Patrick Cowan, Lighting Artist for Madden NFL 11, has posted a new blog on the lighting improvements.
"I'm Patrick Cowan, Lighting Artist for EA Sports in Orlando. In the article that follows, I will be sharing a few of the exciting improvements to our lighting approach in Madden NFL 11, with a focus on increased broadcast fidelity.
Some of the more dramatic examples of these changes can be seen in our night games and dome stadiums, so much of what follows will address those game settings. Due to the fact that both settings are lit primary by artificial light sources, they present unique challenges to the artist.
One of the ways we pushed for increased broadcast integrity was in the lighting of our stadiums. Previously our night and dome stadiums were lit for maximum visibility of the crowd and thus were not consistent with typical broadcast camera exposures. In Madden 11 we attempted to better emulate how stadiums appear when the exposure is set for the action on the field. Using a variety of reference material, we attempted to closely approximate the patterns of light and shadow unique to the individual stadiums.
In real world photography, the light and dark values of a subject can vary considerably from shot to shot depending on the exposure settings. In Madden NFL we are working with one universal exposure, so it was necessary to create a unified look which works across the board, regardless of which of our hundreds of animated cameras is active. The end result is night and dome stadiums which have considerably more contrast and shape to the lighting than in previous versions of the game and tonal values for the crowd which prevent it from visually competing with the action during game play."