January 4, 2011

Ok, so who laser scanned Augusta National?

Tiger Woods 12 used laser scanning for realism on Augusta National

As cool projects go, it’s hard to think of one cooler than taking the old laser scanner out onto the lush grounds of Augusta National, home to the Masters. But that’s just what one of you has done, if the news coming out of EA Sports is to be believed. 

Laser scanning has made the new Tiger Woods game even more addictive.

See, the Masters is sort of hoity-toity, and has never allowed the Tiger Woods golf video game franchise to include its course in the wildly successful series. This has been a bummer to legions of couch potatoes (like myself), who were desperate to stay up until all hours birdying all three holes of Amen Corner. 

No. Seriously. This is how some people entertain themselves. 

In order to enter with a bang, the Masters has agreed to be included in this year’s Tiger Woods 12 in totally realistic fashion:

For the first time ever, EA Sports utilized a new state-of-the art laser scanning technology at Augusta National Golf Club to laser scan every hole featured in the game. This will provide players with the most authentic digital representation of the Tournament and Par 3 courses. Every tree, every azalea and every undulation in every green was recreated down to the smallest detail. 

Sounds pretty cool, right? So, which one of you guys did the work? I’ve got a call into EA Sports to find out, but it’s possible the video game giant has better things to do than return my phone calls. We’ll see.

Nor is this the first time laser scanning has been put to use in high-end video gaming, as I’m sure you know. We wrote not that long ago about iRacing.com’s use of laser scanning to create hyper-realistic gaming environments for racing enthusiasts. Same basic idea, I’d imagine.

Heck, we’ve even written about using laser scanning for golf before, as when we wrote up Trimble’s efforts to scan Winged Foot to help with putting surface representation for the US Open.

It will be interesting to see how these worlds of sports, video gaming, and 3D imaging continue to overlap in 2011.

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