uploaded onto their FTP server – these images are sequential set of photographs of a stadium clicked from the center of the stadium moving from right to left and also from other angles and elevations. These photos are then corrected, aligned, adjusted, retouched, cropped and finished in Adobe Photoshop. Once these images are ready they are exported to a 3D modeling software called “Alias MAYA”

These images are imported and placed onto eight to ten camera projections that are created for each zone within “Maya”. This arrangement gives us a fair idea of how the final stadium is going to look after modeling it. Once the images are in place we begin the stairs and seats creation procedure. This is a classified process which involves running various scripts provided to us by EA Sports 3D Graphics Outsourcing team which creates to-the-scale stairs and seats matching with the actual numbers that are there in a real stadium. Once this step is done, we get to see the shape of the stadium, how it is emerging. Little by little we then start adding in details like railings, misc. property, press boxes and other buildings, seats, mega-trons, TVs, score-boards, light towers, and other fine details that exist in the stadium by looking at the photographs provided to us. Along with all this we also model trees and other structures that are visible while standing in the middle of a stadium to make the scene more realistic and believable. This process is repeated for all the stadiums that we are making. Since this data will go in Next Gen gaming platform (xBox360 and PS3 family) the polygon count is very high and it hardly becomes a limitation (120,000 polygons for each stadium).

Every evening before we wind up the day, all the stadiums are reviewed for any glitches or errors. Each stadium is divided into four zones, which makes it easier for development and error detection and correction. Then each zone is inspected for geometry overlap, scale issues, looks and appearance of the objects, their placement in the 3D graphics designing world and we also see if the naming convention is followed according to the specification given to us by the client.

After the stadiums qualify this testing round, they are zipped in a file and uploaded onto our server to be reviewed by the client- we notify the client through e-mails once the data is uploaded and ready to be reviewed by them. Since USA and India have a12 hour time difference – it works in tandem to the projects development life cycle. 

The EA Sports 3D Graphics Outsourcing team reviews our work and sends us the feedback by night, so, when we come back the next day- the client inputs are already in our e-mails and they are addressed on an immediate basis.

The stadium process is divided into three phases: 

Blocked-out Model Phase

Here we block-out all the geometry which is to be created in the final scene – no details just plain boxes to give a fair idea of how the final result will look like and also to see if the scales are in proportion. At this stage the model goes to the client for the Art Director’s review. We get his feedback and suggestions if any, and they are incorporated while we proceed with our next phase.

Final Model Phase

In this Process we start adding details to our blocked out models, like the blocked building model will start getting the windows, doors, floors or levels, roofs… further we will add glass panes, TV sets, seat lights and similar details which will be visible during the game play. This process is carried for everything, which is blocked-out, we go out to the last detail of the model. Also portions are identified where the detailing can be taken care of with the help of 3D texturing like: trees, cables, advert. Boards etc. Once we have completed this stage the file is again sent for the Art Director’s approval. 

And the Third Stage is:

UV Mapped and Texturing Phase

In this phase the finished detailed model is prepared for UV alignment and 3D texturing. Each object is studied carefully to create very optimized and logical UV maps which can be transferred on similar objects. Special care is taken while texturing to avoid repeats and visible seams on places like walls and stairs.

All the three phases take about 200 man-hours from start to finish.

Following this production pipeline we are able to successfully complete the task.

This game is scheduled for release in last quarter of 2006.

We are fully equipped and capable to offer 3D rendering outsourcing services in still and motion formats. We also offer animated cinematic sequences. The formats that we render in are:

TGA, JPEG, BMP, IFF, AVI, MOV, MPEG I and MPEG II, WMV, FLV

For stills the standard resolution is 1K or 1024x1024 pixels. And go up to 4K resolution – price is related to the size of render because 4k image will take four times the time to render to what a 1K image will take.

Client Tale

Evelyn Oraka
President/CEO - learningpointe.co.uk

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