Even the Dons skip­per can’t iden­tify his CGI team­mates, can you?

Evening Express (City Final) - - Front Page - BY RYAN CRYLE

THE lat­est edi­tion of the hugely pop­u­lar foot­ball game FIFA 19 has hit the shops – but the bizarre ap­pear­ance of some Dons play­ers has raised eye­brows with the real-life team’s cap­tain.

The game lets play­ers take con­trol of their favourite teams from around the world and its maker EA Sports boasts the 3D face-scan­ning tech­nol­ogy is state-of-the-art. How­ever, while some of the Aberdeen avatars are re­mark­ably sim­i­lar to the ac­tual play­ers, a few look de­cid­edly odd. Long-haired striker Ste­vie May’s dis­tinc­tive pony­tail looks wor­ry­ingly like a mul­let, while the com­puter pro­gram­mers be­hind the game have seem­ingly spent a lot of ef­fort in­flat­ing team-mate Niall Mcginn’s nose. The Evening Ex­press showed skip­per Graeme Shin­nie – a self-con­fessed fan of the game – the new avatars to get his ver­dict, start­ing with his own. He wasn’t im­pressed – and even strug­gled to iden­tify some of his team-mates. “Is that me?” Graeme said. “I’ve grown my beard a wee bit, but that’s aw­ful. It’s an in­jus­tice. I’m bet­ter look­ing than that.” Af­ter mak­ing two failed at­tempts to name Niall Mcginn – he thought it was ei­ther Mark Reynolds or Gary Mackay-steven – we had to give him the an­swer. “That’s never Mcginn!” he laughed. “I’ve not got the game yet, but that’s put me off now.” EA Sports uses mo­tion cap­ture and face-scan­ning tech­nol­ogy to recre­ate stars in pixel form – how­ever not all clubs get that treat­ment, in­clud­ing Aberdeen. The tech­nol­ogy uses a process called pho­togram­me­try, which maps a face us­ing pho­tographs which are then run through spe­cial pro­grams. They look at each pic­ture and the soft­ware finds unique iden­ti­fiers – such as freck­les or skin pores – which, once com­pared, cre­ates a map of that player’s face. By us­ing those unique iden­ti­fiers and that map, their 3D rep­re­sen­ta­tion can then be cre­ated. It’s not bad news for all the Dons play­ers though. On-loan striker James Wil­son’s face is very sim­i­lar – an in­di­ca­tion that his was scanned while at home club Manch­ester United be­fore mov­ing to Pit­to­drie.

Graeme Shin­nie asked: “Is that me?”

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