Character Art Director Jeff Godfrey shows you the dramatic difference in lighting between SvR 2011 and WWE '12. It's time to put the spotlight right where it belongs!

My name is Jeff Godfrey, I am the Character Art Director for the THQ CORE Fighting Group, essentially all of our WWE and UFC fightin games. On our WWE games I direct the look of the game and the Superstar likenesses. Each year I strive to improve the Superstars’ likenesses and to make the models look more realistic. Part of that involves adjusting how they are lit.

My goal in adjusting the lighting for WWE ’12 was to push it closer to WWE TV broadcast and increase the realism. The Superstars have 6 lights on them that I can adjust; each can be set to a different color and brightness, plus I can adjust the angle. All of this is done by adjusting numbers and watching the results on screen in the model previewer. This year I made sure the lighting feels like it is coming from above while still creating dramatic contrast on the Superstars. This gets tricky because you do not want to leave the Superstars face in a dark shadow. The lighting also has to work for a wide range of skin tones. At one point I tried using one of the lights to create a bright rim light coming from behind the wrestlers, but it washed out Sheamus’s skin so it had to be abandoned.

When lighting the crowd I made it a little darker than broadcast so that the Superstars would stand out more. I made the Superstars stand out even more by having Yukes add depth of field. This makes the crowd get blurrier based on how far away they are. The end result is the Superstars pop off the background this year.

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As you can see from the screenshots of The Miz, showcasing the lighting difference between SmackDown vs Raw 2011 and WWE '12, you'll notice all of the effects I mentioned above. It's pretty cool when you actually look at both games side by side, you'll notice the differences immediately.


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