Modding, Mission Design, and Coding > The Modding Workshop

Possibility for AI upscaled FMVs of original FS1 and FS2?

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sfried:
While most mods I've seen outright replace the cinematic FMVs with new renders, I was hoping someone in the community would try to use AI upscaling, namely Topaz Video Enhance AI, to try and upscale/"restore" the original FMVs that were included in Freespace and Freespace 2.

I feel this option deserves a chance considering how it worked well for many other such projects, such as the Wing Commander 3 and 4 games, and most recently Independence War 2. The results are quite astounding and I much prefer having the choice to play the Freespace games "faithfully" with the Volition-made FMVs as opposed to just choosing fan recreations of the same cutscenes.

DefCynodont119:
I don't think that will work very well here:


The issue with this is that the FMVs use outdated models for ships, these models are little better then boxes, and no matter how many post effects are applied to the video that still won't change the fact that the ships and models are very low ploy.


I don't want to discourage you or anyone else from trying, but I don't think prettying up the videos in-post will make them look any better, the issue with the original cutscenes was mostly the low poly-count of renders themselves, not the video resolution.

Novachen:
Well... i think the (Ancient) Monologue cutscenes could be upscaled as they does not use any ship models (with wrong weapon points etc.  :lol:) ... but well... would they actually look very different to the Remakes?

I think especially these ones are very faithfully already.

Nightmare:

--- Quote from: sfried on March 26, 2022, 04:31:34 am ---I feel this option deserves a chance considering how it worked well for many other such projects, such as the Wing Commander 3 and 4 games, and most recently Independence War 2. The results are quite astounding and I much prefer having the choice to play the Freespace games "faithfully" with the Volition-made FMVs as opposed to just choosing fan recreations of the same cutscenes.

--- End quote ---

While I wouldn't deny the technical possibility per se, there are simply hurdles in upscaling from ~360p to 1080p that you simply cannot scale without rebuilding/rerendering everything from scratch.

But even in case WC and IW mods did exactly that smh, it'd be helpful if you'd provide YT links instead of just mentioning them.

sfried:

--- Quote from: Nightmare on March 26, 2022, 11:16:13 am ---While I wouldn't deny the technical possibility per se, there are simply hurdles in upscaling from ~360p to 1080p that you simply cannot scale without rebuilding/rerendering everything from scratch.

--- End quote ---
I disagree. AI upscale has improved a lot since then, especially with tools such as Topaz Labs Video Enhance AI, which I've seen multiple modders already toy around with the restoring and upscaling FMVs from old games, even far more impressive than what Ptelograph did with C&Cs Remastered FMVs.

--- Quote from: Nightmare on March 26, 2022, 11:16:13 am ---But even in case WC and IW mods did exactly that smh, it'd be helpful if you'd provide YT links instead of just mentioning them.

--- End quote ---

With regards to Wing Commander (III and IV), you can find the AI upscaled work done on the FMVs on Owen Davies' youtube page. But here's an example of the recent improvements they've done since their "HD Video Pack 5.0" for Wing Commander IV.

(The usage of interpollation to increase the framerate from 30fps to 60fps seems a bit jarring IMO, as it gives the game a rather soap opera look.)

Here's an example given to Wing Commander III, which had no DVD version:

As for Independence War 2, the video raplacement files can be downloaded here. The only comparison example I could give is the one posted on the i-war2.com website:



Edit: I found the youtube examples the author posted! Mind you this was before they fine-tuned the AI model settings to give better results in the finished product:


--- Quote from: DefCynodont119 on March 26, 2022, 09:36:33 am ---I don't think that will work very well here:


The issue with this is that the FMVs use outdated models for ships, these models are little better then boxes, and no matter how many post effects are applied to the video that still won't change the fact that the ships and models are very low ploy.


I don't want to discourage you or anyone else from trying, but I don't think prettying up the videos in-post will make them look any better, the issue with the original cutscenes was mostly the low poly-count of renders themselves, not the video resolution.

--- End quote ---
I disagree. I feel that preserving [V]'s original efforts with the FMV would be very helpful in keeping with the intent they envisioned for the games. And no offence, but the newer cinematics, for me, will always just be fan recreations. Like Black Mesa, they can be spectacular fan recreations that can go above and beyond what the source material has done, but nothing should ever replace the originals outright. They are alternatives, but it's best to experience both, IMO.

AI upscale allows use to experience the original cinematics with much better quality while preserving the oldness and limitations presented by that era which contribute to the overall feel of the base game for modern hardware. It's the best of both worlds with regards to preservation.

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